It's the time of year to shop 'til you drop, and our Northshore communities host cheerful events to make your excursions festive and memorable. Shop local for unforgettable treasures at December events around St. Tammany, especially during Local Artists Week, December 3-9. Head to Olde Towne Slidell for the Carey Street Crawl block party on December 1. In Covington, check out the St. Tammany's Holiday Festival of Arts or Christmas in the Country, and Mandeville's Maison Lafitte for Flannels, Fur, and Fizz! Holiday Market, all on December 3.
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From live performances to caroling, the Northshore has all the sweet sounds of holiday music. The historic Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall in Mandeville hosts a show-stopping holiday musical performance on Dec.15, with the Peter Harris Trio featuring Germaine Bazzle. Beethoven and Blue Jeans, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's annual Yuletide classic, returns to Slidell on December 2. Enjoy caroling for all ages with Northlake Performing Arts Society's Here We Come A-Caroling, December 8 and 10, and the City of Covington's Caroling at the Covington Trailhead December 14.
Louisiana’s annual three-day arts and crafts festival returns to the St. Tammany Fairgrounds in Covington December 1-3 with Steinhauer Productions' Christmas Extravaganza Arts and Crafts Expo. Over 500 uniquely creative artists and craftspersons from a multi-state radius travel to the Northshore and exhibit every style of art you can imagine. You're sure to find the perfect gift for that special someone at this holiday shopper’s paradise. Twenty mouth-watering food booths, too.
Nothing makes your inner holiday joy shine more than the shimmer of twinkling lights sprinkled along the streets, Tammany Trace trailheads, and parks of St. Tammany Parish. On December 9, bring the entire family to Covington experience the magic with Deck the Rails at Covington Trailhead, and to Slidell evenings from December 14 to 23 to Slidell's Bayou Christmas in Heritage Park. You'll also find lots of family fun over two Fridays and Saturdays, December 1-2 and 8-9, at the 18th Annual Holiday of Lights in Mandeville and Christmas Under the Stars in Slidell.
Photo courtesy The Southern Hotel
Santa’s switching his drink of choice from milk to hot tea this year! Children and parents have multiple opportunities to sip a spot of tea, share their wish lists with Santa, and listen to Christmas classics at some of our favorite retreats including The Southern Hotel on December 10 and several days at The English Team Room in Covington (visit them online for all dates). Book early, because these fill up fast!
Holiday strollers revel in the holiday spirit as they meander through the streets of Old Mandeville at the lakefront town's annual Sips of the Season. The event is held the evening of December 8, and modeled after the German Christkindlmarkt tradition, in which revelers wandered the town squares with mugs of warm, spiced wine called gluhwein. Purchase a mug in advance (they sell out quickly) at participating shops and join in the fun. Shoppers enjoy special sales and warm cider and signature spirits from our local shopkeepers.
The Northshore has several fun holiday parades, and boy, does Santa know how to make a grand entrance. The jolly elf arrives by boat at parades in Mandeville for Winter on the Water December 9, in Madisonville for Merry Madisonville on December 2, and via horse and buggy at the Folsom Horse and Wagon Parade on December 9.
Spend your Saturday waxing nostalgic through the charming streets of Old Mandeville on Lake Pontchartrain with the annual A Christmas Past Festival on December 9 before Winter on the Water. Enjoy an old-time holiday atmosphere with arts and crafts, jewelry vendors, food and beverage booths, a Children's Village, train rides, and pet adoptions, and of course, Santa. Local musician Amanda Shaw will be delighting guests with cheerful charm for the entire family.
Photo courtesy the Slidell Little Theatre
Settle in for a show; the Northshore has numerous theaters throughout the parish that create a spectacular experience for all. Each is hosting special productions this holiday season including Playmakers' Wanted: Santa Claus, December 14-17, 30 by Ninety's Babes in Toyland, the Musical, weekends Dec. 8-17, Sweet Willie's Cotton Club at the Cutting Edge Theater December 16, the Slidell Little Theatre's The Happy Elf, A New Musical by Harry Connick, Jr, weekends December 1-10, and of course, the timeless holiday classic, The Nutcracker, December 16-17. Talented local performers present a broad spectrum of well-loved Christmas classics and new debuts for the whole family to enjoy.
Santa will be seen all over the Northshore during the Holiday season, with story readings and hot chocolate at the Cajun Christmas at Big Branch December 16, and even accompanied by his very own reindeer at Folsom’s ZOO 2 U Petting Zoo Christmas Extravaganza December 3 and 17. There's also a live Nativity, a hayride, bonfire and an opportunity to mingle with many rescued animals at the Holiday Ho Ho Ho Down December 10 in Folsom at Big Sky Ranch. December 8, 9, 10, Mandeville's First Baptist Church hosts A Mandeville Christmas: Live Nativity, ten scenes that depict the life of Jesus Christ from birth, through life, to death and Resurrection.