Getting gussied up

Published 9:55 am Friday, June 27, 2014

Thursday’s rain caused Centennial Jubilee organizers to scramble to come up with alternative plans for tonight’s opening ceremonies.

Tonight’s opening ceremonies are scheduled for 7 at the main stage at Cassidy Park with various activities planned. In case of rain, the Bogalusa High School Auditorium will be the alternative site.

Centennial Jubilee activities run through July 4, the city’s anniversary.

Highlights of tonight’s various activities include the opening of the 1989 time capsule and processional of 100 children.

Bogalusa Director of Personnel Sandy Bloom said Thursday’s inclement weather forced organizers to try and come up with various scenarios should moving the festivities become a reality.

“Our people are just stretched very thin. They’ve got a lot of things to put into place, and we’re not having a lot of weather cooperation,” Bloom said on Thursday.

Workers spruced up City Hall Thursday as they powerwashed the building, put up bunting on the columns, placed a faux birthday cake on the front lawn and hung flags and other decorative items from trees in front of the building.

After completing work at the courthouse, workers moved on to the Willis Avenue train trestle, where they hung a banner letting the public know about the city’s birthday celebration.

Should good weather prevail, tonight’s opening ceremonies at Cassidy Park will be hosted by Whit Gallaspy. Activities include speeches by various city officials, including the welcome by Mayor Charles Mizell, who will introduce living former mayors, including Mervin “Toye” Taylor (1986-1998) and James “Mack” McGehee (1998-2010).

Also, the First Baptist Church Quartet will perform the national anthem. Additionally, winners of the Brothers of the Brush beard judging contest will be announced, and a preview the week’s activities is on tonight’s agenda.

The South Border Stroll Through the Past is scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. for Sunday. The home of Bogalusa’s first mayor, William H. Sullivan, will be on the tour, along with other historical activities and presentations.

“We anticipate the South Border Stroll will take place rain or shine,” Bloom said. “There are displays that can be put on porches of homes. Each historic home will have a display.”

The Fifth Sunday Singing is 7 p.m. at Cassidy Park. Local pastors participating include the Rev. Field Thigpen of Memorial Baptist Church; the Rev. Greg Whaley of First Baptist Church; the Rev. Clay Norwood of Superior Avenue Baptist Church, Chad Jenkins of Monroe St. Baptist Church and the Rev. Marcus Rosa of Westside Baptist Church.

Thursday is Hospitality Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Hall. Friday’s anniversary celebration kicks off with a 10 a.m. parade, followed the Watermelon Festival. Bands will perform on the main stage. Turtle races are scheduled for 4 p.m. A big fireworks show at 8 p.m. wraps up activities.

“All the rain does make it more difficult (to prepare), but it doesn’t dampen our spirit any,” Bloom said.