by Jenna Orgeron, special sections editor
Boat bar-hopping is just one of the unique activities that bayou region residents have discovered and mastered based on their surrounding environment.
Seth Cheramie, a 24-year-old resident who was born and raised on the bayou said this is his favorite pastime on the weekends.
“It’s something we’ve done since I was a kid and I’ve never seen it anywhere else,” he says. “There’s no place like the bayou.”
Along some of the bayous near Gramercy, Louisiana, locals have established restaurants and bars, like Lagniappe’s and the Tiger Hut. These restaurants and bars provide a place to dock a watercraft while boaters can enjoy a bite to eat and a little something to drink. And of course, in Louisiana, that usually means an alcoholic drink.
There may be questions as to how this is activity is even allowed, but partaking in the fun is completely legal according to Livingston Parish Officer Mark Erwin.
“As long as participants have a designated sober driver for the watercraft and follow the laws enforced by the local water patrol, they’re good to go!” he says.
According to the Livingston Parish Water Patrol, there are three main laws enforced by officers.
- All persons are wearing a properly fitting life jacket, with all belts buckled and zippers zipped (if any)
- Proper operation of watercraft
- For boats: a sober driver who is of age, has a certified Louisiana boating license
- For jet skis: a sober driver who is of age, has a certified Louisiana boating license, wearing operating lanyard securely on the wrist
- Up-to-date state-mandated motorboat registration sticker displayed on watercraft
As for personal safety and responsibility of participants, boat bar-hopping is no different than its dry land equivalent. Any person who joins the party must be of age, drink responsibly and agree not operate a watercraft under the influence of alcohol. Whether on the road or on water, a DD is always a party essential, Erwin says.
Boat bar-hopping is not a hobby that can be executed just anywhere. These Louisiana bayous serve as the foundation for numerous communities throughout the state.
Cheramie, who boat bar-hops almost every weekend, says, “It’s amazing how something as simple as water connects everyone around here.”