What started as a way to show appreciation to local residents has turned into a three-day festival.
Gretna Days kicks off Friday and offers something for everyone throughout Gretna and beyond.
“I want to encourage people to come out and enjoy the event,” said Brad Stauffer, Gretna Days Foundation president.
Stauffer said the annual festival has something for everyone — from young children to seniors — as a way to bring the whole community together for a shared good time.
“It’s all about the community and people and having fun,” Stauffer said.
While this weekend will be full of events, Stauffer said he recommends attending one or all the social gatherings starting with Friday night’s Gretna Chamber of Commerce Family Kick Off Party that begins at 5 p.m. in North Park.
He said new to the kick off party this year is the mobile gaming unit for the kids.
Stauffer said the unit will have seven high-definition television sets equipped with video games for the younger generation to enjoy.
The party concludes after the fireworks show by Peter’s Pyrotechnics, which will start at 9:45 p.m.
“The firework show is best seen in North Park,” Stauffer said.
Stauffer said Saturday night’s adult-only Dance and Beer Garden in Village Square will also be a big hit.
Sponsored by the Gretna Days Foundation, the dance and beer garden will be open from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
This year’s dance and beer garden features the band Rough Cut!, whom Stauffer said was brought back by popular demand.
This dance and beer garden differs from the traditional street dance, which will be held downtown at the same time.
But the must-attend event, Stauffer said, is Sunday’s Gretna Days Community Picnic. Sponsored by the foundation and chamber, the picnic is one of the oldest activities.
“It’s how it started, it’s the foundation,” he said.
The picnic begins at 11 a.m. with 50-cent rides and games for the kids opening at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served until 1 p.m. and the other festivities will close at 2:30 p.m.
Stauffer said this picnic is what started Gretna Days as a way for the chamber to show its appreciation.
“It’s really a way to thank the community for supporting local businesses,” he said.
He also said the foundation encourages feedback, questions and ideas to improve future Gretna Days.
“We keep looking for new ideas for great things to do,” he said.
To provide feedback, email the foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit the foundations website.