Millennial Park organizers find creative ways to serve up good times and give back
BATON ROUGE- Across the nation, restaurants, retailers, and other companies are shutting their doors at an alarming rate; in contrast, one capital area business is not only still open, but thriving.
You'll see it as you drive down Florida Boulevard and pass Baton Rouge General Mid-city.
Millennial Park, modern and impossible to overlook, is a business hub comprised of shipping containers.
"So we took different shipping containers and turned them into different retail shops, bars and restaurants,” the founder of the park Cameron Jackson said.
The land on which the Park sits is significant to Jackson as it was first home to his grandfather's business, CJ’s barbershop.
“Everyone in the city used to know it and would come to CJ’s barbershop, it was very popular and very busy so he ended up giving me the land,” Jackson said.
Fast forward a couple of years, add a few shipping containers along with painted art and tables, and you’ve got Millennial Park.
"It's a place where you know you can come as a family you can eat and have a good time," Jackson said.
It grew to be something more impactful than just a good time for the family.
“When I started I wanted to make all this money and open all these businesses, but now I've put that aside,” Jackson continued, “Now I’m like, how can I pour into the community and give back, that's what’s going to help everyone out.”
Since opening in July, dozens of events have been held at the park. From flu shots, to farmers markets, to pop shops, and collaborations with local leaders in an effort to give back, each event is designed to unify and strengthen the community.
"They are all the things that we saw that we would want for our kids, that we would want for our own community. Then we said how do we implement that here at Millennial Park, how do we serve the community at the best of our abilities and that's what we do every day here," Myra Richardson Program Coordinator.
In addition to supporting the community, Millennial Park's organizers are also helping businesses thrive during a difficult time.
"I’ve only known business during the pandemic and it’s been great, to say the least, Millennial Park has thrived and we've done great,” Jackson said.
Though Jackson and his team have already had a positive impact on the area, he still hopes to do more.
"I feel like I should be doing so much more, having vendor events and doing giveaways is always fun and good for the community, but there are bigger things that can be done," Jackson said.
With plenty of color marking their shared-area, Millennial Park is leaving a mark of its own.
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