VP mayor nixes trick-or-treating, limits homecoming events
The threat of COVID-19 is the culprit for the cancellation and alteration of Ville Platte’s autumn festivities, according to Mayor Jennifer Vidrine. At Tuesday’s city council meeting, she announced Ville Platte High’s homecoming events have been drastically altered because of the pandemic. There will be a parade Thursday, but it will only be for the homecoming court and the sweethearts. There are to be no trailers, tractors, 4-wheelers, or alumni. Parade participants are not allowed to throw candy, and crowds on the street are asked to socially distance and wear masks.
Additionally, there are to be no block parties or dancing or congregating on the streets this year. Also, there is no tailgating or hanging out around the stadium or school, especially at the fence around the stadium. Vidrine said the school is asking people who want to see the game to buy tickets. She also asked citizens to avoid large gatherings on private property. “Please be aware that the State Fire Marshals will be in town and they will be monitoring large gatherings. Even if it’s on your private property, they do have the right to close down a large gathering,” she said, adding, “We want everybody to have a good time. This is not our usual homecoming, so let’s do what we need to do this year, so we can do what we want to do next year.” These rules are applied to Sacred Heart’s homecoming as well, which is October 30th.
Vidrine also said Trick-or-Treating is cancelled this year inside city limits, and so will the annual haunted house attraction held at the Girls & Boys Place. She said having these events during a pandemic is too risky.
Trick-or-Treating is still allowed outside city limits, which will be Halloween night, October 31st, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Evangeline Parish. Chicot State Park has a special Trick-or-Treat event on Halloween day from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the South campground and at the Louisiana State Arboretum. Campers are invited to decorate their campsites and hand out treats to kids. Normal day use fees apply. They ask for people to wear face masks and social distance. Call the Arboretum at 337-363-6289 or Chicot at 337-363-2403 for further information.
In regards to COVID-19 testing, Vidrine said testing is still happening in Ville Platte on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Evangeline Family Medicine, 505 East Lincoln Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Testing is free and is drive-thru.
Vidrine said Governor John Bel Edwards flew into the parish by helicopter on Sunday, October 11th to assess damages from Hurricane Delta. He sat with elected officials at the Evangeline Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) and urged them to make sure all damages are reported to the OEP so the state can meet a $6.5 million threshold needed to get federal assistance. Vidrine asked anyone who has damage from Hurricane Delta to go to the Evangeline Parish 911/OEP Facebook page to fill out a survey. The survey goes to the state to determine if the state meets that threshold. If you cannot fill out the survey, you can call the OEP office at 337-363-3267.
Vidrine was thankful there was no loss of life or injuries with Hurricane Delta, though there were major damages to some property. She thanked the state for giving the city much-needed generators because when the power went off, they helped to keep the water and sewer and gas going. She thanked the city workers who worked all night to make sure the water and gas stayed on, and the sewer worked. “Although we were inconvenienced without power, it would have been worse if those three things were not working,” she said, adding there was no flooding in Ville Platte.
The Solid Waste Commission is picking up hurricane debris such as branches. Call 337-363-7254 to be put on the list for Solid Waste. Vidrine pleaded with people to put their branches or cut trees and other solid waste items at the road in front of their homes and to not throw them in ditches and canals. Leaves and small debris can be put in trash bags and will be picked up on a regular garbage schedule. She also asked people to help their neighbors with storm cleanup.
More from Tuesday’s council meeting to come in Sunday’s edition of The Gazette.