Reserve marking 150th anniversary

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – This year marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Reserve, and a group of area residents have begun meeting to discuss ways to mark the occasion.

Inclement weather kept some participants away from the latest meeting, held Tuesday at St. John Theatre, but enough people were present to begin fleshing out committees and plans for the celebration.

Judge J. Sterling Snowdy, who was just 1 year old when Reserve marked its centennial, has taken the lead in organizing the observance, but a group of high-profile locals including School Board President Gerald Keller, St. John Parish Library Director Randy DeSoto and St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe have joined the effort to celebrate all things Reserve.

The group hopes to kick off the festivities at the annual Independence Day fireworks celebration. Snowdy realizes that does not give the group much time to prepare, but he believes they can pull it off. “We’re going to do as much as possible in a short amount of time,” he said.

Snowdy said many ideas have already been offered, and the group is trying to whittle the list down to workable ideas.

Among the plans that are already slated for execution are an online photo archive orchestrated by DeSoto and the St. John Parish Library. Also, local documentarian Jeff Duhe has agreed to produce a film for the sesquicentennial.

Other ideas that have been brought up are a Halloween cemetery walk at St. Peters Cemetery and a weekend-long “homecoming,” possibly to be held in conjunction with the annual symphony concert at San Francisco Plantation.

Boe even suggested creating an annual event in Reserve centered around the lighting of the bonfires. “The parish would just have to market the district,” said Boe.

The group has come up with a list of committees that will handle the various aspects of putting on such a grand celebration. Among these are Media/Communication, Funding/ Sponsors, Events/Programming, Education and Historical committees. While leaders for each committee have been chosen for the most part, volunteers are still needed to fill out each one.

Next up for the group, however, is settling on a logo to be used on T-shirts and signs. Sale of the T-shirts will help fund the project.

“Funding will dictate how much we can do,” said Boe.

Any money collected over and above that needed to put on the celebration may be used to erect historic markers in Reserve.

The group will meet next on Tuesday, June 1, at 5:30 p.m. at St. John Theatre. Anyone wishing to get involved with the planning of the event is invited to come to the meeting or to e-mail Snowdy at Reserve