Merchant & Farmers Bank hosted a '60s themed open house to celebrate 50 years at its location at 501 South 5th Street in Leesville.

Employees dressed up in 1960s attire and welcomed customers and community members with a chance to win prizes, eat cake, and celebrate with the bank.

"Next year, we will be celebrating our 90th year and this is the 50th year of this office building on 5th Street," Marketing Director Wendy Lentz said. "Since it was in 1967, our ad agency came up with the idea of a '60s party and it just went from there.

"Everybody has had a good time, and the attendance was shocking to me. When you have something like this, you usually don't have a big turn out. We've had an outpouring of people commemorating the 50th year."

Ken Hughes, the president and CEO of Merchant & Farmers Bank, has been with the bank for 45 years, starting as a check filer in high school.

"I think we're all amazed that it's been 50 years that we've been in this building and how quick the time has gone," Hughes said. "It's just amazed us. It's nice to reflect on the coworkers that we've had over the 50 years that are with us or no longer with us. It's nice to think about the days in the late 1960s where it was a much simpler time, but how nice it is to have computers and not have to do all the manual work that we used to do."

With having a local bank in Leesville for almost 90 years, Hughes has seen, first-hand, the benefits of supporting a hometown bank.

"The benefit of having a hometown bank is that we employ more people than your out-of-town banks do, because out-of-town banks use these as branch locations," he said. "We have all of our back office people here. Probably the biggest reason is because we invest in the community. We buy the municipal bonds that pave the roads and build the schools here. We buy the scoreboards at the high schools stadiums. We support everything local."