Algiers Economic Development recently held its annual Algiers Point Bonfire and Concert on the Riverfront at Algiers Point Ferry Landing. The theme was “A Riverfront Holiday Celebration.”

The music was provided by Romy Kay and the Mercy Buckets and DJ Rik Ducci.

There were a variety of food trucks that served barbecue, hamburgers and pizza. The kids had fun playing in the bounce houses and having their faces painted.

“We were visiting our daughter who attends Xavier University and decided to come enjoy the bonfire and music,” said Greg and Jackie Owens, of Jackson, Mississippi.

Lucky Roger and Jan Johnson, of Lafitte, said they were riding their bikes on the levee and decided to stay for the concert and bonfire.

“The Algiers bonfire represents the Great Fire of 1895 in Algiers Point, which destroyed 200 homes,” said Fay Faron, founder of Friends of the Ferry and the ferry godmother.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority extended the Algiers-Canal Street ferry hours to 9:45 p.m. to accommodate the crowds at the annual bonfire.

“The turnout is terrific! Last year, it was extremely cold,” Faron said.

She said it takes a couple of months to put the bonfire and concert together. The firemen built the bonfire; the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office donated their time; and Dash Lumber and Supply contributed the lumber for the bonfire structure.

At 7:45 p.m., the Diablo’s Horns band led the second-line to the bonfire as the crowds lined up against the barricades to watch the structure, built to resemble gift boxes, become engulfed in flames.

Embers from the bonfire lit up the events. Due to the threat of high wind, New Orleans Fire Chief Timothy McConnell warned the crowd that firefighters might have to put out the bonfire.

Derrick Martin, executive director of Algiers Economic Development Foundation, said organizers planned for a turnout of about 2,000 for the event.

“This is a great opportunity for the community to come together. This is put together through the efforts of local businesses, such as First NBC Bank. Ashton Ryan and his entire team has personally seen to it that we continue to move this through personal investment. They are our lead sponsor and Southern Eagle continues to do great things in our community,” Martin said.

Two years ago, the group decided to use food trucks for the event, only because it was easier for them to manage. “We invite the local restaurants who do not have food trucks to set up during the eight-week concert series ‘Wednesdays on the Point,’ ” he said.

Martin said AEDF signature events are “Wednesdays on the Point” and the Algiers Point Bonfire and Concert. The proceeds raised go directly to drive investments in the community.

“We are very appreciative of First NBC Bank President Ashton J. Ryan Jr. who was the major sponsor of the bonfire,” said state Rep. Jeff Arnold, chairman of the Algiers Development District.

Yetoria Lumpkin DeShazier writes about the people and events in Algiers and the West Bank. Contact her at ydeshazier@gmail.com or call (504) 367-0905.