Lightin' up D'Ville

DeRon Talley

It's festival time and for Donaldsonville this one shines light on the community. The Sunshine Festival 2012 starts today and ends Sunday at the grounds by the Lemann Center.

There is a change this year. The entrance is now at the newly dedicated Frank Sotile, Jr. Pavilion.

This year is expected to be one of the biggest festivals held because the Lowery Carnival crew will be bringing all of its Midway rides. Donaldsonville's Chamber of Commerce started the festival in 1986 and uses it as a fundraiser for the club and to give the community something to look forward to right here in Donaldsonville.

"I love this time of year," the Chamber's Executive Director Becky Katz said, "because everywhere I go all the kids know me as the Sunshine Festival lady. They really look forward to it."

Other than the rides, the festival offers lots of good foods such as; fried fish and shrimp, gumbo and many others that community organizations get together and serve.

"This is a good chance to have something right in their back yard where they can have a good time, I love being out there and watching the kids. They are so excited and grin from ear to ear with cotton candy on their faces," Katz said with laughter, "It's just too cute."

Katz's most memorable Sunshine Festival wasn't the most exciting thing to see and hear about. She said there was a car wreck on Marchand drive involving a gas tank truck that turned over and caught fire. But, her most favorite thing to do at the festival shows what Donaldsonville is about.

"I love getting on the ferris wheel and being at the top and seeing this community," Katz said. "When you see it up like that, it's just amazing."