Locals enjoy festival

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2006

LAKE ST. JOHN &8212; It was an evening of good food, music and fun, as people gathered Sunday for the first Lake St. John Harvest Festival.

The purpose of the festival, Glenda Lewis said, was for lake residents and visitors to come and meet the Lake St. John Recreation and Water Conservation District Board members.

Lewis is the secretary of the newly formed board.

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&8220;We also wanted people just to come out and get to know one another so we could grow stronger as a community,&8221; Lewis said.

Cheryl Colvin said she and her husband have owned a camp on the lake for six years.

Colvin said she and her husband decided to live on the lake permanently last year.

Colvin said she was impressed with the board&8217;s organization of the event and even more impressed with how many people share their desire to make the lake their home.

&8220;It&8217;s not just a summer place anymore,&8221; Colvin said. &8220;It is its own little community.&8221;

Richard Alwood lived on the lake as a child for 35 years before moving to Ferriday.

Recently, Alwood, 67, decided to move back to the lake and rejoin the community.

&8220;Now I feel like I&8217;m back home,&8221; Alwood said.

Barry Maxwell also spent all of his life, minus the four years he went to college, on Lake St. John.

Maxwell said, like many, he came to the festival to show his support of the new district and was impressed by the number of people attending the event.

&8220;I think it&8217;s great to see so many people who live out here and who have considered Lake St. John a part of their lives,&8221; Maxwell said.

Louisiana State Representative candidate Andy Anders also made a guest appearance at the festival and gave a speech encouraging residents to vote.

Anders said he was amazed at how the festival brought people together.

&8220;We live in such a fast-paced life now that we don&8217;t even have time to meet our neighbors anymore,&8221; Anders said. &8220;Some of these people live four houses down from one another and have never even met. This was a great chance to get them to meet.&8221;

Anders said he was also impressed with range of different age groups who have made the lake their home.

Jimmie Little, 22, has lived on the lake with her parents Jim and Nan Huff all her life.

Little said she helped the board organize the event to encourage her generation to invest their time in the lake.

&8220;We need to get younger people more active in the lake,&8221; Little said. &8220;There is so much out here we can take advantage of.&8221;

Besides weekends and summer vacations on the lake, Little said people her age should consider Lake St. John as a place to get married and start families.

&8220;It&8217;s such a pretty and peaceful place all year round,&8221; Little said.

President Allen Brown said he was very pleased with the turnout at the festival and he has high hopes for the community&8217;s support of the board.

&8220;I hope future events like this one will persuade people to get behind the board to accomplish some of our goals,&8221; Brown said.

Brown said one of the goals of the board was to raise money to build a community center on the lake for board meetings and other events.

&8220;Everyone I have met here is so pleased with the festival that they have offered to help us with our goals in whatever way they can,&8221; Brown said.