Denham Springs holds festival to showcase city progress, community
DENHAM SPRINGS - The residents of Denham Springs are gathering for a weekend-long celebration put on by volunteers to bring relief to flood-affected families and showcase the progress the city has made.
Denham Strong, a group created after the August 2016 flood, hosted what they call "Celebration of Hope."
“It’s been tough,” said Alexa White, a young flood victim whose family lost multiple homes and are still recovering.
No matter how young or old, victims of the flood were faced with the unthinkable. It's been just over a year since the devastation rocked this community, but laughter, play and progress are in the air.
“With the flood, as everyone knows its been a tough time," said Ryan Frith, a member of the Denham Strong committee. "So we just wanted to come out and not celebrate the flood, but get people out of their homes for a good time.”
"Celebration of Hope" is doing just that — bringing hope and some much-needed relief.
“The kids and parents and families have been doing sheetrock and painting, putting up 2x4's," Frith said. "We wanted to give them a weekend of fun on the inflatables, get some free food and just have a good night.”
The City of Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry said the turnout of this weekend's celebration speaks to the character of Denham's residents.
“You talk about this resiliency of a community and you talk about the city wanting to work together as a team, you know we've had these community meetings where over 800 people show up, and that speaks volumes that our citizens have to their city," Landry said. "It is their city."
The event also shows residents that "their city" is thriving once again.
"Range Avenue is where most of our businesses are, and the Historic Antique District is about 99 percent restored," Landry said. "...the rest of the city is about 90-95 percent back up in the commercial aspect, so we're very excited about that.”
The progress a positive sign to the Denham Springs youth.
“It tells us that we are okay and we can get through this," White said.
The festivities will continue tomorrow at Denham Springs High School. Following that will be a church service at 6:30 p.m. with multiple area churches.