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Louisiana Lt. Governor pardons crawfish

Sherbin the crawfish
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser pardoned Sherbin the Crawfish today during the 8th Annual Pardoning of the Crawfish held at Parc des Ponts Breaux in Breaux Bridge
Sherbin the crawfish

BREAUX BRIDGE, La. – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, along with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, granted an official pardon to Sherbin the Crawfish during the 8th Annual Pardoning of the Crawfish event.

For a second year, the annual event took place at Parc des Ponts Breaux along Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge, the crawfish capital of the world.

There is no better way to celebrate our culture and heritage than to grant one lucky crawfish his freedom. — Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser

Started in 2017 by Nungesser and held on the first Tuesday following Mardi Gras, this annual pardoning celebrates crawfish season in Louisiana and across the Gulf South.

"Crawfish is one of our signature dishes here in Louisiana. We have some of the best seafood in the entire world along our coast and in our waterways. There is no better way to celebrate our culture and heritage than to grant one lucky crawfish his freedom before he ended up on a tray in a restaurant or a backyard boil,” said Nungesser.

“And in true Louisiana fashion, we had to have a party complete with music, food, family, friends. No matter where you go in Louisiana, you can find something that will Feed Your Soul, from our culture and arts to our cuisine and history.”

The lucky crustacean is named “Sherbin” in honor of Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette, elected to lead the town of Henderson in 2004. Prior to becoming mayor, Collette served as a Henderson councilman from 2000-2004.

A lifelong resident of Henderson, Mayor Collette’s family has made their living fishing the waters of the Atchafalaya Basin for generations. Collette says Henderson’s fishing history sets the town apart from all other towns and cities in St. Martin Parish.

“This is the biggest honor for me in the 20 years as mayor. Thank you for naming this crawfish Sherbin. I am very grateful for the pardoning and the release of my namesake, Sherbin the Crawfish,” said Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette.

In keeping with tradition, Barry Toups, owner of Crawfish Haven and Mrs. Rose’s Bed & Breakfast in Kaplan, caught and selected the guest of honor for his reprieve. Sherbin the Crawfish was then transported to Parc des Ponts Breaux where he was the king of his own procession to his regal habitat. Lt. Governor Nungesser bestowed the official pardon upon Sherbin, delivering an official proclamation to the guest of honor’s namesake, Mayor Sherbin Collette of Henderson.

Following his pardoning, the Louisiana Office of State Parks transported Sherbin to Lake Fausse Point State Park in St. Martinville, Louisiana, where he will live out the rest of his days burrowing in the mud, swimming in the bayou, and making the state park his new home.