Chamber’s Lagniappe Day provides ‘something extra’

Rayne Frog Festival royalty joins the Rayne Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture and the City of Rayne administration in Rayne Lagniappe Day activities Saturday at The Depot Square. Pictured, from left, are Golden Frog Festival King Al Olivier, Golden Frog Festival Queen Burgundy Olivier, Teen Frog Festival Queen Caroline Bergeron, Frog Festival Queen Ashlee Guilbeau, Chamber Vice-President Jena Bordes and Chamber Executive Director Fran Bihm; back row, Mayor Roland Boudreaux, City Clerk Colin Burnum and Chamber President Jimmy Prevost. (Submitted photo)

“Rayne Lagniappe Day” created excitement throughout the city of Rayne   Saturday, July 12by providing “a little something extra” for shoppers, reports Fran Bihm, executive director of the Rayne Chamber of Commerce.
 The event began with beautiful sunny skies, colorful Rayne Lagniappe pennant flags flying at local merchants as they began setting up sidewalk sales or in-store specials for shoppers to take advantage of.
At The Depot Square in downtown Rayne, streamers of colorful pennant flags around the area flew in an occasional gently breeze, as local merchants set up their booths, and prepared to give visitors “a little something extra.”
The Rayne Chamber’s booth showcased frog souvenir items, past frog festival posters and t-shirts, and accepted the merchants tickets for free watermelon slices, and gave out free cold bottled water, courtesy of Robert Credeur and Chef Roy’s Frog City Café.  Frog Festival Queen Ashlee Guilbeau and Teen Frog Festival Queen Caroline Bergeron assisted Bihm, Jena Bordes, vice-president and Jimmy Prevost, president. Also representing Rayne Frog Festival royalty were Golden Frog Festival King and Queen Al and Burgundy Olivier.
Mayor Roland Boudreaux and City Clerk Colin Burnum displayed American patriotic flags at their booth as they sold bricks for the Rayne Veterans Park.  Refreshing home-made lemonade by Janet Boudreaux was “a little something extra” for the visitors.
The Candyland Express was a big hit with the kids.  Stewart Laurents, owner and conductor, provided “trackless train” rides along S. Polk Street.  Several moms and dads also enjoyed the ride with their children.
Candyland Cottage concession provided the station to receive tickets given out by local merchants to their shoppers for “a little something extra”, a free individual cup of Blue Bell Ice Cream.
Other vendors offering bargains at The Depot Square were: Reggie’s of Rayne with barbecued hamburgers and soft drinks; Al’s Computer Services with a $25 certificate of services; Cajun Fitness with a special discount on their “Launch Day on July 19  and Membership Package; Cajun Friendly Flea Market & Mans Cave bargains, and Eric White with Bayou 106.7 providing a live remote and music.
This event was a ”first” retail business promotion co-sponsored by the City of Rayne and the Business & Economic Development Committee of the Rayne Chamber of Commerce, but it will not be the last, says Bihm. Since the promotion was so well received, plans are being made to make it an annual event (with added attractions), or perhaps have another retail event for the Christmas holiday. Feedback from the merchants to the Chamber would be greatly appreciated, she adds.
It takes “working together” and participation to host a citywide event, and the Rayne Chamber expresses special thanks to each and every one of the Rayne merchants who participated; Mayor Roland Boudreaux and the city of Rayne employees for providing maps for visitors, putting up the signs at city entrances, flags at the Depot Square, barricades for the safety of the train rides, and assistance with the advertisements of the event; Lafayette Coca-Cola Bottling Company for the banners; Big G’s Kans for the port-a-lets; Blue Bell Creameries for the ice cream; Chef Roy’s Frog City Café for the free bottled water; and all news media for the publicity.
Fran Bihm sums it up, stating “Everyone was having a great time shopping, enjoying ice cream, watermelon, and visiting, until around 2:30 p.m., the skies darkened and the threat of thunderstorms caused the booths at The Depot Square to close before 4p.m. However, the bargains continued at in-store locations.  The weather is one aspect of an outdoor event that can’t be predicted or helped.
“Otherwise, our purpose of showcasing and helping our retail merchants economically in the beautiful city of Rayne was achieved.  We created excitement! We gave customers “a little something extra” for shopping in Rayne, and that is always a good thing! Sometimes the measure of success is not by the revenue, but the act of working together to accomplish the goal.  Rayne Lagniappe Day was indeed a success!”

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