Support local business at tonight’s Rendezvous

Published 9:15 am Friday, May 22, 2015

With Bogalusa’s deficit starting at us square in the face, it’s well past time to put aside our petty squabbles and differences and become one.

It’s unfortunate the city had to eliminate it’s popular Main Street Program in early April. Main Street Program Manager Robin Day is about the friendliest person anybody would want to meet. It’s never a good thing when somebody loses their job, but the problems the city is facing call for drastic measures.

I would think the decision to eliminate the program was the toughest decision Mayor Wendy Perrette has had to make since she took office only four short months ago.

But the deed is done, and it’s time for us to move on. Day and her band of volunteers did an excellent job, but it just came down to dollars and cents for the city. I’m sure Day will land on her feet.

Since then, Perrette enlisted Teddy Drummond to work with volunteers to keep the Rendezvous on the Road series alive. The series is one of Main Street’s staples.

There was talk around town that people boycotted the last Rendezvous to show support for Day. Since Day wasn’t in charge, I guess they figured it was not worth attending and spending money downtown, which is the point behind the event in the first place.

Any kind of perceived boycott only hurts Columbia Street merchants, and ultimately the rest of us who live here. We must come together and merge into one camp.

The next Rendezvous is from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight in the 400 block of Columbia Street. It’s extremely important to support downtown business and the volunteers who have worked to try and keep Rendezvous afloat.

The ordinary citizen doesn’t usually have the opportunity to see the planning and behind the scenes organizing that goes into staging events like Rendezvous. I attended a planning meeting Tuesday at Cajun Canvas & More and saw for myself what goes into having an event. The merchants planned for every little contingency they could think of.

Bogalusa natives Erwin Bankston and Keith Alford will provide musical entertainment. Their group is known as “The Itchy Dogs.” To be sure, it is a unique moniker and should be entertaining enough just to see what they look like for those who are unfamiliar with them.

Organizers said tonight’s Rendezvous will include children’s favorites like cotton candy, soft drinks and snowballs for purchase. Children’s jumpers will also be available. Getting families to participate in Rendezvous is a priority, according to organizers.

Columbia Streets merchants said they want to continue the momentum the area has experienced over the last few months with new businesses setting up shop.

“Businesses are still here on Columbia Street, and the merchants have banned together to keep Rendezvous alive,” The Polka Dot Tree owner Charlotte Hughes said. “We’re trying to keep the momentum up. A lot of these businesses really depend on that Friday night, and we don’t want to see that changed. We want it to be the biggest and best Rendezvous ever by including family-oriented activities.”

I’m sure there will be some deals for the most discriminating shopper.

It’s time to put up or shut up. There needs to be a huge turnout tonight for Rendezvous from every segment of the city.

Tonight is a unique opportunity to prove we can get past our differences and move forward. We get the opportunity to mingle with folks we haven’t seen in a long time and simply relax and enjoy.

The city depends on it.

Randy Hammons is a staff writer with the Daily News. He can be reached by calling 985-732-2565, or by email at