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Construction for pavilion to begin

FERRIDAY — Music has been a major part of life in Ferriday for a long time, and town officials are doing what they can to hold true to that legacy.

Starting today, the town will add to its musical prowess, as construction on the Ferriday Festival Pavilion is slated to begin.

Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said at a pre-construction meeting Thursday, the town selected Petron Inc. of Alexandria to rehab an old warehouse on First Street across from Rockabilly Plaza to serve as the festival pavilion.

“They are going to try and leave as much of the building as they can,” he said. “We are going to try and incorporate some old with some new.”

McGlothin said the $785,000 project will be funded by an $800,000 state capital outlay grant, and it will house concerts and community events.

“I am hoping to boost the downtown area by giving it a better look, and by adding a compliment to the Arcade Theater,” he said.

The mayor said downtown Ferriday needs all the help it can get.

“We can either sit here and watch it die, or do something to try and bring it back,” he said. “We have a music legacy, so why not keep with that theme.”

McGlothin said he plans on eventually naming the new pavilion after Haney’s Big House owner, Will Haney.

“I am trying to do that with the Rockabilly Plaza also by naming it after Jerry Lee Lewis,” he said. “We just want it to be about the music and the people that came from here.”

The pavilion will have grandstand seating for 300 and a commercial kitchen for use, McGlothin said.

“It is really going to be a nice building,” he said. “And Ferriday is in need of some newer and nicer things.”

McGlothin said the building sits on 3.1 acres the town owns in downtown Ferriday, and there are two other buildings located on the property.

“I bought the land from the railroad company in the early 90s, and all the buildings were donated to us,” he said. “We want to use these other buildings and this space to help boost downtown also.”

The mayor said he would like to see the 3.1 acres used as a place to have festivals in the town, and possibly even a parish fair.

“We used to have carnivals and fairs in the parish all the time,” he said. “And I think it would be great to see them back here again.”

McGlothin said construction on the pavilion is scheduled to take 180 days, excluding bad weather days.