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. Bring the entire family to Covington to experience the magic with Deck the Rails at Covington Trailhead or strolling around the historic district to find each of the 12 Days of Christmas lighted displays, to Mandeville's Tammany Trace Trailhead & Kids Konnection Playground for the Holiday of Lights displays and performances, to Slidell's Bayou Christmas in Heritage Park (including a free holiday movie during one night of the festival), and to Madisonville for Twinkle on the Tchefuncte. You'll also find lots of family fun as you dress up as a reindeer or elf to strut down the streets of Olde Towne Slidell for the annual lighting of the Christmas tree and Christmas Under the Stars. For a holiday light extravaganza, check out Deck the Park with Pyrotechnics.
When it's the time of year to shop 'til you drop, 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. Head to Olde Towne Slidell for the Olde Towne Crawl: Christmas in Olde Towne block party. In Covington, check out the St. Tammany's Holiday Festival of Arts or Christmas in the Country, and in Mandeville to Get Wrapped Up in Mandeville. See more shopping events in our event calendar.
From live performances to caroling, the Northshore has all the sweet sounds of holiday music. Pontchartrain Vineyards heralds in the festivities with its annual Holiday in the Vines concert at the end of November. In December, The historic Dew Drop Jazz & Social Hall and St. Timothy on the Northshore UMC in Mandeville host an annual show-stopping holiday musical performance that's not to be missed. The LPO is well represented on the Northshore as it delights with performances both secular and spiritual at Yuletide Celebration with the LPO, a fun, classic Slidell tradition at Slidell Auditorium, LPO's Baroque Christmas at First Baptist Church of Covington, and A Christmas Brass Spectacular at Covington's historic Christ Episcopal Church. The cities of Covington and Mandeville host holiday caroling events for all ages with Candlelight Caroling at Covington Trailhead and Caroling at the Trailhead by the Jane Austen Foundation, and Southern Hotel features live jazz music the Sunroom and children's caroling in the courtyard. And, come to listen or join in the singing at the Northlake Performing Arts Society's Glory and Light concerts in Slidell and Mandeville.
Photo courtesy: @mslexi
Louisiana’s annual three-day arts and crafts festival returns to the St. Tammany Fairgrounds in Covington the first week in December with Steinhauer Productions' Christmas Extravaganza Arts and Crafts Expo. Over 500 uniquely creative artists and craftspersons from a multi-state radius journey to the Northshore and exhibit every style of art you can imagine. Twenty mouth-watering food booths, live music, and kids' rides, too.
The Northshore's prolific arts scene gives ample opportunity to find one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts for that special someone. Check out the Olde Towne Slidell Christmas Market, Mandeville Trailhead's Evening Holiday Market, the Covington Art Market, and the Abita Brewery's Fall Craft Market.
The Northshore has several fun holiday parades, and boy, does Santa know how to make a grand entrance. The jolly old elf arrives by boat at the Winter on the Water parade in Mandeville and Merry Madisonville in Madisonville, via horse and buggy at the Folsom Horse & Wagon Christmas Parade, Lacombe's Christmas Celebration and Slidell's inaugural Olde Towne Slidell Community Christmas Parade.
Spend your Saturday waxing nostalgic through the charming streets of Old Mandeville on Lake Pontchartrain with the annual Christmas Past Festival. Enjoy an old-time holiday atmosphere with arts and crafts, jewelry vendors, food and beverage booths, a Children's Village, train rides, pet adoptions, and of course, Santa. Local musicians and strolling costumed characters will be delighting guests with cheerful charm for the entire family.
Settle in for a show; the Northshore has numerous theaters throughout the parish that create a spectacular experience for all. Talented local performers present a broad spectrum of well-loved Christmas classics and new debuts for the whole family to enjoy.
Check out Playmakers Theater, Slidell Little Theatre, Cutting Edge Theater, 30 by Ninety Theatre and Cafe Luke Dinner Theatre for their holiday show schedules. If you love joining in the holiday fun, you can play trivia and other games for prizes at Covington's Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night! at Fuhrmann Auditorium. Also at the Fuhrmann is A Joyful Noise unto the Lord, a dance program that has been performed in Covington every year since 1966, and a special performance of Irish dance and traditional noels by the Celtic Angels and Celtic Knight Dancers. And, if it's just not Christmas until sugar plum fairies are dancing in your head, be sure to catch The Nutcracker by Ballet Apetrei, the Northshore’s own resident ballet company.
Photo courtesy: Ballet Apetrei
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 during photos with Santa, and listen to Christmas classics at some of our favorite spots. The English Team Room is partnering with the St. Tammany Art Association to host a Nutcracker Tea Party for all ages. Santa's dining on the Mandeville Lakefront for brunch at The Lakehouse, a holiday feast as you dine at Breakfast with Santa. If Santa's not your guy, we know the Grinch is. Join Meribo Pizza with the Grinch and his favorite little girl, Cindy Lou Who, for a day of Grinch Mas fun. Book early for these events, because these fill up fast!
Photo courtesy: The Southern Hotel
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 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, warm cider and signature spirits from our local shopkeepers. Don't miss Das Schulerhaus on Girod Street for a wunderland of Christmas shopping.
Santa can be seen all over the Northshore during the Holiday season, including Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, with story readings and hot chocolate at the Cajun Christmas at Big Branch. Those looking for live nativities will find them at Mandeville's First Baptist Church and at St. Timothy's on the Northshore United Methodist Church. Check out our entire event calendar for more events and ways to celebrate this festive season.