Inaugural bash celebrates Bucktown's history

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 4 at 5:21 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- Among the shrimp boats decorated in red, white and blue was the R&O. Skipper Roland Mollere may own the popular restaurant, but he is a shrimper at heart, and Bucktown has long been his home.

"I grew up doing this," he said. "Been doing it with my father since I was about six years old."

He remembers the original Bucktown, when the boats docked in the 17th Street Canal before Hurricane Katrina, and there was the annual Blessing of the Fleet.

But now the docks are in the newly built marina nearby, and Father John Ryan was back Thursday to renew the tradition with his blessing of the boats.

"It's amazing to see the recovery of the whole area," Ryan said. "This part here didn't even exist."

Now when New Orleans was founded, there were pirates here. Now the parrots ride on the shoulders of shrimpers in the new Bucktown at the start of the new shrimping season. So how good is this season?

"Terrible, terrible. I mean one of the worst seasons I've ever had, and I'm not making it up, either," Mollere said. "I hope the Blessing helps us all out, because we could sure use the help."

Watching the crowd dine, drink and dance at the Bucktown Bash, Jefferson President John Young saw so much potential for development in this newly created area.

"There's a lot of opportunity out here not only for restaurants, but for living, high rise condos," said Young.

"Even though I'm in the restaurant business, I still got to go fishing, you know," said Mollere.

Roland Senior is the first king of the New Bucktown Bash, a crown he's long prepared to wear.

"I've been the king for the last 84 years," said Roland Senior. "This it what I live for, to be the King in Bucktown."
 

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