Racing, burgers and graciousness on display at Dragon Boat Races
The Dragon Boat Races held in Downtown New Iberia brought out the best in area participants on Saturday, and even yielded a new champion for the competition that valued the true spirit of community.
Hundreds filled Bouligny Plaza as fans of the races, hamburger connoisseurs and kids who enjoyed face painting attended the seventh year of the Acadiana Dragon Boat Races and Burger Cook Off, sponsored by Norris International and Quest Dentistry and Orthodontics.
“It’s absolutely beautiful it’s a fun day, a windy day,” Vicki Holleman said. “I love the dragon boat races, my husband was on a team that disbanded. Today I’m here for my daughter and son-in-law they are on Team Curtis.”
Behr Bayard, age 11, joined Holleman for the festivities and said he was most impressed with activities for the children.
“I like the fun jumps and the drag boat races are pretty cool,” he said.
Hamburgers were the meal of choice for the day.
“Today we served a ground chicken patty that was seasoned and smoked on a bar-b-que pit and it had a cajun blast bar-b-que sauce on it,” said Holly Bonin with Super 1 Foods. “Everybody loved it, it was a really good atmosphere today,” she said.
Brett Rhymes with Busters Taste of Flavor agreed. He was serving up hamburgers old fashioned style.
“I offered an old fashioned hamburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles on an all American bun,” he said. “The crowd was amazing. They continued to pass the word and come out and support.”
J.D. Bank won the top prize in the hamburger competition.
Stephanie Painter, Director of Marketing for Quest Dentistry and Orthodontics, was pleased with Saturday’s results.
“It really goes (proceeds) to the community of New Iberia. It’s important for us no matter what community you are in. It’s really about the children whether it’s playground equipment or after school activities. It’s great for our area,” she said.
One of the event’s organizers Wess Robison said the Acadiana Dragon Boat Races work towards building a greater community and that the proceeds in particular will benefit the New Iberia City Park Foundation and the Bayou Mardi Gras Parade.
“Whether its improving the park or having a great Mardi Gras parade we want the community to stay strong,” he said.
Speaking of strength, Feldman Orthodontics may have won the grand racing prize but they were gracious in sharing the spotlight with Curtis Davis -- an eight-year-old who fractured his skull and injured his brain earlier this year.
Davis won the hearts of Iberians who have supported him through a variety of fundraising activities and community support.
His team was extremely proud of their second place spotlight but Feldman made sure their first-place honor shined the light on him as well.
After receiving their medallions and T-shirts for taking top honors, the Feldman team urged the eight-year-old to “come up here Curtis,” which he did to a loud applause from the crowd.