Group hopes to bring musicians to streets of downtown Lake Charl - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Group hopes to bring musicians to streets of downtown Lake Charles

Sean Hager and his ukulele are no stranger to the downtown music scene.

"I play all over. I play at the Farmer's Market every Saturday morning on the streets," said Hager.

You may see a lot more of Hager and other musicians like him. A proposal to amend the current street vendor ordinance would allow entertainers and musicians to play for tips under a permit at certain locations in downtown Lake Charles.

"With the new development coming there's more people moving here and we just want this to be an exciting town with things to do all over. We just want to enhance the quality of life in Lake Charles," said Elizabeth Galan, Lake Charles Quality of Life committee.

Galan presented the plan to the Lake Charles Downtown Development Authority Tuesday night. The plan would designate the intersections of Ryan Street at Division, Broad, Pujo, and Kirby as performance areas.

"I think it would bring some culture to Lake Charles. It would get a little more of the New Orleans vibe that is so charming," said Hager.

The group also hopes the idea would not only keep more folks downtown after work, but also give younger and less experienced artists a chance to perform.

"By giving them the opportunity to set up around town and play their music, I think it would bring a lot more people into downtown. It would bring the people that want to be musicians downtown, and it would bring their friends that want to watch them play downtown. Then they'll find something to eat and just hang around. So I think it's a great idea," said Colin Broussard, McNeese student.

In addition to the four Ryan Street locations, the ordinance would also include four places along the Lakefront Promenade.

Even though they're not from here, Rick & Julia Valenti see the potential.

"We are visiting from Canada and I must say - Lake Charles is gorgeous. It's a downtown lake totally accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy the beauty here," said Julia.

The couple also knows firsthand the effects it could have.

"We are musicians and we play up in our waterfront just like you folks have here. And it's a monster drawing card. It's essential for our community and our tourism," said Rick.

The DDA is still looking into whether the amendment to the ordinance needs City Council approval. However, once it's all a done deal, the group plans to have a launch party at one of the downtown festivals this fall.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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