Mayor Piazza will be crowned at the festival’s annual banguet to be held at St. Theresa Family Life Center on the evening of October 7, 2010, and participate in the festival’s activities October 8-10.
Banquet tickets are available at the festival office at 2901 Rodeo Rd or by calling (337) 652-0646 In addition, Mayor Piazza will ride in the Grand Parade to be held Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm
Piazza, a lifelong resident of Abbeville, was elected Mayor of his hometown in 2002, the office he currently holds today. After serving 12 years on the Abbeville City Council, Mark’s dreams became a reality when he became Mayor. Combined with his prior years of service on the Municipal Civil Service Board, Mark has dedicated 24 years of public service to his beloved community.
Serving the community has been a large part of Mark’s life, whether he was coaching youth sports or living the political life. Piazza’s commitment has always been to make Abbeville a better place.
During his many years of community service, Piazza has been involved in numerous civic organizations. He is the former president of the Abbeville/Vermilion Chamber of Commerce, the Abbeville Kiwanis Club, the Baton Rouge Office Machine Dealers Association, and the La. Cattle Festival Association.
He also served as Chairman of the Louisiana Energy and Power Authority. His term as president of the LA. Cattle Festival Association was preceded by years on the board of directors, where he served as booth chairman, entertainment chairman, and fais do do chairman.
He has many fond memories of working with the festival and his good friend, Sammy Theriot, the president at that time. Together they were instrumental in bringing in big name talent like Jimy C. Newman and Jim Glasier from Nashville. They also changed the traditional Thursday night fais do do to the current 2 night event .
Mayor Piazza and his administration have accomplished many things during his eight years in office. With the help of his friends on the Abbeville City Council and numerous community volunteers many new events, tourist attractions, and organization and Civic boards have been created.
They include the Day Lily Festival, The Cake and Ice Cream Festival , the Keep Abbeville Beautiful organization, the Cultural Alliance Center, the Abbeville Film and Tourism Commission, the Sam Guarino Blacksmith Shop Museum, the Louisiana Military Hall of Fame Museum, and the Abbeville Parks and Recreation Department. He was also instrumental in starting the Sounds on the Square Thursday Night Concert Series, The Abbeville Aviation Board and the Planning and Zoning . Committee.
Piazza has worked with Keep Abbeville Beautiful was instrumental in eliminating over 600 abandoned vehicles and numerous blighted properties, and creating the Parish Recycling Program. Keep Abbeville Beautiful was recognized statewide for its achievements, and is Mayor Piazza’s most accomplished civic board.
Not all of Mayor Piazza’s accomplishments have been “cake and ice cream.” Mother Nature forced numerous infrastructure improvements to his hurricane beaten community. Being faced with Hurricane Lilly after only three months in office, he went to work rebuilding his city. After 8 years in office, he looks back on the five major hurricanes that directly impacted Abbeville in a 6 year period, forcing him to make infrastructure improvement his top priority. Thanks to the millions of dollars in FEMA assistance, and over five million dollars in state grants, Mark was able to restore Abbeville’s Electrical System, build two new electrical substations, completely renovate the Abbeville Water Plant, build a new “state of the art” police station, resurface miles of city streets, and complete numerous drainage projects and improvements to City water and wastewater systems.
Piazza has made many friends during his years as mayor, including several of the local pastors of Abbeville’s churches. He is a regular participant of the National Day of Prayer and sponsors the yearly Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
Recently, Mark was recognized for his hard work and dedication when he was appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to serve on 2 statewide boards. He now serves on the Governor’s Advisory Board for Coastal Restoration and Protection and the CODOFIL Board of Louisiana. He has also served on the Governmental Relations Committee for the Louisiana Municipal Association and the Center for Planning Excellence Committee to Restore Coastal Louisiana.
When asked “why do you do it? Why do you live to be Mayor of Abbeville?”, he says the answer is simple. “It’s because of my love for the City of Abbeville!”.