The end of the year is a time for reflection and a look back at the events and people who impacted our lives. Let's take a walk down memory lane as we share our favorite stories of the year, the ones that made us think and appreciate life in East and West Feliciana parishes.

It's also a time to thank our readers for sharing these stories with us and encourage those who enjoy this community news section to continue letting us know about interesting happenings in the area.

This week, we'll take a look at the first half of the year.

January

Photographer Frederick Schiele shared his photos from an event on Civil War-era firepower during a demonstration at Port Hudson State Historic Site.

Writer Frances Y. Spencer stopped by the Feliciana Livestock Show in January and shared a story on students who exhibit livestock.

February

In February, photographer Bill Feig attended the South Central Livestock Show in Gonzales and meet livestock exhibitor from East and West Feliciana. These young people spend countless hours working with their animals before the annual livestock shows.

Everyone loves to see photos of cute children, and the Quad Area Head Start center has provided us great ones throughout the year. One of our favorites is a photo of the Valentine's Day celebration at the center.

Spencer visited The Myrtles Plantation in February to talk with Morgan Moss, who was honored for his work promoting The Myrtles as a tourist destination.

March

Mardi Gras isn't only celebrated in New Orleans. Several area small towns host Mardi Gras events, including the Feliciana Family and Friends parade in Clinton and the Wilson parade.

One of the more touching stories this year was turned in by writer Frances Y. Spencer. She shared the story of the Born with Angels Wings organization, which hand-makes items, such as burial gowns made from old wedding dresses, after the death of a child. 

April

Feliciana residents celebrated Easter with a sunrise service at Hemingbough. More than 700 people attended the service.

May

Every now and then you get to be part of a story that pulls at your heartstrings and leaves you feeling better about our future. That's what happened when 8-year-old Myla Guerra wrote a letter to The Advocate, the publishers of The Democat and Watchman, about her plans to plant an apple tree. Photographer Jill Moore visited Myla and her family in St. Francisville to document the tree-planting.

June

As summer approached, The St. Francisville Chief of Police Scott Ford encouraged residents to get involved in fighting blight. 

Multiple town ordinances address blight, Ford said, and as the code enforcement officer, his role is to maintain the town’s rules to keep St. Francisville clean.

Ford said the town takes a two-prong approach to addressing anything deemed unsightly: Each morning, the maintenance department deploys a crew of about 12 people to collect litter and sweep away piles of dirt or garbage. Then, the police department handles the removal of larger structures, such as broken-down cars or rusted appliances.

Mayor Billy D’Aquilla added that a town employee drives around in a golf cart on litter patrol, while others collect yard waste, both on a daily basis. Ford said he wants "a pretty town."