Letter to the Editor: Our neighbor across the river

Missy Jandura

Meet the Neighbors! Remember us?

Did you know Donaldsonville is the Parish Seat? Did you know Donaldsonville is the second largest historic district in Louisiana, second to only the French Quarter? Did you know Donaldsonville was just made a cultural district to allow us to grow artistic endeavors? Did you know that there is a walking tour of historic Donaldsonville available? Have you seen our gorgeous levee top? Did you know you can buy or rent a building for your new business or home at very affordable prices? Have you been to our businesses to eat, shop and get services?

The Donaldsonville Downtown Development District and Mainstreet Donaldsonville program hustled to put together a great fireworks show. Neighbors came together to volunteer, support, sponsor and help in so many ways. Small towns all across America have had to make difficult decisions in budgets. Trust me, the City Council of Donaldsonville is not throwing gold coins in the air and eating bon bons. Ascension Parish has offered to match the City of Donaldsonville’s contribution but our spending is very conservative.

Thousands of neighbors from surrounding areas were out in droves to enjoy the fireworks. Community events like the Fireworks on July 3rd make it very easy to meet new neighbors and visit old friends. This is why Donaldsonville is a perfect place to continue walking and shopping after the event. Two Ascension Parish Bands were featured, Avenue Cruisers and Harvey Wallbangers.

So, why does this matter to the East Bank of Ascension Parish?

Well, because we are Ascension Parish.

We are your neighbors.

I am an Ascension Parish long time resident. Heck, I went to Galvez and St. Amant. I am guilty of not driving over the river as much as I should have. There. I admit it.

For some reason, I would drive to Downtown Baton Rouge or sit in ridiculous traffic on Essen Lane. Now, as a responsible grown up, I realize that there are already great places to shop in Ascension Parish that help our parish finances. Also, I find I don’t curse as much when driving. Check your blood pressure at the I-10 split and then on the River Road. Huge difference in gas and hand gestures. I really had no idea that I could walk to the grocery store, get my hair done, get my eyes checked, and buy a candle within four blocks. I could even stop and take a nap at a B&B or sit in four pretty public parks. Walking down Highway 42 or 431 is just not feasible. I have never seen more kids on bikes with grocery bags and golf carts of women rolling up to restaurants. It is pretty cool.

What did the Donaldsonville Downtown Development District want to show you with our fireworks event? That is easy. To remind people why this amazing district is vital to all of Ascension Parish and our regional neighbors.

Most importantly Ascension Parish, shop, do business, make your groceries, buy uniforms, get your car fixed, find a new local insurance company, really look at the gorgeous structures and imagine what type of business you would like to open. Restore an older property that can be bought and restored with new tax incentives and loan programs.

What are the Donaldsonville Downtown Development District and Main Street Plans? We are sprucing up the city, getting the buildings ready for new tenants, organizing our historic tax incentives, designing our entrepreneur classes and materials, extending our partnerships with all of Ascension Parish companies. In essence, we are rolling out the welcome mat with exciting business opportunities, similar to Denham Springs, Thibodaux, Ponchatoula and other Main Streets.

So, come on over… make an effort to meet your neighbors.  

Missy Jandura

Executive Director Donaldsonville DDD

Manager MainStreet Donaldsonville