Children’s Day offered games, parade and more

MORGAN CITY, La. — Children visiting the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival had Saturday dedicated just to them with games, a children’s parade, the opening of the Children’s Village and a Slidell teacher who wrote a children’s book about shrimp.

The children’s games included a sack race, balloon pop, three-legged race, and water balloon toss, festival volunteer Allison Guagliardo said. She also helped organize the children’s parade, and made sure the Children’s Day king and queen, Aedynn Chellette and Lillian Trimmer, fulfilled their duties.

Guagliardo said more children participated in the games than the parade.

All participants in the games or parade received a trophy and cash prize, she said. This was a change from last year when awards for the top three in each game were handed out, Guagliardo said.

“I’m really glad that we changed the games around and did the balloon pop and water balloons, and, of course, the old favorites, the potato sack and the three-legged race. They really enjoyed themselves,” Guagliardo said.

Guagliardo plans to continue to help organize the games for Children’s Day, she said.

Saturday also marked the opening of the Children’s Village. A crowd of roughly a hundred kids made their way through the gates of the village after the ribbon cutting to jump in the fun jumps, slide on the inflatable slide, and play fishing and golf putting games, among others.

Kids also climbed the rock wall and ran in the “aquatube,” a cylinder-shaped inflatable that floats on top of the water, at Lawrence Park on Saturday.

Steven Spires, a third grade teacher from Slidell, had a tent set up in Lawrence Park signing copies of his first book, a children’s book called “Three Little Shrimp.”

Spires said festival organizers invited him to come to the festival after seeing it on the Internet.

“We’re new to this. We’re just looking for festivals. We needed children and shrimp because we want to get the story of the ‘Three Little Shrimp’ out,” Spires said.

His book originally started out as a lesson with his students. “An author friend of mine challenged me to turn it into a story, so that’s what I did. And it got published,” Spires said.

Spires’ editor told him his book is one of only five children’s books ever published about shrimp, he said.

Spires has written other books, but this one is the first to be published. The book was released in May, and has sold more than 1,000 copies so far, he said.

The book is about three shrimp being chased by different predators, Spires said. “They don’t realize that they’re being chased. They’re young shrimp, and it captures the essence of childhood where children are oblivious. And they don’t realize that they could get themselves in danger,” Spires said, referencing the example of kids playing in the street.

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