In 2017, the pages of the St. Francisville Democrat and Watchman were filled with stories of life in the Felicianas.

We've pulled together a recap of the year as seen through our favorite stories. Here's a rundown of happenings from July to December.


West Feliciana Sports Park hosted the second annual Big Chill to celebrate Independence Day. The event featured mounds of fake snow and a fireworks show.

At their July meeting, the St. Francisville Board of Aldermen honored longtime Council on Aging director Patricia Harris Gilmore, who died in June. 

A July 20 story highlighted Rylee Jo Maryman's world championship win at the National Little Britches rodeo Association's Finals Rodeo.

Helen Whitfield was sworn in during July as District 3 West Feliciana Parish School Board member. She was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards after the board deadlocked in June.


Work began in August on a project to beautify La. 10 in the old downtown section of Clinton and make it easy for large trucks to navigate the area.

The American Duchess, a new paddle-wheel riverboat, made its first stop in St. Francisville on Aug. 17 with crew and local officials celebrating with a brief ceremony and tour. 

The 2017 football season was a lively one, with the game between West and East Feliciana high schools at the beginning of the season serving as one of the highlights for many Feliciana residents. Photographer Jill Moore photographed the game and provided some nice shots of Friday night lights in the Felicianas.


The 17th annual Hummingbird Festival was held Sept. 9 at the National Wildbird Refuge, on the Tunica Trace, and at the home of artist Murrell Butler, in Bains.


Paperwork held up the opening of the new West Feliciana Hospital, but the $28 million hospital finally opened in October. 

Funding for the two parish Audubon Regional Library's operations was assured for another 10 years following a light turnout of voters in an October special election. Voters approved a 2.5 mill property tax renewal.

Construction on a strip mall on U.S. 61 was stopped in October as the developer and the St. Francisville Architectural Review Board argued over bids for a rooftop parapet.


After announcing in October that she was resigning, East Feliciana Parish manager Sonya J. Crowe decided in November not to leave her post. Crowe had announced her intention to leave for a post with the West Feliciana Parish government.

In November, the West Feliciana Parish School Board took steps to help an alumni association seek federal funds to rehabilitate the parish's first school offering high school classes to black students. The School Board agreed to donate land and a building to the John Dawson Alumni Association and Foundation. The foundation hopes to renovate the building as a community center.


St. Francisville celebrated the beginning of the holiday season with its annual Christmas in the Country celebration.

The Felicianas experienced a rare snowfall on Dec. 8. Several readers submitted photos of the occasion.

The West Feliciana High School football team won its first state championship with a 40-21 win over Richwood.