Category Archives: Festivals & Events

Book Nooks – Launch Event

Project Vernon Parish | Points of Interest

On October 14, 2016 the Vernon Parish Book Nook project was launched.  Book Nooks are Vernon Parish’s version of Little Free Libraries and there are 20 of them scattered throughout Vernon Parish with 10 of the them located within the Main Street District in Downtown Leesville. Each Book Nook was decorated by local artists:

Kenneth Frischkorn Cheryl Frischkorn Anat Ronen Tony McDonald Leila Pollard Paula Sche-Baldwin Isabelle Massart-Bursh Sam Bursh Jill Leonard JaNae Manley Ne’andrea Hawkins Stephen Jeane Kim Wallace Jerry Keeton Brittany Arnold Kenny Pollard Sandee Burger Jerry Cook Amanda Craft Jamie Armbruster

Book Nooks are located in the following places:

Kiwanis Park – Mechanic and 2nd Street Sweet Thing Bake Shop 100 Third Street The Polk Outdoor Theater Texas Street Pocket Park Historic Courthouse Third Street Farmer’s Market Tony McDonald Art Studio 4th Street Oak Pointe Aesthetics Museum of West Louisiana MLK Neighborhood Center Magnolia Park at West Elementary Jubilee Park Myrtle Park – Lee Hills Liberty Park – Texas Highway Anacoco Waling Trail – Anacoco, LA Slagle Senior Center – Slagle LA Pitkin Park – Pitkin LA Evans School – Evans LA Leesville Country Club Park

The Book Nooks were funded in part by Michelle Mitchell in honor of her late husband, Judge Jim Mitchell, who was an avid reader.  Each Book Nook carries a plate that reads:  In Memory of Judge James “Jim” Mitchell.”

Additional funding for the project was provided by:

Art 4 the Parks GALLERY ONE EIIIEVEN The Vernon Arts Council The Rapides Foundation The Vernon Parish Tourism Commission

Wreaths Across America | Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery

Project Vernon Parish | Festivals & Events | Cemeteries

Wreaths Across America is an annual event that takes place across America every December and endeavors to teach the “importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who serve, and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.”   Wreaths are laid by families and volunteers on graves at Veterans Cemeteries across the nation (and beyond).

In Vernon Parish, this event took place at the Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, located at 3348 University Parkway, on December 12, 2015.  After a brief ceremony and moment of silence, families and local volunteers laid wreaths on all the graves in the cemetery.

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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

 

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