Community

Ongoing -- Vernon 4-H Program Back-Pack Food Drive

The Vernon 4-H program will be stuffing school back-packs and they need donations of snacks and food items that kids can enjoy after school. These back-packs will go to kids in the Vernon school system. Donations of food or money for the program may be brought to Ms. Leslie at the Special Education Center across from the school board office or to the 4-H office in the old courthouse. For more information, call Leslie at 239-1674 or Ms. Kem at 239-3231.

Through Nov. 20 -- Food Bank of Central Louisiana/Suddenlink food drive

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana and Suddenlink are teaming up with their 8th annual food drive taking place now through Nov. 20. Eleven parishes will benefit from the items collected. Locally, you can drop off items at the Suddenlink office located on U.S. 171 North in Leesville.

Ongoing in October -- "Day of the Dead" exhibit

Gallery One Ellleven, in downtown Leesville, will host a "Day of the Dead" exhibit that will run from Oct. 15 through Nov. 1. The "Day of the Dead" alter will be held at the "Witch Way to Main" Halloween event on Friday, Oct. 31 in downtown Leesville. For more information, contact Paula Sche-Baldwin at paulaschebaldwin@yahoo.com. For more on the history and traditions associated with "Day of the Dead," click HERE.

Ongoing through fall -- Main Street Market

The Main Street Market, on Leesville's 3rd Street, where you can buy fresh, local produce, will be open every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Main Street Market will also begin accepting credit cards and the Louisiana Purchase Card, thanks to Market Umbrella Corporation, the Rapides Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. In addition, in order to encourage healthy eating and to support local farmers, the Main Street Market will now match up to $20 in cash for those who use their Louisiana Purchase Card, while supplies last. 

Ongoing this fall -- "Upward Basketball" at Cooper Baptist

Cooper Baptist Church is currently having registration for Upward Basketball. The registration cost per child is $60 dollars. Deadline for registration is Nov. 1. This for boys and girls K5-6th grade. Basketball shorts are optional at a cost of $14. Evaluations will take place Saturday, Nov. 8 between 10 a.m and 2 p.m at the Family Life Center. Everyone must attend one basketball evaluation. First practice will be Saturday, Dec. 13. First game will be Saturday, Jan. 3. Awards Celebration will be Saturday, Feb. 28. For more information, call the church office at 537-3735 or go online at cooperbaptist.org.

Ongoing -- Laser Tag in DeRidder

BeauCARE and the City of DeRidder have made Laser Tag available to the local public. It features the latest in Laser Tag technology. Day-time fee is $2 per player for 30 minutes, and $5 per player for an hour. The cost is $25 for an unlimited day-time pass. Night-time fee is $5 per player for 30 minutes, and $10 per player for an hour. For more information, call BeauCARE at 462-2273.

Ongoing, November through December

The Heritage Family Association will hold a series of turkey shoots on and off Fort Polk, raising money for "The Boot Campaign." Fort Polk will be the site of the first shoot on Saturday, Nov. 15 (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Outdoor Recreational Complex; on Sunday, Nov. 16 at the fairgrounds in Leesville; and then again on Fort Polk on Saturday, Dec. 6 and at the fairgrounds in Leesville on Sunday, Dec. 7. For more information, call Gene Haymon at 238-3788 or Vernon Smith at 713-723-0738.

Through Nov. 15 -- BMH "outdoor boot camp"

Beauregard Memorial Hospital's Fitness Center will host a six-week outdoor bootcamp, which started Oct. 6. 18 sessions are planned at a cost of $100. The training grounds are located at the DeRidder High School football stadium. The bootcamp runs through Nov. 15  -- Monday, Wednesday and Saturday of each week. For more information, call 337-462-7426.

Various dates in October -- "Haunted Museum" at Rebel SHS

Rebel State Historic Site in Marthaville (near Natchitoches) is hosting a Haunted Museum Program on Friday, Oct. 31. There will be loads of fun for all ages. A trunk-or-treat will be held on Halloween night from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission to the state historic site is $4 for ages 13-61, 62 and older, and under 12 are admitted free of charge. For more information, 318-472-6255.

Through October -- "Harvest Park Pumpkin Patch" in DeRidder

The Harvest Park Pumpkin Patch, at Mahlon Street in DeRidder, across from the First United Pentecostal Church of DeRidder, is open through the month. Operating hours will be Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Through Nov. 11 -- Fall "SAGE" program in DeRidder

McNeese State University will kick off its fall DeRidder SAGE program in October. SAGE offers a series of short lectures and discussions centered around a specific theme each fall and spring. This fall’s theme is “Louisiana: Our State.”Open to all ages, the lectures are held at the Historic First Street School at 401 W. First St. in DeRidder. Lectures are open to the public and cost is $45 for the series. For more information or to register, call 337-475-5616 or visit www.mcneese.edu/leisure. See the full schedule HERE.

Oct. 31 -- "Hearts 4 Paws" haunted house

Hearts 4 Paws, an animal rescue organization, will hold a Halloween event to raise money for its operation. "Night of Horror" will take place in the gym of the old state school in Leesville, located on Nolan Trace. It will be a walk-through haunted house with different rooms and themes. The last remaining date is Oct. 31. Hours will be from 7 p.m. to midnight. The admission fee is $10 per person, with all money going to the rescue dogs that Hearts 4 Paws has in foster care, and future rescues that are up for adoption for their vetting and care, organizers said. Find out more information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1394210774152914/

Oct. 31 -- "Witch Way to Main Street"

The annual "Witch Way to Main Street" event will be held Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for old-fashioned family fun. Third Street will be lined with businesses, handing out goodies for the kids. There will also be games and family fun. For more information, call 378-4038.

Oct. 31 -- "Trick-or-Treat Trail" in DeRidder

The City of DeRidder and Mayor's Youth Council "Trick-or-Treat Trail" will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31 at P.W. West Park in DeRidder. This is for ages infant to 12 years old.

Oct. 31 -- Heritage Reunion

The Heritage Reunion, for Fort Polk heritage families and friends, will begin Friday, Oct. 31, in the Fort Polk Main Post Chapel. Everyone is welcome. Come out to socialize and view booths from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dr. Charles Allen will present an "Edible Native Plant Seminar" at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Room of the Main Post Chapel. At 5:45 p.m., Cheryl Perkins will lead the "Millcreek Centennial" discussion. At 6:15 p.m., Ted Hammerschmidt will present the Heritage Park - Trail discussion. Friday evening's event will end at 7 p.m. Booths will consist of heritage family exhibits, a Peason Ridge Museum display, Slagle quilters, a Fort Polk Military Museum display and a children's booth and more.

Oct. 31 -- Haunted House at Fairview Fire Station

Allen Parish Fire District 3 will hold a Halloween Haunted House on Friday, Oct. 31 at 6:30 p.m. until at the Fairview Fire Station at 4371 Hwy. 377 in Grant. This is fun and free for all ages. This is an annual event.

Oct. 31 -- City of Leesville trick-or-treating

Trick-or-treating hours in the City of Leesville will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 this year throughout the city limits. Trick-or-treaters are also welcome on Main Street during those hours as merchants plan to line the streets and offer a variety of games and treats for children of all ages during the annual "Witch Way to Main Street" event. For more information on that, call the Main Street office at 378-4038.

Oct. 31 -- Halloween at Hodges Gardens

Hodges Gardens State Park will host Halloween activities from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. At 7 p.m., "Monsters, Inc." will be showing at the lakefront stage. This movie, for all ages, is sponsored by James and Meriget Turner with Friends of Hodges Gardens. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., there will a "Haunted Garden Tour" for ages 8 and up. You can watch the gardens come alive! This event is not appropriate for children under age 8, however.

Starting Nov. 1 -- Hodges Gardens Evening Barge Tours

See the gardens and islands from a different perspective on a barge tour at Hodges Gardens State Park. These tours will be Nov. 1, 8, 15 and 22, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can meet up at the Willow Point Pier for a nice evening ride around the lake on a pontoon boat. Regular park admission applies. For more information, call 318-586-3523.

Nov. 1 -- Beauregard Country Club tourney

The Beauregard Country Club will hold an inaugural BMH Lights Gold Outing on Saturday, Nov. 1 starting at 4 p.m. There will be nine holes at day, and nine holes at dark -- four-person scramble. Cost is $30 per player. There will also be door prizes, night golf balls, dinner and refreshments. Proceeds will go toward golf camps for area youth. This event is sponsored by Beauregard Memorial Hospital. For more information, call 463-4444.

Nov. 1 -- Heritage Reunion Saturday activities

The prelude to the Heritage Reunion will begin at 8:50 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in the Main Post Chapel. Following the invocation and administrative announcements, Gene Haymon will speak as the president of the Heritage Family Association. Then, Brig. Gen. William B. Hickman will deliver the welcoming remarks. At 9:45 a.m., there will be a group photo opportunity. At 10 a.m., there will be fellowship, entertainment, exhibits, demonstrations and music. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be self-guided tours of the Environmental Learning Center Rock Shop. Those attending will also be able to view exhibits and more. The Vernon Historical & Genealogical Society and the Heritage Family Association will not hold their Nov. 1 meetings at the Vernon Parish Library. The VH&GS and the HFA will be participating in the Heritage Reunion.

Nov. 1 -- VFW Post 3619 fundraising breakfast

The Auxiliary of VFW Post 3619, in DeRidder, will host a fundraising breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The proceeds will be applied locally to programs and people in need. Breakfast items available include: Sausage gravy, biscuits, hash browns, scrambled eggs and a choice of beverage. Call-in orders are acceptable and delivery is available for five of more orders. Call 337-463-3977 for more information.

Nov. 1 -- 2nd Annual "Eagle's Ride for Veterans"

The 2nd Annual "Eagle's Ride for Veterans," hosted by the Combat Vets Association, will be Saturday, Nov. 1 at the VFW Post 3106 in Leesville. First bike will be at 10 a.m. Best hand will be $250, low hand will be $50 -- 50/50. Wet and dry run. There will also be a rib competition. Teams are welcome to compete. All proceeds from this event will help veterans in Leesville, Vinton, Alexandria and throughout CENLA. Funds will also help support the Akers & Glass Veterans Homeless Shelter in DeRidder. For more information, call "Eagle" at 318-451-3692.

Nov. 1 -- Hicks High School Alumni basketball games

Hicks High School will host alumni basketball games on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. (women) and 7:30 p.m. (men). Both games will feature a 3-point contest during halftime for $1 per shot, and the men's halftime will include a split-the-pot drawing for $1 per ticket. Admission is $3, and children under 5 will be admitted free. All proceeds raised will go to the Hicks High School junior class.

Nov. 1 -- "Van Gogh Gala" at River Oaks

The River Oaks Square Arts Center, in Alexandria, will host the annual Van Gogh Gala on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. The center is located at 1330 Second Street in downtown Alexandria. Tickets are $50 per person or $500 for a table of 10. You can enjoy cocktails, food, live and silent auctions, and more. "Day of the Dead" attire is encouraged. For more information, call 318-473-2670.

Nov. 3 -- "Runaway Home" at Vernon Parish Library

The Vernon Parish Library will present, "Runaway Home," an Acoustic-Americana band, flavored with folks, bluegrass and country overtones, at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3. The performance will be the second show in the library's annual "Musical Odyssey XI" series. Admission is free. For more information, call 238-2027.

Nov. 3 -- SWLA Beekeepers Association meeting

The Southwest Louisiana Beekeepers Association will meet Monday, Nov. 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder. The topic of discussion will be "Planning for honey bee nuisance calls and emergencies." Everyone is welcome. Experienced beekeepers will be on hand to give advice for those starting out. For more information, call Beauregard County Agent Keith Hawkins at 463-7006.

Nov. 5 -- McNeese small business seminar

McNeese State University will host a small business seminar in DeRidder on Wednesday, Nov. 5. According to McNeese, the seminar, entitled, “Starting and Financing a Small Business” will be presented from 10 a.m.to noon on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at First Street School at 401 W. First Street. The seminar will offer information on financing a start-up, learning how to write a business plan and understanding what a banker really wants to know. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. The seminar will be presented by the Louisiana Small Development Center at McNeese State University. To pre-register or for more information, call 337-475-5529.

Nov. 7 -- Veterans Day event at veterans' cemetery

The Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, located on University Parkway in Leesville, will host a Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. For more information, call 238-6405. The public is invited.

Nov. 7 -- Veterans Day celebration in DeRidder

There will be a Veterans Day celebration at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7 at the War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder, at 250 West 7th Street. Those attending must have a free ticket. You can stop by the Civic Center to pick one up prior to the event. All veterans, spouses and widows are invited to the meal. Food will be provided by Progressive Waste. The World War II USO Reenactment Group will perform later that evening. The public is invited for this concert at 7 p.m. until.

Nov. 8 -- Veterans Day program in Merryville

A Veterans Day program will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Family Life Center at the First Baptist Church in Merryville. Special guest will be David Tanner. Music will be provided by the Antioch Baptist Church Choir. There will be an honor guard presentation and free gumbo, provided by Stu's in Merryville. There will also be door prizes. Those attending are asked to RSVP by calling 825-8740.

Nov. 8 -- "Painting in the Park" at Hodges Gardens

Hodges Gardens State Park will host "Painting in the Park" on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. All supplies are provided. There will be a $15 registration fee plus park entrance fee. Annual passholders are admitted free and will only pay the registration fee. Call 318-586-7002 to register. Participants will be painting a pumpkin.

Nov. 8 -- "Shop With A Cop" fundraiser

The "Shop With A Cop" fundraiser will be a BBQ sale on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Wal-Mart in Leesville. Sandwiches are $3, and plate lunches are $7. "Shop With A Cop" is a long-standing event that helps fund Christmas giving for local needy children, ages 4-12. To register a child for the program, stop by Helping Hands in downtown Leesville on Thursday, Nov. 13 or Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 238-3832.

Nov. 8 -- Affordable Care Act information session

There will be an Outpatient Medical Center outreach and enrollment event, educating the community on "The Affordable Care Act" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Martin Luther King Center, at 1003 North Gladys Street in Leesville. There will also be children's activities, entertainment and refreshments. For more information, call 238-1274.

Nov. 8 -- Sabine Parish veterans event

The Sabine Historical Society and others will host a special day for veterans on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historical museum at the KCS Depot in Many. There will be a complimentary lunch for veterans from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All others can enjoy lunch at a cost of $6. There will be special speakers and exhibits from the early days of Fort Jesup to the wars in Afghanistan. For more information, contact Many City Hall.

Nov. 9 -- 15th Annual Veterans Day event at East Beauregard

The 15th Annual Veterans Day Celebration at East Beauregard will be held Sunday, Nov. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. at the football stadium at East Beauregard High School. The guest speaker will be Brig. Gen. William Hickman, of Fort Polk.This is free and open to the public. There will be complimentary food, drinks, live music and more. There will also be static displays from the Army and Coast Guard, flyovers from various warbirds and the Remax Jump Team will do precision sky-jumping.

Nov. 15 -- "A Round To Remember" golf tourney

"A Round To Remember," a golf event to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, will be held Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Leesville Municipal Golf Course.Registration will be $40 per player. Those participating should make a check for $25 payable to "A Round To Remember." The remainder of the fee -- $15 -- will go to the Leesville Municipal Golf Course.There will be a 16-player limit. The registration deadline is Nov. 1. For more information, call 337-239-2526. More HERE.

Nov. 21 and 22 -- Free child safety fair in Leesville

The Keeping Kids Safe Project will be hosting a free child safety fair in Leesville on Nov. 21 and 22, to provide children with free fingerprints and photographs. The child safety organization will take a child’s fingerprints and send them home directly with parents. Parents can use the record to turn directly over to authorities anywhere in the world to instantly aid in an investigation. There will also be community organizations present to provide safety information and entertainment for families. Join them at the Hixson Autoplex of Leesville auto dealership at 11981 Lake Charles Hwy. in from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22.

Nov. 22 -- Leesville First UPC Christmas Bazaar

The Leesville First United Pentecostal Church's annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Bazaar will be Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Family Life Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

Nov. 22 -- "Free Birds" outdoor movie at Hodges

Hodges Gardens State Park will host an outdoor movie, "Free Birds," at 7 p.m. Nov. 22 on the lakefront stage. The movie, sponsored by Crittenden's Garage, is hailed as the greatest turkey movie of all time. Regular park admission applies. For more, call 318-586-3523.

Nov. 28-30 -- Big Buck Contest

The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk will host their annual "Big Buck Contest" on Oct. 25-26, and Nov. 28-30. Three prizes will be awarded on Dec. 10 -- one for the Biggest Buck Harvested Youth, ages 9-15; one for Biggest Buck Harvested Adult, ages 16 plus; and one Biggest Doe Harvested for any age group. For more information, call 531-1971.

Nov. 29-Dec. 30 -- Hodges Gardens Christmas lights

Hodges Gardens State Park Christmas lights will glitter and shine from Nov. 29 to Dec. 30 at the park from 5:30 p.m to 10 p.m. Admission is $2 per person. For more information, call 318-586-3523.

Dec. 1 -- SWLA Beekeepers Association meeting

The Southwest Louisiana Beekeepers Association will meet Monday, Dec. 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder. There will be nomination of officers. The topic of discussion will be "Why pollinators matter" and "Getting started in beekeeping." Everyone is welcome. Experienced beekeepers will be on hand to give advice for those starting out. For more information, call Beauregard County Agent Keith Hawkins at 463-7006.

Dec. 5 -- Jubilee Park lighting

The Jubilee Park Committee will be celebrating the annual Christmas lighting of the Jubilee Park in Leesville at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5. The community is invited. The park is located across the street from Vernon Middle School. For more information, call 337-392-0641.

Dec. 6 -- Elegant Affair

The Museum of West Louisiana will host their annual "Elegant Affair" on Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Vernon Parish Fairgrounds Auditorium. The night will be filled with music, dancing and art. There will also be heavy hors d'oeuvres and Al's famous egg nog. For more information, call the museum at 239-0927.

Dec. 13 -- "It's a Wonderful Christmas" festival

Leesville Main Street will host their third annual "It's a Wonderful Christmas" festival on Third Street in downtown Leesville. For more information, call 378-5055.

Dec. 13 -- Wreaths Across America

The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a "Wreaths Across America" ceremony at the Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery at 3348 University Parkway in Leesville at 10:55 a.m. on Dec. 13. The ceremony is open to the public. For more information on parking or to sign on as a sponsor, call 238-6405.

Dec. 13 -- Annual Vernon Parish Christmas Parade

The Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce's annual Christmas Parade will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 in downtown Leesville. The parade's theme is "Candy Canes and Christmas Carols." The entry deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11. All parade participants must be registered. The entry fee is $20 per entry.  Lineup will be from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 13. Marching units/drill teams, churches, civic organizations, non-profits, schools, clubs, automobiles, businesses and marching bands can participate. For more on rules, regulations and to obtain an official entry form, call the Chamber at 238-0349, or stop by the office at 1309 North 5th Street in Leesville.

Ongoing -- Central Louisiana Orchid Society meetings

The Central Louisiana Orchid Society meets on the third Sunday of each month at 2:30 p.m. in Alexandria. If you would like to learn how to grow orchids or you need orchid questions answered, you are invited. Those interested in knowing more can visit www.centrallouisianaorchidsociety.org.

Ongoing -- Beauregard Parish Library story times

The Beauregard Parish Library hosts story time every Wednesday at 11 a.m. in DeRidder. It's also held on the first Saturday at the Merryville branch and on the second Saturday at the East Beauregard branch.

Ongoing -- LHS Diamond Club

A booster club has been formed to support the Leesville High School Baseball Program. The LHS Diamond Club charges $25 for a yearly membership and $500 for a Lifetime Membership. For information, call Heath at 353-8879 or Kimberly at 210-275-1362

Ongoing -- LA Poultry Fanciers swap meet, sale

Louisiana Poultry Fanciers holds its meeting, swap meet and sale every third Saturday of each month -- rain or shine -- at the Sabine Parish Fairgrounds in Many from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.louisianapoultryfanciers.com or email nanachicken@wildblue.net.

Ongoing -- Mother Goose story hour

Mother Goose story hour is held at the Vernon Parish Library from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. each Wednesday.

Ongoing -- "Freegal" music service at Vernon Parish Library

The Vernon Parish Library now has access to "Freegal" Music Service, offering patrons a chance to download free MP3 files from over 28,000 music labels from 85 different countries. Libraries all over the world use this service and it includes access to the Sony Music Entertainment catalog. Visit the library for more information.

How to send us your community events

All community events are welcome. E-mail announcements to elonaboggs@aol.com or fax us at 337-537-4152.
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