Renovations bring new life to DeRidder

Downtown DeRidder
Downtown DeRidder
Misty Clanton, City of DeRidder
Misty Clanton, City of DeRidder

DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - DeRidder is one of Louisiana's 34 cities involved in Louisiana Main Street, a program designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of Louisiana's cities.

Director of Community Service, Misty Clanton, manages the DeRidder Main Street, and said with the city's historical background, it was clear they should be involved in Main Street program.

"It just made sense to participate in the Main Street program again because of the mayor's vision for the city and what Main Street communities do," Clanton said.

Currently, the program, along with Mayor Ron Roberts and City Hall, has seen a quiet downtown become an area full of life.

"Our Main Street community, which is Washington Avenue, went from being vacant buildings to businesses opening and businesses flourishing," Clanton said.

Clanton said the program has helped the old logging town redevelop with grant money.

She explained, "Businesses that are located in our Main Street district qualify for what is called a redevelopment incentive grant. Last year, we did have a business that received a $10,000 grant to do some building renovations."

This week, the city is moving the last standing sawmill house to the Main Street district.  Clanton said the Police Department will renovate the building so it can be used as a museum.

The renovated area, museums and art gallery have kept traffic flow in the stores constant.

"We want people to come downtown, shop downtown, eat dinner and enjoy a concert," Clanton said. "We want local people to help support our merchants."

While the city is not described as quiet, Clanton said the crowd will grow larger this spring.

"We are constantly having events happening on Main Street district, but this spring will be particularly busy," she said.

The city continues to hold a daily farmers' market, with a special market the 3rd Saturday of each month that includes art vendors as well.

"Beginning in April, we will start Downtown at Sundown which is a fun event for everyone to attend," Clanton described.

The Arts Parade Concert Series will begin in April. The city brings in musicians from New Orleans to perform live in the Main Street district.

For more on DeRidder events, click HERE.

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