Aldermen set budget for Lagniappe Festival

WELSH – A $20,000 budget has been set for the annual Lagniappe Festival here, meaning locals can bank on enjoying carnival rides, food and live bands in the last weekend of April.

Charles Drake, who oversees the festival, approached the Board of Aldermen at a Feb. 7 meeting to request funds to begin booking entertainment. At the time, officials said they wanted to examine costs associated with Lagniappe. They expressed concern that the event costs more to Welsh than it brings in.

In 2016, the town spent about $14,000 on the festival.

Another concern was that last year, Welsh Police Chief Marcus Crochet spent approximately $5,000 in manpower to ensure festival security. Because this cost had not been budgeted within the police department or another fund beforehand, it contributed to the police department going over its budget.

During a budget work meeting Tuesday night, Alderman Bob Owens said the town does not expect Lagniappe to bring revenue to the town’s general fund. Instead, he said, officials realize the event provides family-friendly entertainment for residents and visitors.

Drake, who started overseeing the festival in 2011, said though a budget had never been set for the event in previous years, he always discussed financials with Mayor Carolyn Louviere and the town clerk before entering into contracts.

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