THIBODAUX; La-- In 1883, the first Thibodaux Firemen’s Fair was held, raising almost $250 for the Thibodaux Volunteer Fire Department, the only fire department in the parish. Since its inception, Thibodaux’s Fire Department has depended upon the money raised at the Firemen’s Fair for a significant portion of its annual budget. It’s because of this great event that the volunteer fire department can maintain its operations across the parish.
The Thibodaux Firemen’s Parade is part of the annual celebration and plays a big role in fundraising efforts. The parade, which is always held on Sunday, is one of the main events on the biggest day of the fair, meaning there are always crowds of people lining the streets.
The earliest known account of a parade reported in the Thibodaux Sentinel was in 1866. However, in 1869, the Thibodaux Sentinel reported that Thibodaux Fire Co. No. 1 was celebrating its eighth anniversary although the company was formed in 1858. From these facts, a conclusion is drawn that the company was celebrating its anniversary for the eighth time, excluding three years missed during the Civil War. Evidence of non-activity during this period is found in the October 28, 1865 edition of the Thibodaux Sentinel.
The April 25, 1874 edition of the Thibodaux Sentinel headlines read, “The fifteenth annual parade of the Firemen of Thibodaux”. Had the firemen paraded every year with out interruption they would have started in 1860, but based on the fact that three years were missed during the Civil War, the conclusion can be drawn that the firemen of Thibodaux have been holding parades at least since 1857.