Lt. Governor Dardenne lands at the Levee-top

DeRon Talley

When Donaldsonville native Alvin Batiste found out Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne was coming to town he wanted to do something special for Dardenne's arrival. He did.

He gathered some of his own materials, acrylic paints and a cypress shingle board, and with those he made a brown pelican that he presented to the Lt. Governor before the event started.

"I wanted to give something to do with Louisiana to the Lt. Governor," he said, smiling from ear to ear. "I've followed him over the years and when I found out he was coming, I put that together."

Dardenne stopped in Donaldsonville on Monday to celebrate with the citizens the second year of the levee-top construction. The Main Street program hosted the event and several elected officials from the state and local levels attended.

"This represents what the spirit of Donaldsonville is all about," said Dardenne, talking in front of a crowd of about 50 people gathered at the levee-top.

Dardenne talked about the history of Donaldsonville and how it used to be a major city for Louisiana. In fact, he said that Donaldsonville used to be Louisiana's State Capitol in 1830.

He said he was proud to be part of something as beautiful as this and he thanked the Main Street Program for recognizing the levee-top's significance.

The Lt. Governor is known for being responsible in planning the river front levee in the downtown Baton Rouge area. Dardenne said it just enables citizens to enjoy the beauty of the river and the trade that takes place on it.

He also talked about how it helps us to look to the past to prepare for the future.

The Executive Director of the Main Street Program, Missy Jandura opened the brief event with a welcome of Mayor Leroy Sullivan.

Mayor Sullivan offered a prayer and then turned the microphone over to the Lt. Governor.

At the end of the event, the Main Street Program served one of the town's signature dishes, bread pudding from the Grapevine Restaurant, while Anthony Marcello, Chuck Montero, and Steve Schneider played music fitting for the event.

Some of the audience members joked that the band should name itself "The Levee-top Band." It had a ring to it.

Dardenne added: "It represents a community effort and how it put value in a beautiful walk along the river."