In lead-up to Festival, more pageant contestants needed

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, May 6, 2015

With fantastic weather expected, a wide variety of music planned and vendors coming from hither and yon, the Bogalusa Chamber of Commerce’s 27th annual Festival in the Park is expected to be the creme de la crème.

Festival in the Park is scheduled for May 8-10 at Cassidy Park. Parking and entry to the festival is free.

Three days of rain hampered last year’s festival, but the forecast for this weekend calls for festival-going weather.

“I have proof of global warming. We will have good, hot weather this weekend,” Bogalusa Chamber of Commerce Director Marilyn Bateman said. “We will not have rain.”

The festival begins at noon on Friday with the opening of some vendors. The festival opens at 8 a.m. on Saturday with pageants on the stage. The festival opens on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Along with three days of musical entertainment, activities include arts and crafts, children’s entertainment and a petting zoo, Queen’s pageant, a Mother’s Day Essay Contest and Sunday’s duck race. Fifth- and sixth-grade children from all Bogalusa schools will have their essays judged. Essays are about why their mother should be selected as Best Mother. Essays will be read, and prizes will be awarded.

Pageant Chairman Megan Hebert said she needs more contestants. Pageant entry fee is $40, but the entry deadline with no late fee is Thursday at 4:30 p.m. There are 14 divisions in female and male divisions. Friday’s late fee is $10. Contestants can sign up from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the stage and pay the late fee.

Zachary chainsaw carver Burt Fleming returns to the festival. His demonstration is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 until 4 p.m. on Saturday.

“He carves different things. He did a tiger here that was just out of this world,” Chamber Second Vice President and festival volunteer Ramona Augustine said.

Friday’s musical lineup includes Ryan Alan and “Gitlo” Lee.

Headlining Saturday’s performers from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. is “The Voice” contestant and Natchitoches native DeShawn Washington. Saturday’s performers also include David Craig, Chris LeBlanc, Kern Pratt, Denise Owen, David Hyde and New Orleans native Alexes Aiken.

Washington performs again on Sunday from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Gospel group Right Direction follows Washington and will play from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. R&B musician Charles Wilson was added to the lineup Tuesday and will play a short gig from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m. Fellow “The Voice” contestant Sarah Buras, whose professional name is “Serabee,” closes out the show. She plays from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. She is a resident of Kiln, Miss.

“We have fantastic musicians who are coming from all around,” Bateman said. “Two of them have been on ‘The Voice,’ so you know they’ve got to be good. We’ve got local musicians, bands and musicians from Mississippi and Tennessee, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It’s world-class musicians.”

Friday’s musical lineup:

• 6-7:15 p.m. — Thomas “Gitlo” Lee

• 7:30-8:45 p.m.— Ryan Alan

Saturday’s lineup:

• 2-3:15 p.m. — David Craig

• 3:30-4:45 p.m. — Chris LeBlanc

• 5-6:15 p.m. — Kern Pratt/Denis Owen/David Hyde

• 6:30-7:15 p.m. — DeShawn Washington

• 7:30-8:45 p.m. — Alexes Aiken

Sunday’s lineup:

• 1-1:30 p.m. — DeShawn Washington

• 1:30-1:45 p.m. — Charles Wilson

• 2-3:15 p.m. — Right Direction

• 3:30-4:45 p.m. — Serabee