Fall festivals get green light for downtown action
By Gena Latrell
<p class="p1">Two downtown festivals are in the works for this fall.
<p class="p1">The Downtown Development Authority-Lakefront Development Subdistrict (DDA-LDS) voted to “support and approve guidelines” for Chuck Fest and Smoke and Barrel at Monday’s meeting.
<p class="p1">Chuck Fest — in its fifth year — features local food, art, music and more. It’s planned for Saturday, Oct. 20.
<p class="p1">“At Chuck Fest, we do everything Louisiana,” said Dave Evans, founder of Chuck Fest. “Everything is Lake Charles — then Louisiana. It’s all Louisiana beers, it’s all Lake Charles food; it’s all Lake Charles music with a little bit of Lafayette and a little bit of New Orleans. We might have an Alexandria act coming this year. It’s a focus on us — a focus on Louisiana and everything we do.”
<p class="p1">This is the first year of the Chuck Fest Foundation; it aims to build and showcase Lake Charles’ business and culture.
<p class="p1">Smoke and Barrel is in its first year. This festival, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10, will feature barbecue, bourbon and whiskey.
<p class="p1">Nathaniel Allured, one of the organizers, said he would like for this event to be regional; they are soliciting vendors from Texas.
<p class="p1">“This does a couple of things for us; it gives us a bigger audience. We’re trying to create more awareness about Lake Charles and what we have to offer. Also, this will help tourism in the area. Anyone who drives into the area to attend the event will hopefully shop at the downtown businesses while they’re at it and spend the night [at an area hotel] and explore the town a little bit,” said Allured. Some of the proceeds from the event organized by Smoke and Barrel, Inc., a nonprofit organization, will benefit United Way.
<p class="p1">Also, the DDA-LDS welcomed its new members and voted for officers. Chris Khoury will continue as chairman, Chris Shearman will serve as vice chairman, and Dianna Ross will be the secretary-treasurer.
<p class="p3">The next DDA meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 4.