Cassidy is a busy place

Published 8:43 am Friday, October 24, 2014

My first inkling of Cassidy Park’s importance to the City of Bogalusa was just before beginning work at The Daily News back in June.

Just right after I was hired, we came down from McComb, Miss., to look for a place to live. While scouting around the area, we came across the park and decided to get a quick look-see. We saw families out with their kids, people taking in the museums and generally folks taking advantage of the nice weather by cooking out on the grill.

Little did we know at the time that Cassidy Park was the center of the universe for activity in Bogalusa.

Now that we’re living here, we see the important role Cassidy Park plays in the everyday lives of the people who live here. If something is happening in Bogalusa, it’s almost certainly happening at Cassidy Park. If anyone wants to have a leisurely outing with the family, the park is there. No entry fee or anything to hassle you.

Cassidy Park was first created in 1940 when Gaylord Container Co. donated 29 acres to the city. The park has undergone a number of renovations over the years, including the last major upgrade in 2010.

Upgrades since 2010 included the performance pavilion, the splash pad and the playground near the splash pad, which the Dogwood Ladies donated to help fund.

In an area that lacks basic entertainment activities like movie theaters, bowling alleys and franchise restaurants, Cassidy Park offers the next best thing. That’s free entertainment, so you can’t beat the price. Pavilion rentals are free and only require a reservation.

Cassidy Park is centrally located, and folks can take their lunch break while watching the ducks. That, in itself, is entertaining. WiFi is also available in the park.

Cassidy Park is the permanent home for a number of activities during the year. That includes the annual Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival we just had last month. What s success it was. The park’s other permanent events and 2015 dates include the Cassidy Park Cookoff on March 21, Gospel Fest on March 28, Easter Egg Hunt on April 4, Relay for Life on May 2, Watermelon Festival on July 4 and Open Road Cruisers on Sept. 19; Dirty Outlaw Dash on Oct. 3 and Christmas in the Park, which begins on Thanksgiving night.

The Business on the Block Family Fall Fest is Saturday at the park from 5 to 8 p.m. Activities are free. Sponsored by local businesses, the event is a way to offer a safe environment for children.

“Cassidy Park is definitely the heartbeat of our city,” Bogalusa Recreation Director Landon Tims said. “It allows children to senior citizens the opportunity to get out and experience the outdoors where there is no other place in the city to do that.”

It is indeed a busy place. It’s a good place to forget your troubles and make lasting memories. You’ve just got to count your blessings for the little things in life.

Randy Hammons is a staff writer for the Daily News. Contact him by phone at 985-732-2565 or by email at