A Slice of St. Tammany: Covington marks bicentennial; Mandeville, Lacombe celebrate seafood

By Karen Baker

Special to The Advocate

Things are heating up as Covington closes in on its 200th birthday. Here is a quick look at big events over the next week or so:

Saturday: Covington will hold its bicentennial parade, starting at the parish courthouse at noon. The parade will wind through downtown Covington and end back at the courthouse. The festivities will also feature a sidewalk sale from noon to 5 p.m.

The fun will continue that evening at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire St. The Hemmings Motor News “Great Race” will make a pit stop in town, and visitors will be entertained with antique cars and a free trailhead concert featuring Swingaroux from 6:45 to 9 p.m.

On Sunday, the St. Tammany Art Association, 320 N. Columbia St., will host “Stories Behind the Prints.” Historian Howard Nichols and artist Suzanne King will make a presentation at 7 p.m. The event is free and light refreshments will be served.

On Tuesday, a Bicentennial Community Prayer breakfast will be held at 7 a.m. in the Briggs Assembly Center on the campus of St. Paul’s School. The featured speaker will be Jimmy Field. The breakfast will also include a musical presentation by vocalist Kitty Cleveland and a special presentation by Judge Peter Garcia on little-known historical facts about Covington.

“The community is encouraged to gather to celebrate this important anniversary of the founding of Covington and to reaffirm the spiritual values upon which our nation and this city were founded. This is a call to citizens to pray for the wisdom and strength of elected and appointed officials at all levels of government and to express appreciation to our community leaders at this special time in Covington’s history,” said Hank Miltenberger, organizer.

For additional information, contact Liz Barbin at (985) 898-1547 or lbarbin@gilsbar.com.

A bicentennial historical point of view walking tour will be featured Wednesday, starting at the Covington trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire St. at 6 p.m. For more information, contact gottaluvcov@covla.com.

Finally, the big day is July 4, when a Bicentennial Four on the Fourth race kicks things off at 7:30 a.m. at Hubie Gallagher Park, 1000 W. 15th Ave. For information, email goweiss@bellsouth.net.

The Covington Bicentennial Extravaganza will wrap things up with live music, fireworks, games, food and more at Bogue Falaya Park from 4 p.m. to dusk. Come on over and help Covington celebrate a milestone.

Seafood in Mandeville, crabs in Lacombe

The St. Tammany Crab Festival, formerly the Lacombe Crab Fest, will be Saturday and Sunday at the Cultural Heritage Village in Lacombe, 61100 N. 12th St., from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Although newly renamed, the festival will feature the same great music, delicious food, carnival rides and games for the kids, and a cultural village presented by the Lacombe Heritage Center.

The Cultural Heritage Village will feature the local history and ethnic heritage of the Choctaw, Creole, French, African, Spanish, Anglo, Caribbean and Isleños traditions. It will promote local nonprofits, traditional artists, authentic crafters, families, and businesses with various booths, displays, demonstrations, entertainment, and activities.

Margo Rosas, a Louisiana artist and Lacombe citizen of Choctaw descent, will be the focus of the Choctaw Heritage portion of the Cultural Heritage. Karen Raymond, Creole Heritage Specialist with the Lacombe Heritage Center, will coordinate the Creole Heritage, and Lloyd “Wimpy” Serigne, president of the Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society, will host the Isleños portion.

Admission to the Cultural Heritage Village is free on Friday and included in the festival admission price of $10 on Saturday and Sunday.

“Since 1977, Lacombe has had a crab festival. We invite everyone to help us restore it to its former prominence as a family-oriented fun and fundraising festival of celebration to honor the blue crab and celebrate our Lacombe cultural heritage. Let’s all jam at Lacombe’s Crab Jam,” festival founder and Lacombe Heritage Center director Tom Aicklen said.

Admission is $10 for adults; children 13 and younger are free.

Mandeville, meanwhile, will hold a Seafood Festival this year, although it is not being coordinated by the Greater Mandeville Seafood Association as in the past.

This year, when the association canceled, Covington businessman Nick Chetta of Chetta Productions stepped up to make the seafood fest happen July 4 to July 6 at Fontainebleau State Park.

According to their website, http://www.mandevillecityseafoodfest.com, the event will be “different from recent years, fully emphasizing food and music. It will not include some former attractions, such as carnival rides and car shows, and will use the additional park space for presenting a larger number of restaurant vendors and chefs, as well as a wider array of arts and crafts and fun activities for parents and children.”

The music starts at noon July 4, and at 6 p.m. July 5 and 6. Bands include the Rick Sampson Band, Four Unplugged, Bag Of Donuts and Supercharger, among others. The complete schedule can be found at www.mandevillecityseafoodfest.com.

Karen Baker writes about St. Tammany Parish. She can be reached at sliceoftammany@gmail.com.