BASTROP — Morehouse Parish residents got a peek at some Cajun celebrities Friday.
“Swamp People” Troy and Jacob Landry made a visit to Simmons’ Sporting Goods to meet fans and sign autographs. Several hundred people showed up to meet the stars of the documentary television series featured on the History Channel.
“People started getting here before six this morning,” said Simmons’ employee Lori Freeman said. “I have no idea how many people are here today. The line goes all the way back to the [paper] mill. I had one customer drive all the way from Michigan.”
Jennifer Bates of Monticello, Ark. was among the early arrivals. She and her family got there at 7:30 a.m. to find about 50 people in line ahead of them. After a two and a half hour wait, the family got to meet Troy and Jacob. Bates’ eight year old daughter Jaci was excited after meeting the Swamp People.
“I love Troy,” Jaci Bates said. “I watch it with my daddy. I got to take my picture with them. They were really nice.”
Lisa Balsamo and her son Jake came from Swartz to meet the famous alligator hunters.
“There were probably 20 cars in this front parking lot when we got here at 7:50,” Balsamo said.
“Now the parking lot is full. When we got here we had to stand in line past the back of the building. Now the line is really long. There’s a great set up inside though. They’ve got this thing really organized.”
Simmons’ employee Lori Freeman was doing her part to help keep the crowd organized.
With such a large turnout, deputies with the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office were on hand to help insure everything went smoothly. Sgt. Kim Lowden was assigned to the front door to help bring the line in slowly.
“We’ve got six officers inside the building and two outside,” Lowden said. “We’ve got another officer here from Probation and Parole. We’re basically here for crowd control and to make sure everything goes smoothly.”
Vickie Green and her family traveled from Dubach to meet the History Channel celebrities. They arrived at 9 a.m. and waited patiently in the long line.
“There weren’t this many people here when we got here,” Green said. “The line was just in the store. We went to the bathroom and when we came back, the line was to the end of the tent.
Green’s daughter Stephanie Button was excited that her son Ryan was going to meet the men.
“My son loves Troy,” Dutton said. “When the show comes on, he starts running around the house yelling “Choot ’em, Jacob. Choot ’em.’”