City-Parish President Joey Durel announced Friday that a gala will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, on the Horse Farm grounds to raise $500,000 as a lead gift to the Community Foundation of Acadiana to begin fundraising for development of the property into a public park. Tickets for the gala (attire is dressy casual with, of course, grass-appropriate footwear) are $1,000 per couple and can be purchased here
The following Saturday, Oct. 27, the Horse Farm will be open to the public for free. The goal of the Saturday event is to raise community awareness for the Horse Farm and to highlight the level of community support needed to turn it into a passive public space. The theme of Saturday’s event, Howdy to the Horse Farm, will be for all Lafayette residents to bring their families and cameras to capture for future generations what the Horse Farm looked like before its development.
“The events in October are about bringing the community together to help us imagine the future of the Horse Farm," Durel said in announcing the events. "The community rallied together to save the Horse Farm. We are going to have to rally again — this time to create the park we all want to see. I felt it was important as the mayor to take a leadership role in beginning the fundraising process."
Durel and LCG officials are currently negotiating the cooperative endeavor agreement with the CFA, which is expected to oversee the fundraising and development of the park.
“While we finish the details of our agreement with the CFA, it is critical that we keep the community talking about the importance of this property. These two events will be springboards to help ensure the Community Foundation’s fundraising and development events are successful,” Durel added.
The Horse Farm was purchased by Lafayette Consolidated Government in July following City-Parish Council authorization in June of this year.