Community leaders are pulling together what’s being called a “gathering for healing” Thursday in the wake of last week’s theater shootings.
The specifics were still being worked out late Tuesday, but the event — “Lafayette Strong: United. Honor. Heal” — is scheduled to run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Blackham Coliseum on Johnston Street. Doors open at 6 p.m.
“The idea now is that this is going to be, in many ways, a music service,” said City-Parish Public Works Director Kevin Blanchard, who is helping organize the event.
He said the lineup has yet to be firmed up but several local musicians have volunteered their services.
Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft will publicly recognize first responders, Blanchard said, and family members of the two women killed in the shooting. Survivors have been invited to play a role.
The schedule and format are still a work in progress, he said.
“The way this event has come together so quickly and so collectively is just another example of Lafayette and Acadiana’s culture that has been seen across the nation, and even the world, over these last several days,” City-Parish President Joey Durel said in a statement announcing the event. “… Our community is strong. This ceremony will be a useful step in our community’s necessary healing process.”
Overflow parking for the Thursday gathering will be available along St. Landry Street at the former site of Our Lady of Lourdes. Shuttle service will be provided to and from Blackham Coliseum.
In an event planned to complement the Thursday ceremony, more than 35 area churches will come together for a citywide prayer service at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Crossroads Church on Verona Drive in Lafayette.
The service is open to the public.