For Immediate Release

December 11, 2014

Contact: Tammy Sharp

Media Relations




City of Leesville Celebrates 40 Years of Mayfest

LEESVILLE, La.-The City of Leesville congratulates the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission and its many,many partners who have worked so hard over the last 40 years to make Mayfest a festival to remember in Leesville.


City of Leesville Councilman Chris Robertson was on hand at the Mayfest Art Print Reveal Dec. 9, 2014 at Gallery One Ellleven in downtown Leesville to receive a beautiful print for the city commemorating Mayfest. Vernon Parish Tourism commissioned artist Candice Alexander to create the 40th commemorative Mayfest art print which was unveiled at the event Dec. 9. Alexander has been named Southwest Louisiana's best artist for three years in a row.


John Crook, executive director of the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission, named Jonnie Mae and Edward Palmer, Elize Howerton and Doug Stannard as instrumental in making Mayfest a 40-year-old

tradition in Leesville.


"The reason Mayfest is 40 years old is because of the dedication of these four people and the commitment of the Leesville community such as the Lion's Club, the Vernon Arts Council, our neighbor Fort Polk, AUSA, Gene Davis and Vernon Middle School and countless others who have volunteered their time and talents," said Crook. "It really is a community event."


Mayfest was named State Festival of the Year for 2012 and 2013. The event, originally dubbed the West Louisiana Folk Art Festival, according to festival manager Jordan Craft, began as a one-day sidewalk festival in 1975. Over the years, it has evolved into the an event that last year commanded an audience of more than 8,000 as Grammy award-winning performer Frank Foster headlined the final concert of the weekend.


"Community is synonymous with Mayfest," said Crook, which is a theme played out in Alexander's print. Area churches and schools, and the ever-popular Pink Flamingoes, as well as the Police Jury, all play a part in making Mayfest successful, he added.


Alexander, from Jennings, has studios in both Lake Charles and Lafayette and works primarily in mixed media, she said. The Mayfest print is available for purchase from Alexander. She can be contacted via her website at


To use or view photos of the event, please visit the City of Leesville on Facebook.



The City of Leesville, the best hometown in the world, is a historic yet visionary community. As the parish seat of Vernon Parish, where Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center are located, the City of Leesville is home to military families, retired veterans and a growing and strongly patriotic citizenry that provides the basis of a well-rounded and work-ready workforce.   


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