Slice of St. Tammany: Tap your toes at Abita Springs Opry

Photo provided by St. Tammany Parish Public Library -- Library Director Donald Westmoreland, Samaritan Center Food Bank Director Amy Ettinger and Librarian Shellie Savoy, from left, stock the Samaritan Center Food Bank shelves with food collected during the library's National Library Week Fine Forgiveness Program. Show caption
Photo provided by St. Tammany Parish Public Library -- Library Director Donald Westmoreland, Samaritan Center Food Bank Director Amy Ettinger and Librarian Shellie Savoy, from left, stock the Samaritan Center Food Bank shelves with food collected during the library's National Library Week Fine Forgiveness Program.

If you have never been to the charming town of Abita Springs, or if you have never been to the Abita Springs Opry in the charming town of Abita Springs, this Saturday might be the time to go.

The Abita Springs Opry brings old-fashioned acoustic music to the stage at Town Hall during fall and spring seasons, and the house is always packed.

As their website, www.abitaopry.org, explains: “The Abita Springs Opry, a re-creation of the immensely popular Piney Woods Opry that played at the Town Hall for 10 years, has what it considers a valuable mission — the preservation and presentation of Louisiana Roots music.”

The main emphasis is on music indigenous to southeast Louisiana, “But we do occasionally offer something a little different as Lagniappe — a little something extra, to our show that puts a little more spice into our musical gumbo.”

This Saturday’s “gumbo,” which can be enjoyed from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 22161 Level St., includes the following ingredients:

The Pot Luck String Band, featuring bluegrass and traditional country music; the Lucky Dogs, offering old-time New Orleans rhythm and blues; Delta Reign, bluegrass with some elements of jazz; and Kim Carson, an Opry veteran who brings honky tonk-style country to the stage as a real crowd-pleaser.

Many of the Opry musicians gather at the Abita Brew Pub after the show to jam, organizers say. All are welcome to join the post-Opry party, too.

For ticket information, visit www.abitaopry.org or call (985) 892-0711, ext. 303.

Sunset at the Landing

Speaking of music, the monthly Sunset at the Landing Concert will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the foot of Columbia Street in Covington. The concert is free, the surroundings are beautiful (moss-draped oaks, a lazy river, you get the picture) and you can bring your own chair and cooler full of refreshments. This month’s show is very magnetic, with Plum Magnetic opening things at 6 p.m., followed by Magnetic Ear at 7 p.m.

Forgiveness brings food

The St. Tammany Parish Library collected more than 50 boxes of food during its National Library Week Fine Forgiveness Program. All 12 library branches throughout the parish accepted food in place of fines the week of April 14-20, with each donated food item reducing a patron’s fines by $1.

The donated food items benefited the Covington Food Bank, the First Baptist Church of Slidell Food Bank and the Samaritan Center Food Bank of Mandeville.

As Library Director Donald Westmoreland said: “I’ve always known that St. Tammany was filled with kind and generous people, but the extent of the generosity shown during National Library Week was a happy surprise. Many library patrons without fines brought in food to help feed the hungry in our community. It was a wonderful experience that we plan to repeat.”

The theme of National Library Week was “Communities Matter @your library.” St. Tammany libraries and their patrons showed how much this community matters to them.

“Stellaluna” in Sldell

Slidell Little Theatre’s Theatre for Young Audiences presents “Stellaluna” for two weekends. Performance dates are May 18-19 and May 25-26. Two performances each will be held at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and May 25. One performance each will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday and May 26. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the door. For more information, visit http://www.slidelllittletheatre.org.

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