Keeping the tradition alive

Brandie Richardson

The party must go on! That was the motto of the annual Senior Citizen Day held last week at Moonlight Inn in French Settlement. Over 300 senior citizens from surrounding parishes gathered for a day of drinking, eating, relaxing and dancing.

 The annual tradition, which has been held for more than 25 years, has been at Fred's on the River for the last 15 years, though due to the flood damage it received in August, the business was unable to be this years host. Though much of the area was impacted by the flood waters, that didn't keep the celebration from happening. 

"You got people from all the parishes, you got musicians from all over, cooks, volunteers, it's just a good bunch of people that enjoy dancin', cookin' and eatin'. It's a south Louisiana tradition," said Ronald Braud, one of the organizers of the event.

The volunteer-driven event had more than 50 volunteers at the event. Ascension Golf Carts was on hand to drive attendees to and from their vehicles and the Jambalaya Festival Association, along with Keller Williams Realty of Prairieville employees, passed out lunch, which was provided by Eatel and the Livingston and Ascension Parish Sheriff's Offices.

"We wanted to do something that was local in Ascension Parish and Livingston, close to our area," said Tonya Gautreau of Keller Williams. "Many of these elderly were affected by the flood and we wanted to do something close to home, do something special for them."

Rodney Dupuy, who has attended this event for the past five years, said he is glad the organizers kept the tradition, despite the recent set backs, because it means so much to the senior citizens.

"The flood couldn't stop something like this," he said. "These senior citizens look forward to this every year, coming out and enjoying music, getting a free meal, getting a ride in a golf cart, they get together and see each other."

Braud added that next year the event will go back to its original location at Fred's on the River.