- Associated Press - Sunday, August 24, 2014

DONALDSONVILLE, La. (AP) - Officials in Donaldsonville hope to have a detailed plan for improvements at the historic Crescent Park ready in early September and could advertise for bids on the project in October.

Earlier this month, local officials held a ground-breaking for the $780,000 project that will include an open-air park pavilion that will be twice the size of the old one and draw on the influence from the French Market-style architecture of the past.

Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan and Downtown Development Director Missy Jandura said the park will boost interest into this once-bustling city on the Mississippi River.

Sullivan told The Daily Comet (https://bit.ly/1tu0FGZ) that the renovation has been in the works for at least 10 years.

The park’s central location on the river near downtown is expected to help draw tourists to Donaldsonville.



“We wanted to make it more attractive and user friendly for when we have our events,” Sullivan said. “The way that it’s going to connect to the riverfront, I feel that it’s going to be a great attraction to tourists. Where there’s tourists, there’s economic growth, too.”

Crescent Park, which borders the Mississippi River and runs perpendicular to Bayou Lafourche, has been a trading site for centuries. According to historic accounts, pirates Jean and Pierre Lafitte had three major ports in which they would guarantee delivery of goods: New Orleans, Barataria Bay and Crescent Park.

“It’s going to open it up,” Jandura said of the park renovation. “It’s a riverfront development. It’s not only the history of the city that is so important of it. We just need a place where the community can come together and have the weddings, have the birthday parties. And, then we can also have more festivals”.

Benches will be placed on top of the levee as part of the development plan.

“This is just the beginning of the new birth of Donaldsonville,” Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said.

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Information from: Daily Comet, https://www.dailycomet.com

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