Takin' it to the streets

Thornwell Street Dance requests festival status
Friday, June 21, 2019
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THORNWELL - Organizers of the Thornwell Harvest Street Dance are looking to receive festival status in order to obtain local and state grants and attract more visitors.

Co-founder Max Morris said the event is a way to celebrate local farmers.

“This year’s event, as with past events, is free and open to the public due to the generous donations of individuals and corporations,” he said. “The street dance started as a way to thank the farmers for what they do. Our purpose has been and will always be to celebrate and honor our agricultural community.”

Morris asked the Jeff Davis Police Jury to grant the event festival status on Wednesday.

“We are asking that this year’s event be designated a festival by the parish so that many more dollars can be raised through local and state means as well as tourism and to help us attract more people into our wonderful community and parish. We need this status in order to be able to grow.”

The festival sees around 700 attendees annually, and also allows school organizations such as cheerleaders or Future Farmers of America to raise funds for their groups.

“We incorporated last year with the hopes of turning the street dance into a festival, especially since there has been a reduction in the number of festivals in Jeff Davis Parish,” Morris said.

Any extra money raised for the street dance is distributed back into the community, according to Secretary-Treasurer Daphne Berken.

“Last year we were able to give all of the participating school organizations $200 each in leftover funds,” Berken said. “The event is all about community and is like a reunion, with many people who were born and raised here coming back each year to celebrate with the community.”

The third annual Thornwell Harvest Street Dance will be held from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, October 12. This year’s entertainment lineup includes Greg Blanchard and John Ieyoub and True Country with special guest Marty Haggard, son of Country Hall of Fame artist Merle Haggard.

There will be games, arts and craft vendors, as well as food and drinks at the event. There will also be a cook-off that morning with times announced at a later date.

Police Jury President Donald Woods said that the matter would be addressed at next week’s meeting after the police jurors have had time to research issues such as liability insurance before making a decision. The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June