Karen Baker’s ‘Slice of St. Tammany’ column, March 21, 2013

Happy spring! It seems as if everyone wants to get in on the action of springtime around here.

I hardly know where to start with a list of fun things to do and see (most of them free!) in St. Tammany Parish; I guess I’ll just start with “A” for Abita Springs, where the annual Whole Town Garage Sale will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday .

“The town really spruces up for the garage sale. The mayor gets all the cleaning crews to cut the grass, the azaleas are blooming, and the town looks gorgeous,” organizer John Preble said.

Preble, who is organizing the garage sale this year, said vendor prices have been reduced to $40, about half of last year’s fee. “So I anticipate a lot of people coming back who may have been missing” the event in the past few years. “I think we will have a lot of people.”

Preble said it is a family event, full of bargain hunters as well as people who just want to enjoy the small-town festival atmosphere.

He said there will be food for sale, and plenty for shoppers to choose from — just be sure to wear your walking shoes. “It’s bumper-to-bumper at 7 in the morning. People park and just walk and walk,” he said. “A lot of people bring baskets or wagons, whatever they can use to hold stuff. … We’ve been getting calls from as far as Texas and Florida. People come from a long way. It’s one day only, rain or shine.”

The Abita Civic Association started the garage sale several years ago. It was taken over by the Recreation Department, and now Preble and a committee organize the event. Proceeds will benefit the beautification of Town Hall.

For more information, call Town Hall at (985) 892-0711.

‘A’ is also for AAUW history

Covington’s history will come to life with a presentation Thursday by lifelong resident Patricia Fuhrmann Clanton.

The event will take place in the City Council Chambers, 609 Columbia St., at 6 p.m. and is hosted by the American Association of University Women.

In her personal acknowledgement of Covington’s bicentennial, Clanton has written “A Potpourri of Memories — Growing Up in Covington.” Her book provides an insight into Covington’s past through stories, poems and old photographs about her family’s life at the time. Books will be available for sale at this event.

Clanton’s family has been influential in the growth of Covington: Her father built the first theater in town and Clanton served as executive director of the Greater Covington Chamber of Commerce in the early 1980s. She was also the first woman to be elected to the City Council, where she served for 12 years, and she has spearheaded the restoration and preservation of many of the city’s landmarks.

‘B’ is for Block Party

The city of Covington will kick off its monthly block party Friday. The free block party takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The family-friendly outdoor event features a classic car show on Columbia Street. Block Parties take place every final Friday of the month from March through October. This month’s block party is early because of Good Friday on March 29.

‘C’ is for Covington Garden

In honor of the city of Covington’s Bicentennial, Keep Covington Beautiful will host a Garden Tour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased on the day of the event at the tour’s starting point, the Covington Trailhead, 419 North New Hampshire St. in downtown Covington. Participants are invited to use the city tram, which will make continuous stops at each of the featured gardens on the tour so that everyone can travel at their own pace. You can, of course, use your own car, too. Tour maps will be provided.

The tour will guide participants through Covington’s tree-lined streets, stopping at seven beautiful gardens of various styles. For more information, call (985) 867-3652 or email kcb@covla.com.

‘E’ is for Egg Rollin’

Egg Rollin’ at the Covington Trailhead will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The event will feature The Family Fun Magic of Tim Spinosa on the Champagne Beverage Stage at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire St.

Following the entertainment, Covington’s third annual Egg Rolling Contest will begin. Children younger than 12 should bring a decorated, personalized, hard-boiled egg for the activity. Prizes will be awarded for the “fastest” eggs in Covington.

The city has also teamed up with the St. Tammany Art Association for an Easter basket decorating activity. Several Art Association volunteers will be on hand to help children craft their own special Easter basket. All the supplies, including the basket, will be provided at the event. “The basket-decorating activity will allow the children to get creative and make something that they can take home with them,” said Aimee Faucheux, cultural arts and events manager. There will be sing-along entertainment and a balloon artist.

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