Best Attractions and Business in Alexandria, Central Louisiana
Red River Amphitheatre
Alexandria Region of Louisiana
The eight parishes (counties) of this region of Louisiana include Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn Parish. In addition, the Alexandria-Pineville statistical area in central to the region and to Rapides Parish is the hub for Services and Retail Business in Central Louisiana.
France had owned the area around Rapides Parish and the Red River until 1769, when she deeded the land to Spain. A trading post was established and saw commerce with Spain, France, England, USA, and Native America. France took over the land again in 1800 and sold it to the US in 1803. The area has been prosperous in logging and trapping, as well as agriculture and industry in the past.
In the 21st century, Downtown Alexandria itself has been undergoing massive Urban Revitalization toward greener industries and business, creating abundant job openings,and attracting new residents from in and out of the state. Located in the center of Louisiana, Alexandria is a short distance form each of the other seven regions and their unique and occasionally overlapping cultures, histories, cuisines & festivals and other events.
Historically, many Alexandria city streets are names of well known World War II figures.
Alexandria in Central Louisiana
Top 10 High Demand Jobs
- Sales Representatives for Whsle, Mfg, Technical and Scientific Products
- Mechanics for Farm Equipment and Industrial Machinery
- Paralegals & Legal Assistants
- Surveying/Mapping Technicians
- Urban/Regional Planners
- Construction/Building Inspectors
- Home Health Aides (HHAs)
- Legal Secretaries
- Non-farm Animal Caretakers - e.g. pet shops workers, groomers, pet sitting service workers, dog breeders, some zoo workers (see bottom of Hub page), animal trainers for circuses or films and TV, and other positions.
Largest Area Employers
- Rapides Regional Medical Center- This large medical center continues to expand and create new Medical and Healthcare related job openings. This creation is boosted by an entire page full of special incentives for NURSING (see Incentives). I find that Job Listings at this medical center in "nursing" categories do not include a specific number to be hired and that hiring is ongoing. The average Emergency Room waiting time for service in this medical center has been measured as only 24 minutes, on average.
- CLECO - Electricity utility
- Louisiana State University at Alexandria
- Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital
- England Airpark
- US Military: Camp Beauregard -- Officer Candidate School and Urban Assault Course.
- International Paper
Rapides Regional Medical Center
Additional Fast Growing Occupations
- Tax Preparers
- Medical Assistants and Dental Hygienists
- Aircraft Mechanics & Service Techs
- Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators (IT)
- Advertising/Promotions Managers
- Mainstream Preschool Teachers
- Civil Engineers
- Architectural and Civil Drafters
Local Higher Education
- Louisiana State University at Alexandria
- Louisiana College - Pineville Area: Southern Baptist-affiliated. New programs in place for:
- Respiratory Therapists
- Physical Therapy Assistants
- Medical Technicians
- Radiology Technologists and Technicians
- Louisiana Technical College at Alexandria
- Northwestern State University - Natchitoches, Louisiana
- Alexandria Aces - Baseball/United Baseball League.
- Bringhurst Park - Ballpark for the Aces, Alexandria Zoo, golf course, tennis, play area.
- Indian Creek Lake and Recreation Area
- Kincaid Lake Recreation Area
- Kisatchie National Forest
- Louisiana Nursery Festival
- Valentine Lake Recreation Area
- Wild Azalea National Recreation Trail
Lousiana History Museum
This museum hosts a large permanent exhibit concerning the local Native Americans residing in the state, especially those historically located in Alexandria and Central Louisiana.
The web site Alexandria Retrospective presents a timeline for the history of Alexandria, up through its present revitalization and expansion with sister city Pineville. This site includes photos and descriptions of historic and popular landmarks around the Alexandria-Pineville area, Classified Ads from the 1950s, historic postcards, residents photo albums of special events, ans a World War 2 matchbook cover slide presentation that is very interesting - a layout about the old Bentley Hotel.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower took over The Bentley in WWII as Officers' Quarters for Himself and Generals Clark and Patton during the Louisiana Maneuvers. This is a reason that so many streets are named after WWII luminaries. These include Admiral Halsey, General MacArthur, and General Clark.
Louisiana History Museum
Louisiana History Museum
All About Creole
The Diocese of Alexandria reports through its long-term records that the nature of the population of the Alexandria - Pineville region hase been a rich tapestry of diverse threads. Some of these peoples include the French, Acadians, modern Cajun, Spanish, British, Czech, Polish, African, African-American, Creole, and Native American. These are all seen in Mardi Gras and Riverfest celebrations.
The Diocese began as the Diocese of Natchitoches, 7/29/1853 and transferred 57 years later to Alexandria 8/06/1910. The Bishop Martin Historical Museum is located at 2nd & Church Streets in historic central city Natchitoches.
A newer local festival initiated to celebrate all that is in Central Louisiana is called Cenlabration (Central Louisiana Celebration), held during Labor Day Weekend.
Bayous Presented in Alexandria Zoo Habitat
The animal exhibits at the Alexandria Zoo began in 1926 with pets that owners simply no longer wanted. Some werer thrown out by the side of the road.
The zoo limped along with dogs, goats, rabbits, and perhaps a monkey and a bison until the 1970s when a Zoo Keeper was finally hired by the city. The first Zoo Supervisor, Robert Leslie Whitt, was hired in 1974 and served until his death on August 16, 2008 just 6 days short of this 57th birthday, but after 14 successful years as a heart transplant recipient.
During Supervisor Whitt's zoo tenure, hundreds of exhibits and animals arrived at the zoo, along with a permanent Vietnam War Memorial. Workforce development program participants in the city helped to remodel and reconstruct old exhibits. As of 2008, this zoological park had become a world class installation praised by the renowned Jungle Jack Hanna and fully accredited by the AZA certification agency for zoos.
The people and animals of Alexandria miss Les Whitt very much, but the zoo remains a major attraction in his honor. It attracts visitors and new residents and its ongoing expansion is likely to create additional jobs within the organization and among adjacent businesses in the Retail, Hospitality, and Entertainment Industries.
The Alexandria Zoo has been designated as the Top Family Friendly, Educational, and Tourist attraction in all of Central Louisiana. It contains a large horticultural collection as well as animals, with its own bamboo grove; and is one of only 27 zoos globally to have Indo-Chinese tigers. Visitors rates are extremely low and one can join the Friends of the Zoo group for free.
This single attraction helps to make Central Louisiana a great place for Young Professionals to start families and pursue career advancement, although many Retirement Workers find happiness there, along with Mid-Careerists.