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Rayne Chamber meeting finalizes Holiday Market, events

RAYNE - The main order of business discussed during the November meeting of the Rayne Chamber of Commerce board meeting were final plans for the Rayne Holiday Market.
The second annual event, set for Saturday, Nov. 28, will again be co-sponsored by the Rayne Chamber of Commerce and the City of Rayne, better known as “Shop Small Saturday,” between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. when customers can visit with over 50 participating vendors at the Rayne Depot (provided by the City of Rayne) for a special day of shopping and holiday fun.
Chairperson Marietta Sikat and the Chamber’s Jennifer Autin announced that this year’s event will feature a train theme and will pay homage to the Rayne Depot Square and the history and significance the railroad has made in our area. In addition, train rides will be offered for the little ones by CandyLand Cottage.
Plenty of food and drinks will also be available including, gumbo, chili dogs, popcorn, hot cocoa, sweets, hamburgers, baked goods and more by the Chamber.
Live music will be provided by Louisiana Kids, Inc., and a “Polar Express” storytime session will be sponsored by the Rotary Club.
A cakewalk will be enjoyed, along with cookie decorating, a coloring station, and more to come as details are finalized.
Prizes will also be drawn and The Rayne Chamber’s “Farm to Table” raffle drawing will take place for 300-400 lbs. of grass-feed beef. Tickets are still available from any Chamber Board Member, at the Rayne Chamber of Commerce office at 107 West Oak Street or at the Marketplace.
They also noted a great response from local businesses who will participate in “Shop Small Saturday” by offering special discounts.
Again this year while shopping at local businesses, customers will receive a paper ornament to bring to the Depot Square for numerous drawings to be awarded every hour. One special prize is a $100 Chamber Cash certificate to be used at any Chamber member/business.
Chamber President and Frog Festival Chairman Jeremy Lavergne also gave a short report of a planning meeting slated as plans are in the works for the 2021 Frog Festival.
He also gave a report of the mandatory guidelines that is needed to be submitted by the Frog Festival to the State Fire Marshal’s office, complete with COVID guidelines and regulations that will be followed by visitors and workers.
Lavergne also announced, along with chairman Jamie Conques, that even though the Chamber’s annual Mardi Gras Ball has been cancelled due to COVID and the two hurricanes that hit this area, it is believed the Mardi Gras Parade and After Party may still be held. That will be decided by the Chamber as the date nears and according to what phase the state will be in as it must adhere to restrictions.
Following discussion, it was decided that due to the COVID restrictions, this year’s First Responders Breakfast would follow a drop-off procedure as goodies will be delivered instead of a sit-down meal at a local establishment. Seven locations will be honored during the program who will receive drop-off goodies by board members.
Final plans for the Veteran’s Day observance and program was announced as the Chamber would be joined by the local Rotary Club, Boy Scouts and City of Rayne. The program was planned to be held at the Veterans Park, followed by light refreshments.
Lavergne also announced that the finalized By-Laws will be re-typed with corrections and updates and should be distributed by the next board meeting.
During Autin’s report of Chamber events, she noted the following:
• Chamber membership stands at 122 as of the date of the meeting with more to be added due to numerous business contacts and visits now being completed;
• A new website for the Chamber is being created with an update to be given as the website moves towards completion;
•Virtual Political Forum was a great success with all local and area candidates participating;
• Autin reported the Chamber Facebook page was up to 2,723 likes and members continuing to be added;
• Continuing the “Feature Business Fridays” Facebook feature, in addition to agriculture features during the month of October;
• Due to the huge success of the Frog Kids Camp held during the summer, the Chamber hosted a successful Halloween Kids Camp on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Chamber office;
• Tickets are continuing to be sold for the “Farm to Table” calf raffle offered by Ancelet Cattle Company. Tickets are also available at the Chamber office with the winner to be announced during the Holiday Market;
• A report was given of the board room rentals for the coming month.
• A “King Cake Pre-Sale” event was held during the month of October thanks expressed to board member Cherie Gautreaux of Gautreaux’s Donuts.
Under new business, Lavergne brought up the following:
• Nominations for business and volunteer organization of the quarter is needed for the upcoming Business After Hours;
* Members urged to attend Tourist Commission meeting; and
•Planned-2-Perfection grand opening;
Board members in attendance were Jeremy Lavergne, Marietta Sikat, Crystal Underwood, Jamie Conques, Cherie Gautreaux, Docq Gaspard, Cynthia Oliver, Beverly Rayon, Mona Meche, Michele Veillon, along with Suzette Leonards by phone.
The meeting was adjourned and a delicious lunch was provided by Board member Mona Meche and chef Ruth Meche.

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