Morgan City ranked 4th ‘most exciting’ city in state
Morgan City is the fourth most exciting city in Louisiana, according to a recently published list by Movoto, a national online real estate brokerage firm.
The list, which made the rounds of social media last week, listed Morgan City because of its nightlife and active life per capita. Movoto notes the city was the smallest on the list with a population of 12,404.
“All of our efforts are starting to get recognized,” Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said.
Movoto’s website stated the “most exciting” list was made from a list of cities over 10,000 people, 2010 census data and business listings.
Movoto stated it then at seven criteria per capita:
—Nightlife (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.), live music venues;
—Live music venues per capita;
—Active life options (parks, outdoor activities, etc.);
—Arts and entertainment (movie theaters, festivals, galleries, theaters, etc.);
—Fast food restaurants (the fewer the better);
—Percentage of restaurants that are not fast food (the higher the better); and
—Percentage of young residents ages 18 to 34 (the higher the better).
“We’re trying to make an effort in bringing more things to the city,” Grizzaffi said, noting that the Bayou Barbecue Fest and the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival are among the more notable.
The city also hosts a monthly farmer’s market and annual Jet Ski races, drag races and power boat races.
Morgan City will be hosting a July 5 Independence Day celebration featuring rides and food “to really play off of what our city is known for,” Grizzaffi said.
Furthermore, the mayor said, the city is about to redevelop the riverfront, replacing the old dock with “something more appealing … giving more access to river and events,” he said.
Kelly Strenge, vice president of communications for the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission said she believes Lafayette, which ranked seventh, should be ranked second only to New Orleans.
“Obviously, Lafayette’s 7th ranking is not something I agree with but they crunched the numbers, and that’s what it came up with. They came up with a set of criteria so it wasn’t a subjective choosing for ‘what town did you have the most fun in’,” Strenge said.
Jason El Koubi, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, countered the Movoto ranking by saying in an email statement that Lafayette is one of the most exciting places in Louisiana because it celebrates its extraordinarily rich culture year-round. “One can enjoy unique music from around the world at Festival International de Louisiane; taste the tastiest boudin from around the state at our Boudin Cook-Off; dance the weekend away at Festivals Acadiens et Créoles; and decide who makes the best gravy, cracklin and jambalaya at the South Louisiana Blackpot Festival and Cookoff. No matter what time of the year you visit Lafayette, you’re sure to have a terrific time, listen to some of the world’s best music, and eat the most delicious food of your life,” El Koubi said.
New Orleans topped the list, followed by Houma and Gretna in the number two and three spots.
Morgan City’s nightlife per capita ranked the sixth best on Movoto’s list, and the active life category ranked second.
“That might seem shocking for a place so little, but Morgan City is home to spots like Friend’s Tavern and Legends, which keep the bar scene truly alive,” the site says.
It also notes “there was a fair amount of uninteresting fast food, which does make sense considering this is a crossroads between many different large city areas, and travelers do love their fast food. The city does say in its slogan that it’s ‘right in the middle of everywhere,’ after all.”
Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau Executive Director Carrie Stansbury said, “It always adds to the excitement of your community when someone says something positive. If you look hard enough in your community, regardless of how small we are in comparison, there is always something to do.”
The top 10 exciting cities in Louisiana, as ranked by Movoto, are: New Orleans; Houma; Gretna; Morgan City; Lake Charles; Thibodaux; Lafayette; Opelousas; Baton Rouge; and Hammond.
Baton Rouge tourism officials did not want to be interviewed for this story.
The Baton Rouge and Lafayette chambers of commerce did not return calls seeking comment.