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Easter Weekend Seafood Demand Drives Prices Up

good fridayServing seafood on Good Friday is a big New Orleans tradition.

Everything from crawfish to oysters is on the menu; and high demand has driven prices up.

It was a neighborhood gathering, full of familiar faces.

“We do this every year,” neighbor Mary Scott explained.

Long-time friends who grew up near Columbus and N. Roman got together to fellowship and observe Good Friday.

Some traveled as close as across the street; others from various parts of New Orleans.

Some even traveled in from out of state.

“I live in New Orleans East, but I’m from about 4-blocks from here,” said Elliot Gray.

So what did life-long friends do when they went back to the old neighborhood?

They prepared a seafood feast to feed the Good Friday masses.

“Oysters Rockefeller, fish, baked macaroni, and potato salad,” Scott said. “Barbeque shrimp, boiled shrimp, boiled crawfish,” she said. “They have it all.”

“Yeah we can’t eat any meat,” neighbor Paulette Gouse-Watson said. “If you eat meat you’re in trouble.”

Elliot Gray was again on the broiler.

“Cheese, minced garlic, various spices; and all I can tell you it’s good,” Gray said.

“Everything is delicious, everything,” Scott said.

Because demand for seafood is so high Easter weekend, so too are prices.

Take crawfish for example.

As if Good Friday isn’t enough, add unseasonably cold weather to the mix, and this year’s early ascension and you’ve got a shortage.

“You’ve got to take and put in your order early,” Organizer Tony Marrero said.

Tony Marrero says seafood suppliers struggle to keep up with the Easter weekend demand.

But organizers have learned over the years to cast a wide net; and again this year they’ve lucked out.

“We found some across the river,” Marrero explained. “They said we not taking no more orders.” “If you come in on Friday morning, first come first served after they fill they orders.”

Seafood prices are expected to go down after Easter  weekend.

That’s especially true for crawfish.

As the weather heats up, crawfish become less bashful and therefore more plentiful.

Experts predict the cost of crawfish will drop about a dollar per pound.