LaGrange International Friendship Exchange Offers aGreat Opportunity to Meet Your Neighbor
The 4th annual LIFE festival was held on Main Street in downtown La-Grange on September 7th. The LIFE Festival is a celebration of culture, art, music, and foods from around the globe provided by our local citizens. The festival is a three day event, culminating with the “Music for Peace” concert honoring 9/11.
Twenty-one countries were represented this year.
Main Street was filled with a wealth of delectable cuisine, beautiful art, and a variety of musical and dance entertainment. The festival is a fun and educational event that has proven to be a favorite for LaGrange and surrounding area residents. Over 3,000 people attended the event this year. President of La-Grange International Friendship Exchange, Ethel Ault, said she is glad everyone came out and enjoyed the weekend.
Serving as Master of Ceremonies, Forest Johnson stated; “This is one of my favorite things we do in LaGrange, it’s just fantastic to see the celebration of globalism, the celebration of international cultures, and to see it all happening right here in LaGrange.”
Vice President of the LIFE organization, Nancy Olney stated, “We are one of the few cities in Georgia who are doing this”. Several community leaders from other towns visited LaGrange’s festival last weekend to learn more about our festival and gain ideas on starting a similar event in their cities.“We want people to come out and learn what we are all about”. We want to make sure the children are included in all of this as well”, said Olney.
The board members of the LaGrange International Friendship Exchange are to be commended for their work and dedication in making the festival a success. Both Nancy Olney and Ethel Ault wish to express appreciation to Jeff Lukken; Roy and Fran Nichols; Alis Albriton; Natalie Shelton; Kim McVay; and Mary Ann Keck for their active efforts throughout the year as well. President, Ethel Ault stated; “I am proud of our hard-working board members and proud of our town”. Mary Ann Keck said,” It was hard work but worth it all when you saw what a great time everyone was having”.
Sponsors for this year’s LIFE Festival were: City of LaGrange, KIA of La-Grange, LaGrange College, Cochran Gallery, CenterState Bank, Renasant Bank, Community Bank & Trust, and Synovus.
Several community organizations were represented at the festival. The Lafayette Alliance, Krewe of Mask Mardi Gras, and The Rotary Club. Also present at the Rotary club booth was LaGrange College student Chase Davis, who was available to answer questions about the Rotaract and Interact Clubs sponsored by The Rotary Club of LaGrange.
Altogether, the festival was a wonderful event that really brought people together for an inspiring weekend. In speaking about the success of the festival; president, Ethel Ault stated, “I love our town; it is very nice that people who are coming into our town for the first time notice what a friendly town it is”.
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Tammy Greathouse Staff Writer