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Hidden park in Abbeville now open

Posted: 12:39 AM, Jun 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-02 01:55:21-04

Abbeville’s newest hidden gem is now open to the public.

Lafitte Drive-In Park, named after its original use, will be an excitement for many.

“My oldest sister used to bring us out, and we’d sit in the car and watch the movies. I really enjoyed it,” Vanessa Gilbert said as she checked out the new park.

She’s excited to share the memories with her grandchildren.

“[My grandchildren] say, ‘You could drive in your car and come watch a movie?’ and I’m like, ‘Yes!'” Gilbert says she plans on taking her grandchildren and dogs to the park every weekend.

Councilman Francis Plaisance, who spearheaded the park’s opening, says he hopes they will have movie nights in the park.

“We are talking about having a big screen out here sometimes for movies. I also hope we’ll have a springtime festival here.”

The park features the first dog park in Abbeville.

“Not many parks allow dogs, so that’s good. I have two that I’ll bring out and let run,” Gilbert said.

Plaisance was very excited to see dogs check out the new territory.

“We have our first dog park, and the first dog that came out, ran and ran. In fact, she got so worn out, she had to leave,” Plaisance said.

As of now, the dog park is one area but will have a separate space for small dogs.

The councilman has been working to get the park open for five years. He says it is not yet finished.

“We asked for a grant for $400,000 from the state for a fishing pier, canoe launch, and a walking trail, but that was recently denied, so we are looking for private partnerships to get that accomplished.”

Located off of South John Hardy Drive near Charity Street, the park features a large pond. It also features over 40 acres of open land. The park is currently open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. Fishing is not yet allowed in the pond.