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Lafayette Day to be celebrated next week

American Revolutionary Marquis de Lafayette would be 261-years-old on Sept. 6, and to celebrate, the Lafayette Alliance has focused that weekend on him. From a wreathe laying, a birthday dinner and art exhibitions, the Lafayette Alliance has tied in its events with the LaGrange International Friendship Exchange festival’s weekend.

LaGrange was named after Lafayette’s wife’s family estate, Chateau de la Grange, in France. When Lafayette traveled around the United States for a grand tour in 1825, he remarked that western Georgia reminded him of his wife’s estate, and Troup County residents decided to name the city after it.

Richard Ingram, president of the Lafayette Alliance, said because Sept. 6 is declared Lafayette Day in Georgia, they will start the day with a wreath laying ceremony at the square at 10 a.m. Ingram said they have invited the French consul from Atlanta, and, a community fife and drum band will play. 

“The preface is that for the first time, the state of Georgia has a Lafayette Day and by proclamation from the senate, the house and from the governor,” Ingram said. 

There will be a birthday dinner at 6 p.m. that night at Del’avant, which will feature a Thomas Jefferson impersonator and French inspired dishes. 

“Lafayette was unable to come and sent his regards, but he suggested that his good friend could come in his place instead, and that would be Thomas Jefferson,” Ingram said.

The dinner will also include a Lafayette exhibition and the Peachtree Jazz Edition will perform. 

Jefferson will tell guests about his experiences with Lafayette, and there will also be at a Ciao Vino wine tasting event at Del’avant on Sept. 7.

Tying in with the LIFE festival, the student art show on Sept. 7 at the Cochran Gallery is Lafayette-themed, according to Lafayette Alliance member Shannon Gavin Johnson. 

“This is all about telling the story. Our outlook and philosophy on this are that we are defined by the stories we tell and that story is a story about purpose, hope, courage, character and resilience,” Ingram said.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, after the LIFE festival, the LaGrange Art Museum will exhibit works by Frenchman Eugène Carrière on its second floor.

Ingram said the weekend is all about wanting to tell Lafayette’s story and how he helped the United States.

“It needs to be told over and over again and in 1,000 different ways,” Ingram said. 

“That whole story — it’s a way of thinking. It’s a whole way of looking at the world. It’s about attitude and behavior and all in a good way.”

For more information about the Lafayette birthday dinner, call (706) 884-1828. For more information on the Ciao Vino wine tasting, visit, Ciaovinolagrange.com.