LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Jehovah's Witnesses from Texas and Louisiana are meeting right here in Lake Charles for one of more than 300 Witness spiritual gathering conventions across the country.
The convention, at Burton Coliseum, is one of the largest conventions in the region.
It takes a lot of preparation time to have a convention of this size, organizers say.
Administrators and directors of the program make accommodations two to three years in advance by booking hotel rooms and arranging for the convention to take place at its venue.
The program is split into three different weekends, each three days long. Over the course of the three week program, the program draws in close to 14,000 people to the Lake Charles area.
"We have roughly 3,700 (people) this morning and as it continues throughout the weekend. We're hoping for that many or more," said News Service Department Administrator Harry Simon.
Simon said a large convention helps give the city an economic boost. He said Lake Charles is centrally located for its Witnesses and other attendants. Burton Coliseum is a big enough place to host a program of this size, Simon added.
"It's a nice, comfortable facility that works for us. We're able to do all our functions here and we really feel welcome here as well," Simon said.
Simon said all are invited to attend the event at Burton Coliseum throughout this weekend and the following weekends over the next two weeks.