Rendezvous a success despite scheduling conflict

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Downtown merchants said Friday’s Rendezvous on the Road Series was one of the best as far as sales went.

Rendezvous had some competition when it came to attracting crowds. The Bogalusa Parks and Recreation Department’s had its production of “Peter and Tink” children’s play in Cassidy Park.

But over all, downtown merchants were confident and happy about the future of Rendezvous on the Road.

“I think it was better than the last one and is going to continue to grow,” Wild Blu owner Chelbe Crain said. “It was more organized this time. All the merchants came together and had a plan for this one. Merchants are more organized and are working together, and we all are coming up with new ideas for future Rendevous. It’s going to continue to grow.”

Because of its well-documented deficit, the city of Bogalusa eliminated the Main Street Program on April 7. The Rendezvous on the Road Series was one of Main Street’s more popular programs to attract visitors downtown.

“We had good sales tonight,” Crain said. “We had our best sales in March, but this one was close to it. It might have been the second best. I had a good turnout.”

Friday’s Rendevous on the Road featured live music by the Itchy Boyz, which included Ponchatoula’s Erwin Bankston and Loranger’s Keith Alford. Both are Bogalusa natives. Children enjoyed bounce houses, snowballs, popcorn and soft drinks.

“We had an awesome night and had a great turnout,” Cajun Canvas & More owner Aundriea Mitchell said. “I appreciate everybody coming out.”

Signs & More owner Samantha Hale said she was satisfied with sales.

“I was expecting a little better turnout, but I think it did pretty well considering the stuff going on out at Cassidy Park,” Hale said. “We had pretty good sales, so I’m pleased. I’m looking forward to the next one and hoping for a bigger turnout for the next one.”

The next Rendezvous is scheduled for June 26.

“I think it went OK but had that little conflict with the park thing,” Polka Dot Tree owner Charlotte Hughes said. “We had people who came early who said they were going to the park. We had a great turnout and good sales. I think everybody appreciated the discounts. We had 10 percent off everything, and the kids loved the balloons.”

Organizer Teddy Drummond said he thought the evening went well downtown despite the scheduling conflict.

“It’s all about the businesses doing well, the city making some tax money and the people having a good time without having to go out of town to do it,” Drummond said. “I think it went well. We could have had more people, but no matter how many people you have, it’s not enough. For the month of June, we’re going to strive even harder.”

Drummond suggested citizens who have ideas to improve Rendezvous contact him or downtown merchants.

”We plan to work on our scheduling,” he said. “This has happened two years in a row. We don’t want it to happen three years in a row.”

Drummond said Friday went smoothly.

“The people that did come out had a good time,” Drummond said. “I’d like to commend the Bogalusa High School JROTC under the direction of Sgt. Jack Rogers. They were a big help. Sgt. Rogers is a good man.”