Washington-Marion tailgate continues despite officials efforts

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The annual Washington-Marion tailgate continued this Friday evening, despite attempts to keep it from happening. This comes after a judge signed an injunction to allow the parking lot to remain open after the event was cancelled earlier this week.

“And we just sit down and barbeque, reminisce,” Alvin Reed said. “It’s a chance for us to get together.”

The annual Washington-Marion homecoming tailgate is more than just an event for these friends of the class of ‘77. Some even driving across several states just for the occasion.

Earl Lubie said they just want to have fun with old friends.

“I drove ten hours to get here,” Lubie said. “We’ve been reminiscing from high school. I used to do band and they were all football players you know.”

Many from other classes were hanging out, cooking, and playing music, as it seemed the tailgate continued.

After a fight that caused lockdowns and led to arrests, the tailgate was originally cancelled by school officials, who said it was a decision not taken lightly.

Attorney Wilford Carter filed the injunction Thursday, he said on behalf of the community.

“15 to 20 people from the community demanding that something be done about the cancellation of the tailgate, and it’s important to recognize, and I try to put it in my plea how important this plea is,” Carter said.

Carter questioned why one event was cancelled but not the others.

At Thursday’s press conference, superintendent Shannon LaFargue said officials could not rule out the possibility of more incidents.

“This weighed heavily in our decision to cancel this event and allowed us to better direct resources to ensure the safety and security of the main event of the night,” LaFargue said.

Despite school officials’ efforts to fight the injunction, the tailgate continued. Buford Otis said he hopes they set a good example for others who may take part this evening.

“We want the other people to see that we’re doing,” Otis said. “‘Hey, stop the violence man.’ We just want to be comfortable, enjoy life and that’s what it’s really all about.”