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City Council votes to not have festivals and events in Alexandria

Four council members saying money should be used to address other areas in the city
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 10:54 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - For those who have missed going to festivals and concerts over the last year, you’ll have to wait a little longer before you can attend them again in Alexandria.

At Tuesday’s Alexandria City Council meeting, the council voted four to three to not enter contracts for the city to put on Alexandria RiverFete, WinterFete, the Downtown Rocks Series and Rock the Red. These events were canceled or changed last year because of COVID-19.

The four councilmembers who voted “no” were Gerber Porter, Catherine Davidson, Reddex Washington and Cynthia Perry. It was budgeted to cost $325,000 to put on these festivals and concerts and some councilmembers said this money should be used to address other issues in the city.

“I’m not against quality of life events, and I’m not against having festivals. Right now what’s more important to my constituents is crime prevention,” said District 1 councilman Washington.

The three council members who voted in favor of entering contracts to have the festivals were Lee Rubin, Jim Villard and Chuck Fowler. They said they voted in favor with the hopes of bringing back more events to the city.

“Some of the events that got canceled are just minor events like the Friday afternoon bands and right now we can’t have them anyway. I think the mayor needs to have the authority to go ahead and start planning this and that’s why I voted yes,” said Villard.

Councilman At-Large Rubin said that for a future meeting he wants to bring back up the possibility of entering a contract for the city to have WinterFete later this year.

Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall said they will talk more about this with the council at next week’s special committee meeting to talk about the budget to lobby that they should have these events for the future.

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