The 2019 Rougarou Fest made a net profit of $103,538.39 — the highest total in the festival’s history.
“A big part of it is about the people who show up, but an even bigger part is about the volunteers who put it all together,” said Jonathan Foret, executive director for the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center. “Without the volunteers and without our sponsors, it would be very difficult for us to turn that type of profit.”
The funds will go to the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, a nonprofit that aims to revolutionize the way people think, teach and learn about Louisiana’s disappearing coast.
The money will fund educational programs for K-12 students, as well as general educational programs for the public, produced by the center and help reach its goal of breaking ground in 2020 on its new educational campus near the Terrebonne Parish Library System Main Branch in Houma.
Foret said they are planning to move the festival to the center’s grounds next year.
The proceeds from Rougarou Fest is also helping the organization hire another staff member so they can expand the programs into Lafourche Parish, Foret said.
“Hopefully, year after year as the festival grows, we'll be able to grow our programs and the region that we serve,” he said.
Foret emphasized that all of this wouldn’t be possible without the many volunteers and sponsors of the festival.
He said they are preparing virtually all year round for the festival, from people picking blackberries during the summer for the festival’s blackberry dumplings to people catching and preparing seafood that’s frozen and stored until the event.
“It's just amazing how giving all of these folks are with their time and of course, our sponsors with their financial resources,” Foret said. “There would really be no way that we could do what we do without them.”