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City Council Approves Name Change Of West Prien Lake Road To Contraband Parkway

Congress Works Towards Passing Temporary Extension Of Transportation Bill
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

I heard the news about the City Council approving the name change of West Prien Lake Road to Contraband Parkway. I couldn’t believe that this was actually a thing. The name Contraband does not set well with the patrons here in Lake Charles. The name is attached to a festival here in the city that offers music, food and generally fun for the family.

However the event which is known as Contraband Days is held annually in the area and has had a cloud over it for several decades since the beginning of the event. When I first moved to Lake Charles, I actually went on several occasions as I was new to the area and didn’t really know the background of the event. The story is related to Jean Lafitte who is known for transporting slaves known as contraband illegally. So you may wonder why would they consistently utilize a name that many especially the African American population has an issue with.

The new Contraband Parkway will be from the Holly Hills intersection to Nelson Road. Many including myself are curious as to why they would use the name Contraband, There are several names that it could have been, honestly why change it at all. The answer served from the 6 to 1 vote is because the area has been known to natives here as Contraband Bayou. There is one person who was opposed to the vote and that was City Council woman Mary Morris. I hope that we can get her in the studio to talk more about it as this issue will not go away. As long as I have lived here, Prien Lake Road is something I have known and was familiar with. What is your take on this and are there names that you would have preferred if any at all.

Next: Find out a little bit more about the problem with Contraband Days

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