In October, when Hurricane Nate loomed in the Gulf of Mexico, organizers of the Ogden Park Prowl postponed their annual neighborhood arts festival. It was a bummer at the time, but those who were disappointed then can rejoice now: The Prowl returns for its rescheduled date this Saturday, Dec. 2, 1-6 p.m.
Named for the Mid City neighborhood bordered north and south by Government Street and North Boulevard, east and west by Baton Rouge Magnet High School and Acadian Thruway, the festival features more than 100 artists, 24 musical and spoken-word performances and 13 food vendors.
Postponing the Prowl, a production of the Ogden Park Civic Association, was a difficult decision, says Barrington Neil, chair of the festival’s organizing committee.
“Because we knew this was going to be the biggest and the best yet,” Neil says. “So, we are hoping that this new date will still be the biggest and the best.”
Even without a hurricane threat—current weather predictions for Saturday are partly sunny with a high of 74 degrees—setting a date for the Prowl is always a challenge. And with this rescheduled date, the festival moves into the holiday season.
“The vendors are hoping folks will show up in the Christmas shopping mood,” Neil says. “And the homeowners are decorating for Christmas early. That will be part of the event’s festive nature.”
If the Prowl is successful this weekend, organizers may stage the festival in early December again next year.
“If everybody shows up on the first Saturday in December, we may decide that is the perfect weekend for the event,” Neil says.
Many volunteers make the Ogden Park Prowl possible, Neil says. “Putting the whole thing together is a logistical feat. It gets a little easier each year, but it still requires a sizable group of folks who dedicate the entire year to making it work smoothly.”
The large number of artists living in Ogden Park inspired the festival, now in its fifth year.
“The original idea was to have these artists open their home studios and maybe sell some of their work,” Neil says. “A little neighborhood open house. That first year, it got beyond that. We invited people who didn’t live in neighborhood to show their work. From there, more people wanted to be part of it and it got bigger every year.”
Check out Ogden Park Prowl’s Facebook page for more information.