NEW IBERIA, La. --- Wat Thammarattanaram has been selected as a recipient of the Healthy Communities Grant by
Keep Louisiana Beautiful, the state’s premier anti-litter and community improvement organization.
This year’s grant, in the amount of $8,000 will support the Lao New Year (LNY) Festival Waste Reduction efforts. The LNY Festival planning committee is taking new steps to increase attendance to nearly 6,000 people for its 2020 celebration.
"Last year, seven 30-yard dumpsters were ordered and were filled past capacity with attendance numbering around 3,000 people,"said Phanat Xanamane with the LNY Committee. "If efforts are not taken to reduce waste, we can expect double the amount of trash and doubling the cost of handling the waste. The LNY 2020 committee wants to enact a campaign to effectively reduce waste so that no additional 30-yard dumpster will be needed, keeping the number at seven dumpsters."
The festival committee anticipates nearly 6,000 people at the 2020 LNY festival. Nearly double the people, potentially creating double the amount of trash. The doubling of trash may be circumvented with a multi-language (Lao, English, Vietnamese, Thai, Spanish, French) festival litter and recycling info campaign, recycling receptacles, and a composting trailer provided by Iberia Community Garden.
One of Louisiana's most culturally unique assets, LNY draws crowds by the thousands each year. The Louisiana Lao New Year Festival will take place on April 10-12, 2020, which is the same weekend as Easter, at Wat Thammarattanaram temple (7913 Champa Ave., Broussard). Lanexang Village, a small rural neighborhood of Iberia Parish, turns into a vibrant festival ground with a global reach.
Lao people have a 40-year history in Iberia Parish since the first among them immigrated to Acadiana as refugees from their native Laos. The first generation built an amazing Buddhist temple withholding much of their traditions and customs. The added diversity and cultural richness have been a positive economic and social force in the Southern Louisiana cultural landscape.
About Keep Louisiana Beautiful:
Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Inc. is the state's anti-litter and community improvement organization focused on education, enforcement, awareness and cleanups. Affiliated with Keep America Beautiful, Keep Louisiana Beautiful's mission is to promote personal, corporate and community responsibility for a clean and beautiful Louisiana. With a network of 39 affiliates in communities throughout the state, more than 71,751 volunteers and participants work toward a clean and beautiful Louisiana.