Shining through

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, May 14, 2014

During a weekend that was a mixture of soggy and sunny, the Bogalusa Chamber of Commerce held its 25th Festival in the Park.
The event took place Friday, May 9, through Sunday, May 11, in Cassidy Park and featured a range of family-friendly activities.
Marilyn Bateman, executive director of the Chamber, said the rain turned to deluges at some points, and that didn’t help with turnout.
“People were out when the sun was,” she said.
Over at the stage, the music of Ryan Alan & Friends, the Bogalusa High School Band, the David Craig Band, the Eli Seals Band, Kipori Woods and Big Daddy ‘O’ could be heard.
Bateman said the music was great, and the vendors who took part in the festival were happy.
Those vendors had a variety of food and arts and crafts items at booths set up along the park’s walkway. Attendees could also check out activities such as pony and limo rides or a chainsaw show.
On Sunday, Mother’s Day, families came to the park to enjoy all that the event had to offer, and Mother’s Day essay winners from several local schools presented their winning entries that afternoon.
One of the essay winners was Londen Mitchell, a fifth-grade student in Amy Jenkins’ English class at Ben’s Ford Christian School.
She was there with parents, Chris and Becky Mitchell, owners of Spacewalk of Bogalusa. Their Spacewalks were offered at the festival and appeared to be a big hit with the young attendees.
“We came up here to make children happy and let them see what the park is like,” she said.
Vendors included Gerald and Peggy McKinley of Prairieville.
The couple travels to different festivals throughout the year and has been to Festival in the Park several years. They enjoy meeting the people who stop by, Peggy McKinley said.
Operating a Ragin Cajun Photo Booth Rentals vendor booth was Belinda Lechtenberg, who said she was happy to participate as well.
“It’s a great festival and I feel more people should come and enjoy it,” she said.