All posts by bsdlouisiana

Peace. Love. Photography. | From Louisiana and Beyond

MayFest

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events

MayFest is an annual music festival hosted by the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission in Historic Downtown Leesville.  The festival was awarded the Louey Award for 2012 Festival of the Year by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association.

Past performers at MayFest include many local, regional, and national favorites, including:  The Kentucky Headhunters, Frank Foster, Mia Borders, Old Man Band, Marcus Davis, Louisiana Sidemen, Mulligan Brothers, and many more.

In addition to wonderful music, MayFest boasts a large number of arts and crafts vendors, the Leesville Rotary Club Chalk-a-Block, and the Leesville Lions Club Pancake Breakfast and Crawfish Boil.  On Saturday morning, the AUSA Armadillo Stampede kicks off at 8 a.m.

The 39th Annual MayFest took place in Historic Downtown Leesville on May 2 -3 , 2014

The 40th Annual MayFest took place in Historic Downtown Leesville on May 1-2 , 2015

 

Mardi Gras Parade

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events

Our Mardi Gras Parade took place on February 14, 2015; this annual event is hosted by the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and is held in Historic Downtown Leesville.

West Louisiana Forestry Festival

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events

The 108th Annual West Louisiana Forestry Festival took place on October 1-5, 2014 at the West Louisiana Forestry Festival Fairgrounds.

The fair and carnival open on the 1st Wednesday of October and kick off with the Annual Senior Citizens Day hosted by the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Vernon Council on Aging.  Area seniors are invited to attend this free event that includes lunch on the grounds.

Fair week unofficially begins the Saturday before with the West Louisiana Forestry Festival Queens Pageant, which is a scholarship pageant open to seniors from the parish schools.  On the Monday before is the Junior King and Queen Pageant that is open to 1st graders from area schools. Contestants for both pageants are chosen by area schools.

The Forestry Festival boasts carnival rides from The Mighty Thomas Carnival and Horse, Livestock and Pet Shows (hosted by the local 4-H department).  Held in conjunction with the Forestry Festival, is the Leesville Lions Club Rodeo which benefits the Louisiana Lions Camp. A highlight of the Forestry Festival is the food from local service organizations that use the Forestry Festival as a fundraiser to help support their organizations.

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1941 Louisiana Maneuvers Commemoration

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events

While this event did not take place in Vernon Parish, the Louisiana Maneuvers were conducted throughout Vernon Parish, Beauregard Parish, and East Texas in 1941 to prepare the United States for WWII.

This first commemorative event took place at the Historic DeRidder Army Air Base in Beauregard Parish on September 26-27, 2014.  The theme of the event was “The then (1941) & now of military training in Louisiana and its impact on the future.”

On Friday, there was a convoy of vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association that traveled to Fort Polk to meet with current military leaders.  That evening there was a 1940s Hangar Dance in the WWII DeRidder Army Air Base Hangar with music by the Red Hound Jazz Combo.

On Saturday they day began with the posting of colors and various guest speakers (including Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and State Representative James K. Armes III), there were living history displays by allied and axis reenactors, weapons demonstrations, and a WWII Allies v. Axis Battle Reenactment.

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West Louisiana BBQ Cook-Off

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events

The 4th Annual West Louisiana BBQ Cook-Off took place at the West Louisiana Forestry Festival Fairgrounds on April 5, 2014.

The West Louisiana BBQ Cook-Off is an non-sanctioned local event that is sponsored by the West La. Forestry Festival Fair Board every year on the 1st Saturday in April.   There are four categories:  Brisket, Ribs, Chicken, and Griller’s Choice.  There is also a People’s Choice winner that is chosen by the public as well as a Grand Champion that is determined by points placed.

Each 1st place category receives a trophy and $100.00, 2nd & 3rd place categories are awarded trophies, People’s Choice receives a trophy and $100.00, and Grand Champion receives a trophy and $500.00.  This year’s winners are as follows.

2014 Brisket category winners: ~ Team E & E ~ McAddo BBQ ~ Caveman BBQ

2014 Ribs category winners: ~ Team Budweiser ~ Team E & E ~ Meat Shack

2014 Chicken category winners: ~ Junkies BBQ ~ A BBQ Team ~ Team Cellular One

2014 Griller’s Choice category winners: ~ Junkies BBQ ~ Sabine River Bottom Queen ~ S & K BBQ

People’s Choice:  Junkies BBQ

Grand Champion:  Team E & E

Vernon Parish Veterans Plaza | Leesville, Louisiana

Project Vernon Parish | Places of Interest

Vernon Parish is the proud home of the Joint Readiness Training Center & Fort Polk, the largest military base in the state of Louisiana.  The military tradition in this parish is strong and dates back to the 1940s with the Great Louisiana Maneuvers  which took place in West Louisiana and East Texas in 1941 to prepare the United States for WWII.

The Veterans Plaza serves as a reminder to all its residents of the honor and sacrifices made by our Veterans, present and past.

Located in Historic Downtown Leesville, the plaza is open to all and boasts a number of memorial walls depicting the names of local veterans.