There will be no Kay-Cee Saltwater Fishing Rodeo in 2020.

Knights of Columbus Council 3425 made it official this past week. What would have been the 61st annual fundraising event for the Kay-Cees has been canceled, according to first-year fishing rodeo chairman Bryan Boutte of New Iberia.

“We took a vote among our members and our members decided it would be in the best interest not to have it,” Boutte said Tuesday morning.

In a prepared statement earlier in the week, Boutte said, “The Knights of Columbus Council 3425 has decided to cancel our annual fishing rodeo this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is of our great concern for keeping our members, our fishing rodeo participants, sponsors and their families healthy and safe during this period.”

The 3425 Kay-Cees, he said, resumed meeting in person two weeks ago in an effort to stay healthy and make every effort to ward off the disease that claimed another victim with what would have been the 61st Labor Day Weekend event at Cypremort Point.

Boutte, 62, is the fishing rodeo chairman for the first time in his approximately 13 years with KC Council 3425. He replaced Pat Giorgio of New Iberia.

The long-time Musson-Patout Automotive Group auto technician took the decision to cancel in stride but with a heavy heart. The Kay-Cee Saltwater Fishing Rodeo is one of several major annual happenings locally that won’t happen in 2020, including the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival & Fair and the World Championship Gumbo CookOff.

The whispers had been getting louder and louder since mid-June that there would be no second major fishing rodeo this year at the Point. When the word got out last week, supporters were saddened by the news.

“Ah, man, ah, that’s disappointing. We were hoping that was not going to be the case but we understand the struggles everybody is having,” Brandy St. Germain of Sorrel said Wednesday.

“We look forward to it every year, taking the kids out fishing, seeing everybody we see only once a year,” St. Germain said.

St. Germain and her hard-fishing family of husband, Josh, and sons Noah, Luke and Ethan certainly take their time together each year to fish the event and make their mark on the leaderboards. They won the Boat Captain’s Award in 2018 and again in 2019.

“Hopefully, next year, it’ll be back,” she said.

Boutte agreed.

“Well, hopefully, everything will be in a better position next year. We look forward to doing that. It’s one of our major fundraisers each year,” he said.

“Yeah, it’s breaking a tradition. We look forward to getting out there with the guys who support us.”

Boutte said the Kay-Cees are looking forward to having the fishing rodeo in 2021 “and pray that this will be behind us by Labor Day 2021.”

The fishing rodeo chairman said sponsors and donors have rallied around the cancellation. They unanimously agreed to let the fishing rodeo officials keep whatever has been donated for next year.

Boutte said he appreciated that united gesture, a positive step for the fishing rodeo’s return in 2021.

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