‘Christmas’ likely to move from Cassidy

Published 10:17 am Monday, May 16, 2016

Col. Bobby Miller said he believes it is “not likely” Cassidy Park will be ready to host Christmas in the Park in December.

Miller is the chairman of the Christmas in the Park Committee, and he said the group recently held a meeting with Public Works Director James Hall. Based on that meeting, his committee is looking at moving the annual holiday tradition to Goodyear Park.

“Well, right now we’re considering that, because they don’t think Cassidy Park will be ready by Thanksgiving,” Miller said. “Right now, we’re thinking of having it on a reduced scale in Goodyear Park.”

Miller’s announcement comes after Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival organizers have said they would like to hold that September event at Cassidy Park.

The park was badly damaged by flooding March 11, and since then, it has been closed to the public. To date, city officials have not given a timetable for opening the park to the public, although repairs began this week.

However, Miller said the city didn’t seem optimistic Thursday that the work would be done in time for the Christmas event.

“If in the very remote possibility the park will be ready by Thanksgiving then we’ll have it there,” Miller said. He said he used the word “remote,” based on what he heard from Hall.

Hall confirmed one of the biggest challenges is that electricity may not be completely restored by then.

“We’re not going to have all the electrical up by then,” he said. “That could change, but still, I’d rather tell them no right now.”

Miller said if the event is moved and scaled back, it would be a disappointment to him.

“I’ll be disappointed because Cassidy Park is the ideal place for it because we have quite a few displays to put up and everything,” he said.

Hall pointed out that Christmas in the Park has been held at Goodyear Park in the past.

“We had it in Goodyear Park after Katrina. I am treating this the same way,” he said.

However, while the park might not be suitable for the Christmas event, it could still be suitable for the blues festival because the two events have different needs, Hall said.

“That’s going to be a different matter,” said Hall, referring to the blues festival. “We need to talk to the mayor about that one.”

Hall said that decision could come as early as next week.

In addition, Miller said the $100 raffle tickets that fund Christmas in the Park will go on sale later this month. Miller said the committee will sell only 150 of the $100 tickets, and one winner will walk away with $5,000. The committee will keep $10,000 and invest it in new decorations.