Lake Arthur celebrates Independence Day with Freedom Fest

Published: Jul. 3, 2023 at 10:11 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Independence Day celebrations are underway across the country, including Lake Arthur, where earlier today they kicked off festivities with the Freedom Fest.

The Lake Arthur Freedom Fest is an old-fashioned hometown patriotic celebration for all to enjoy. The one-day event kicked off on July 3 with a parade of golf carts and ATVs.

“Lake Arthur has always been known for Fourth of July festivals,” said Lake Arthur Mayor Poncho LeJeune. “We haven’t had one in quite a few years, and some of the councilmen said let’s try to get it going again this year and we reached out to some sponsors, and without them, we wouldn’t have this event; we got some great sponsors, some great volunteers.”

The parade was followed by a cardboard boat race, cornhole tournament, children’s activities, live music, food booths, and most importantly, funnel cakes.

“I was ready to leave for work, when I heard funnel cakes because I love funnel cakes and then just I love parades,” said attendee Trinity Crews.

“I came down here to enjoy the festival with everyone else on here,” said attendee Greysen Heckman. “I mean also I love funnel cakes too and I wanted to come down and eat some funnel cakes.”

Two years ago, citizens Cheryl Thackston and Sheila Chapman started a Fourth of July golf cart and bicycle parade in Lake Arthur with a vision of one day growing this event.

“This festival has been a long time coming,” said Randy Whetstine, VP of Destination Development and Community Engagement for Jeff Davis Parish. “It’s something that used to happen quite often and it’s a great way to bring the community together and get people involved in the community.”

Lake Arthur native and Veteran Louis Joseph Simon, 93, served as Grand Marshal. Simon enlisted in the military at the age of 17.

“Also today, we want to thank our veterans,” said Mayor LeJeune. “We wouldn’t be here today without them either; they’re the ones that make this country so, so great.”

Mayor Poncho LeJeune and council members are seeking to revitalize more family-friendly events in the town.