Banner occasion: City raises fair flag

Published 4:30 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

Washington Parish Free Fair season has officially begun in Bogalusa. The countdown to the 106th annual parish fair was started with a rousing ceremony and a fair flag raising outside City Hall on Friday. The fair dates this year are Oct. 18-21, so locals have a little more than a week to anticipate heading to the fairgrounds in Franklinton.

On Friday, the weather was slightly cool and dry despite the fact that Tropical Storm Nate was heading toward Louisiana. With dignitaries from the city parish and state in attendance, Fair Queen Lexie Hebert explained that the flag represents the people of Washington Parish, including the volunteers, exhibiters and fairgoers.

“The color red represents the heart of the people of Washington Parish,” Hebert said. “The gold, the fall of the year and the abundance of the harvest, green, the importance of agriculture in our parish, and white the wholesome family atmosphere for which our fair is famous.

“The picnic basket represents our fair motto ‘The fair with picnic spirit,’ and the latch on the picnic basket depicts the age of our fair, which is 106 years old.”

At the ceremony, the Bogalusa High School band helped get those in attendance into a festive mood, by playing “Those Girls,” “Poker Face,” and later, the national anthem. The BHS Paperdolls, cheerleaders, and spinners and twirlers added to the celebration of the parish’s signature event. According to the attendance numbers, the local fair is the largest free-attendance parish or county fair in the United States.

The BHS Jr. ROTC handled the raising of both the fair flag and the American flag, which had been at half-mast following the deadly rampage in Las Vegas. Bogalusa Councilwoman Gloria Kates sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” Mike Henley of American Legion Post 24 led the pledge of allegiance, and the BHS Jr. ROTC drill team performed spinning, twirling, and throwing and catching their rifles with nobody missing a beat.

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette said she looks forward to the fair, and hopes to see everybody there.

And Washington Parish Fair President Jackie Boone said, “When you come to the fair, come early, stay late, and have fun.”