For the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lagniappe Day is the longest standing tradition at 46 years and counting.
In 2019, things were held differently. All the events that would normally take place over the course of a week, dubbed Lagniappe Week, was squeezed into a single day. In addition to a condensed celebration, the day prior was hit by the heaviest storm that month and several flood warnings in the area. Despite all this, the students did not cower away from showing up to the events and the largest crawfish boil in the area.
At 11 a.m. on April 5, the awaited day began. Canoe trips through Cypress Lake began. Couples and groups of friends could paddle through the Cypress Lake swamp in a canoe and enjoy the view of the lake from the inside, but you wouldn’t want to stay too long because the crawfish boil also began at the same time. The all-you-can-eat crawfish boil was all along Boucher Street. To indulge in this 20,000-pound feast cost a meal swipe for those with a meal plan, or $7.82 for those without. At noon, the line for crawfish wrapped through the inside of the Student Union Building to the front of the bookstore inside.
At noon, the annual lake jump began in front of the Cypress Lake, which is a tradition where students jump feet first into the waters of the swamp despite the presence of alligators. Happening at the same time, was the presentation of the UL Lafayette class rings for the 2019 graduating class. This presentation was supported by the UL ROTC. Taja White, Miss UL Lafayette for 2019, also gave a speech at 12:15 p.m. about Lagniappe Day and school spirit.
To finish the events of the day, students had canoe races at 12:45 p.m. The students formed two-person paddling teams to race inside Cypress Lake. The team known as “Paddle Power” won the race.
Despite the ill omens the day before Lagniappe Day, students persevered and showed out for this time-honored tradition.