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Major Annual Events
Fairs & Festivals on the Northshore
Here's just a sampling of the fairs and festivals on the Northshore. For a complete list of the many events that infuse St. Tammany Parish with its joie de vivre, click on Calendar of Events to search by month.
In January and February, St. Tammany celebrates the carnival season with many family-friendly parades that include decorative floats and costumed riders showering crowds with beads and trinkets. St. Tammany also adds a twist to the carnival season with two boat parades on the water: The Krewe of Bilge in Slidell and the Krewe of Tchefuncte in Madisonville. Krewe of Bilge 985-641-9482 / www.kreweofbilge.com, Krewe of Tchefuncte, 504-343-2486. A great list of all regional parades with dates and routes can be found at www.mardigrasparadeschedule.com.
Live from the Abita Springs Town Hall, the Opry, whose mission is to preserve and present Louisiana Roots music, features old-time country, bluegrass and gospel performed on the original acoustic instruments, such as the banjo, mandolin, string bass, accordion, acoustic guitar and fiddle. The show is broadcast live on local television and radio stations monthly in the spring and fall. 985-892-0711, www.abitaopry.org.
Visitors crowd the streets of Slidell's historic "Olde Towne" each spring and fall searching for antiques, china and vintage collectibles. Hundreds of antiques dealers and interior design specialists from around the country set up their wares in the streets of Olde Towne. 985-641-6316, www.slidellantiques.com.
Louisiana's birding festival attracts wildlife enthusiasts from all over the country. Held in April, the festival features birding field trips and photography workshops guided by local experts to locations throughout St. Tammany Parish. 985-626-1238, www.northlakenature.org.
Outdoor concert series offering a variety of musical styles from jazz, swing and bluegrass. Bring your blanket, lawn chair, umbrella, flashlight, picnic fare and thirst for wine and enjoy music under the stars. May to October. 985-892-9742, www.pontchartrainvineyards.com.
A celebration of southern Louisiana favorites – the great outdoors, live music and the Gulf Coast's best seafood. Held each June under the moss-laden live oaks of John Davis Park, the cook-off features thousands of crabs prepared a variety of ways, including soft-shell crab po-boys. 985-867-9490, www.lacombecrabfest.org.
A summertime treat for bicycle enthusiasts in June. Includes antique bicycle exhibits, bicycle flea market, St. Tammany Trace cruise, a log pull, unique bike contest, FAT tire clinic, prizes, high-wheeler demonstration and more. 985-892-2624, www.labicyclefestival.com.
This popular festival celebrated over the 4th of July weekend has a new organizer and name as of 2013, but will still feature seafood and alternative dishes, live music, arts and craft booths, and a children's entertainment area, as well as a nightly fireworks show. 985-966-4623, mandevillecityseafoodfest.com.
Good old-fashioned family fun for the Fourth of July in Olde Towne. Featuring great Louisiana cuisine, drinks, foot-stomping music and children's events. Don't miss the fireworks over Bayou Bonfouca. 985-643-1234, www.slidellheritagefest.org.
Celebrate the outdoors and the great fishing in St. Tammany Parish at REDFISHTIVAL! An outdoor show for enthusiasts at the Northshore Harbor Center, with seminars, seafood, vendors, and live music will kick-off the weekend celebration, which culminates in the highlight - the live weigh-ins from the HT Pro Redfish Series Finale. 985-892-0520,www.FishtheNorthshore.com.
Hundreds of wooden boats line the shore of the Tchefuncte River each October for the largest gathering of watercraft on the Gulf Coast. Activities and live music entertain the crowds, including the Quick & Dirty Boat Building Contest and Race. 985-845-9200, www.woodenboatfest.org.
This juried arts festival held in November in Historic Downtown Covington attracts a talented group of artists and fine craftsmen from around the country. With more than 150 exhibiting artists, art lovers can choose from a wide selection in various media. 985-327-9797, www.threeriversartfestival.com.
Arts Evening, held in November in Olde Towne Slidell and one of the largest cultural events on the Northshore, is a celebration of visual and performing arts, dance and music showcasing the works of more than 100 local artists. Enjoy antiques shopping and dining, as well. 985-646-4375, www.slidell.la.us.
A spectacular two-weekend event in December, Christmas Under the Stars features unique holiday experiences throughout the Olde Towne area. Slidell's Heritage Park is transformed into a winter wonderland of holiday lights, decorated trees and gingerbread houses, with live entertainment including an opening night performance of The Nutcracker, live music, storytelling, community caroling and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus. A magical miniature train village can also be found at nearby Slidell City Hall. 985-646-4375, www.slidell.la.us.
Opening ceremonies begin with a fireworks display, rides, thousands of lights and a visit from Santa. Enjoy live entertainment, music and choral groups singing your favorite holiday carols. View the spectacular light display on the Tammany Trace throughout the month of December. 985-867-9490, www.tammanytrace.org.
This annual celebration on Lake Pontchartrain is a great way to explore Mandeville for the holidays. Throughout December enjoy a boat parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus, the stunning illumination of Lakeshore Drive, boat show finale and contest, horse-and-buggy rides at the Mandeville Trailhead and a Christmas tour of homes on Lakeshore Drive. 985-624-3147, www.cityofmandeville.com.