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St Tammany Major Annual Events
Fairs & Festivals on Louisiana's 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 St Tammany Calendar of Events and search by month.
January – February is carnival season 2015, and the Northshore's Mardi Gras celebrations are quirky, unforgettable, and full of positive energy. Krewe of Mardi Paws. Krewe of Bilge. Krewe of Push Mow (yes we mean lawnmowers!). Or, we’ve got traditional parades like the Krewes of Olympia and Dionysis. Whether we’re parading our poodles, vessels, or lawnmowers, the Krewes of the Northshore will shower you with beads and trinkets. If small town, safe family celebrations are what you’re after, St. Tammany Parish will definitely fill your bag. And, we’re only 40 minutes from the French Quarter with affordable accommodations. View more information about Northshore Mardi Gras here.
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.
Held under starry skies at the beautiful Bogue Falaya Park in Covington, Chef Soiree showcases all aspects of the culinary scene of St. Tammany and offers tastings of Louisiana specialties and signature offerings from more than ninety chefs, restaurants, breweries, wineries and catering companies. Benefits the Youth Service Bureau. http://chefsoiree.com/
The 4-day food and wine event in historic Covington includes Vintner's Dinners at top local restaurants with wine pairings, the Grand Tasting at Acquistapace's Wine Cellar, Festa del Vino wine tasting at the Southern Hotel, Spring for Art and a Sunday champagne jazz brunch. Tickets presold.www.atasteofcovington.com.
Held in Slidell's at Fritchie Park each April, the crawfish is hot and so is the music. Eat all the crawfish you can from 60 competing teams and listen to multiple music acts. Also features a Kids Zone with activities for the little ones. Benefits Hospice Foundation of the South. http://www.hospicefoundationofthesouth.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.
Annual free festival in May on the banks of the Tchefuncte River. Teams of 20 travel from all over to compete in the Dragon Boat Races. Competitors paddle in time to a drummer's beat in elaborately decorated boats. www.gwndragonboat.com.
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.
Crabbing on Lake Road for Lake Pontchartrain blue crabs is a popular pastime in Lacombe, and this festival in June honors both local culture and the crab's succulent, sweet meat. Children's activities, arts, crafts, rockin' live music, and plenty of boiled crabs and other Louisiana specialties can be found under the moss-laden oaks at John Davis Park in Lacombe.
A celebration of southern Louisiana favorites – the great outdoors, live music and the Gulf Coast's best seafood. Held each June in Heritage Park in Slidell
, the cook-off features thousands of crabs prepared a variety of ways, including soft-shell crab po-boys. 985-867-9490, www.sttammanycrabfestival.com.
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.
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.
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. In 2014 the dates are Nov 15 & 16. Come see arts and fine crafts demonstrations. Listen to music and eat delicious food. There are lots of activities just for kids. 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.
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Read short posts about St. Tammany events and attractions on our blog, The Dish.