Saturday, July 3, 2010

Holiday Weekend No Holiday for Island Community

Lisa Owens of Raceland and her son Brad look off the pier Friday at Grand Isle State Park. Lisa has been visiting Grand Isle often since she was a child. “It's sad,” she said, referring to oil hitting the beach. “I just worry about the poor animals.”

John DeSantis
Senior Staff Writer
July 3, 2010

GRAND ISLE — There will be fireworks and parties, like every Fourth of July, on this island where the essence of existence is having a good time no matter what trials may come.

But Grand Isle's legendary joie de vivre, like the marsh plants along its storm-tossed passes, are soaked heavy with the oil from the ongoing Deepwater Horizon disaster.

While residents try to keep up appearances, the makeup is wearing a bit thin.

During the last holiday weekend, Memorial Day, the excitement of a presidential visit was enough of a sideshow to eclipse the specter of oil fouling cherished beaches. A dogged determination to have fun dictated that even if the annual trout-fishing rodeo was canceled, there would be dancing and drinking despite it all. The beach may be closed, but creative signs and dioramas of protest took the edge off. READ COMPLETE STORYY

Emma Chighizola has owned Blue Water Souvenirs for 24 years and says business has never been this slow during the summer, even after Hurricane Katrina.
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