A section of Hopkins Street is often where hundreds of New Iberia residents gather following the Sugarcane Festival and in recent years, it’s been the site of major controversy.
In 2013, following a gathering on Hopkins Street, an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Deputy was investigated after claims he assaulted a man who was already in handcuffs. That deputy was fired as a result of the internal investigation.
Major Ryan Turner says last year’s festival was problem free, and they don’t expect any issues this weekend. But if they’re called to respond, deputies will act accordingly. “Sheriff Ackal is going to ensure that his deputies are going to patrol with professionalism and courtesy when they respond to calls.”
Albert Moore has been in business at this location on Hopkins Street for nearly four years. He says the additional traffic following scheduled events is good for all businesses. “This area as well as the main street area where the main festivities are going on.”
One resident tells us the large crowds in this area draw troublemakers, and sometime law enforcement has to take action. But Al Moore has a different opinion. “We definitely want the security, we just don’t wanted it to be excessive. We want all the business owners to prosper and everybody have a good time.”
Major Turner says, “We’re going to handle each call as it comes in. It depends on the situation, it depends on what’s going on… call by call, that’s how we’re going to address it.”
The festival will officially wrap up Sunday following the 2 p.m. Royalty Parade.