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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Pellegrin named 42nd annual French Food Festival Grand Marshal

Pellegrin named 42nd annual French Food Festival Grand Marshal

The Bayou Civic Club Board of Directors and the Larose Regional Park family has announced that Gerald Harlan Pellegrin, better known as “Rock”, has been chosen as Grand Marshal XXXVIII of the 42nd Annual French Food Festival.

The popular French Food Festival takes place the last full weekend in October every year on the grounds of the Larose Regional Park. This year's festival dates are Friday, October 23rd through Sunday, October 25th.

This year's festival will again feature the ever-popular Thursday night concert kick-off event French Food Fest Rocks, featuring the band known as 38 Special on Thursday, October 22nd.

Gerald Pellegrin is the son of the late Nerville Pellegrin and Lucy Lampo Pellegrin. He and his wife of 51 years, Louise Pellegrin, have three sons, Bob, Rod and Jason, and seven grandchildren.

Rock, a long-time resident of Larose, is a 1956 graduate of Larose Cut Off High School. After completing school, Pellegrin enlisted into the Army and served two years during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

After returning home to South Lafourche, he started his working career at Danos & Curole. Rock tried his hand at welding after learning the skill at trade school as well. After some time, Rock started his own company, P and P, a wireline business, where he served as President and CEO until his retirement.

Rock's connection to the Larose Civic Center dates back many years, starting with the 1987 French Food Festival. Rock partnered with his neighbor at the time, Carroll Gros, and helped cut the massive 46-acre grounds of the Larose Regional Park. Carroll then recruited Rock to help work the fried shrimp booth along with the Ronald and Beverly Gros family.

Back in the early days of the festival, the booth volunteers caught, cleaned, stored and prepared the items for their individual booths.

Hurricane Juan forced the cancellation of the festival that year; the only cancelation in the French Food Festival's 42 years.

The tent nearly blew away from the gale force winds produced by Juan.

With no Festival, Rock and the many Larose Civic Center volunteers instead served fried shrimp and other fair delicacies to the hundreds of evacuees and displaced residents using the Larose Civic Center as a shelter.

After that year, and the threat of losing the massive festival tent to the hurricane-force winds, Rock was a supporter of the permanent pavilion built to house South Lafourche's largest and most successful annual festival.

After nearly 30 years, Rock finally saw a permanent pavilion erected.

A constant and welcomed presence at the Larose Civic Center, Rock can be seen volunteering and assisting with infrastructure repairs, booth construction for events under the pavilion, including the ever-popular annual Wild Game Supper, and even assisting with peeling seafood to be used for festival dishes.

Grand Marshal XXXVIII Pellegrin extends an open invitation to everyone to come out the last full weekend in October and see all the 42nd Annual French Food Festival has to offer!