Open-air market to open in Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 13, 2010

FERRIDAY — This summer, Ferridians will have a new place to host everything from church events to concerts.

Work is currently under way to convert the former National Food store in downtown Ferriday into an open-air market, and Mayor Glen McGlothin said he plans to have the first official function there May 22, when the town hosts the Soul Survivor’s Festival to dedicate the Mississippi Blues Marker for Haney’s Big House.

The building where the market will be located had fallen to the wayside, but using a $24,000 grant from the state and inmate labor, the town was able to save the structure, McGlothin said.

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“The back of the building had so much damage it wasn’t stable,” he said. “I had an inmate crew and some carpenters from work release shore it up.”

The process of saving the structure could have cost more, but the recent demolition of an old house provided the town with an unexpected source of material.

“We were able to do that with some timbers we got out of an old house on Texas Avenue, so we saved a bunch of money there by reusing some materials we got out of those torn down buildings,” he said.

Currently, the work being done includes pouring new concrete floors.

For the festival later this month, the town will have to use portable toilets, but McGlothin said he hopes to have bathrooms installed by the end of the summer.

The town will also install large fans in the four corners of the building, he said.

“I was standing in there the other day, and it was 90-degrees out, and with a breeze you wouldn’t believe how cool it was under there,” McGlothin said.

“Most of the year in Louisiana you will be able to use it.”

Those who want to book the market for use would come by town hall and have the event reviewed.

“We would look at whatever program they would do, and we would have to limit it to family-friendly stuff,” McGlothin said. “We are very limited in places to do that kind of thing in Ferriday, so I am hoping people will use it for that.”

The mayor said a second phase of the project could include installing benches and tables in the area.