Celebrating Main Street

Published 12:05 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Promoting shopping at home is the idea behind Bogalusa Main Street Association’s Rendezvous on the Road series.

The latest installment of the series was Friday night in the pocket park in the 400 block of S. Columbia St., and downtown businesses remained during that time to take care of customers.

Despite the rain that came late before the event officially ended at 9 p.m., Downtown Main Street Manager Robin Day said the event was a tremendous success.

“I’m very pleased with the attendance,” Day said midway through the event. “We do this to bring awareness to our shops and give people something to do.”

City officials who were seen supporting the event with their presence included City Administrator Jerry Bailey and Police Chief Joe Culpepper. Miss Teen Baton Rouge, Lexie Herbert, sold VIP passes to the third annual Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival, scheduled Sept. 26-27 at Cassidy Park.

The event included an antique car show and plenty of live music. Bands included country blues musicians John Who and The Whodoods and Nuria, a group of Ben’s Ford Christian School students.

“Nuria” is Hebrew for God’s Light, according to lead singer Daniel Crowe.

John Who and The Hoodoods musicians included Terry Bollinger, Randy Traylor, Spider Murphy and Ricky Green bass guitar. Nuria members included Drake Barnhill, Caleb Jenkins, Jacob Crowe and Daniel Crowe.

A sizable crowd of people gathered around both bands to hear the music. It was something Day enjoyed seeing, as it brought people out to downtown.

“We flock to St. Tammany and other surrounding areas to our shopping,” Day said. “We say shop at home and spend at home. That will help pave your streets and support fire and police departments. It would be a better quality of life if we spend our tax dollars at home.”

Day became Main Street manager in February 2013. Since that time, 13 new businesses have opened downtown.

“We consider our Main Street starting at Willis Avenue and Columbia Street and going to Long Avenue and South Columbia,” Day said. “We have approximately 65 shops in that area.”

Day said the name of the event goes back to simpler times.

“When we were younger, you went on the road,” Day said. “That meant shopping or eating. South Columbia Street at the time was called Columbia Road. That was what we learned when we did our history, and that was how we came up with the name.”

The Rendezvous on the Road series began in March and ends in August. The final event is scheduled for Aug. 22.