A Slice of St. Tammany: Fun and fireworks on the north shore

By Karen Baker

Special to The Advocate

Happy Fourth of July! I am not sure how it got to be July, but here we are, so let’s talk about it.

Today, we celebrate freedom with plenty of food and fireworks. What’s in store in St. Tammany Parish on this patriotic holiday?

Let’s start with Covington, because today is the big birthday day. Every year, Covington hosts a Fourth of July family festival at Bogue Falaya Park, on the tree-shaded banks of a pretty little river.

This year, the Family Fourth is also the big blowout bash celebrating the city’s bicentennial. So pack up the kids, the chairs and the coolers and head for the park on New Hampshire Street.

The fun starts at 4 p.m., and fireworks will finish things up at dusk.

By the way, another bicentennial tidbit worth noting: The Covington Bicentennial Parade Committee chose 17-year-old Covington High School senior Amanda Christine Strain, daughter of Charles Strain III and Regina Schwab Strain, to represent the city as the Bicentennial Parade Queen on June 29.

The parade also featured Covington’s oldest resident, Philip Sharp. Sharp was born Dec. 21, 1909, in the Blond community north of Covington.

He was the second of 10 children born to Rob and Della Sharp. Sharp has been a lifelong cattleman in St. Tammany Parish. As a young man, he worked in the timber and tung oil industries of the area, and he also worked as a trapper.

At 103 years old, Sharp still maintains an interest in cattle and drives himself to the cattle auction in Amite on a regular basis.

Covington was happy to celebrate its past while looking to its future.

Heritage Festival in Slidell

Meanwhile, in Slidell, the Heritage Festival takes place today at Heritage Park from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Featured bands this year are Tout Les Soir, Voodoo Gumbo, Janie Fricke and Contraflow.

The evening fireworks extravaganza will feature music by the Northlake Performing Arts Society. The festival benefits several community charities. For more information, visit slidellheritagefest.org/

In Mandeville, fireworks will be in the air tonight the Mandeville Seafood Festival at Fontainebleau State Park. The annual three-day festival starts today and runs through Saturday, with music, food and family fun.

The music starts at noon, and at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Bands include the Rick Sampson Band, Four Unplugged, Bag Of Donuts and Supercharger, among others. The complete schedule can be found at mandevillecityseafoodfest.com.

Old-Fashioned Fourth

Madisonville will host its annual Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration, with a parade at 2 p.m., featuring horseshoes, games, food, a beauty pageant and best-decorated house contest.

Veterans will get some special treatment, and all are welcome to come down to the riverfront for some good times. For more information, visit madisonville4thofjuly.org/

Bastille Day bonus

Once you’ve recovered from the Fourth festivities, get ready to celebrate Bastille Day at the library. Or, as the librarians like to say in their news release: “Ah-eee! Ecoutons de la bonne musique!” (Let’s listen to good music!)

The St. Tammany Parish Library will celebrate the French heritage of Louisiana at two Bastille Day celebrations, featuring the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band.

The celebrations will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 13, at the Slidell Branch Library, 555 Robert Blvd., Slidell and from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at the Folsom Branch Library, 82393 Railroad Ave., Folsom.

The events are free and open to the public although registration is recommended. Seating space is limited to adults and children accompanied by adults. Refreshments will be provided.

Please stop by or call the Slidell Branch, (985) 646-6470, or Folsom Branch, (985) 796-9728, to register. Register for either program online at register.stpl.us/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp.

Visit the website www.sttammanylibrary.org for more information on library sponsored adult programs.

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