Welcome to spring festival season on the Northshore, with fantastic Louisiana food to feast on, live music to make you shake a tailfeather, and sunshine and southern breezes to help you kick back and relax. Read on for a highlight of the great festivals coming up this spring in St. Tammany Parish!
Food, Glorious Food (and Drink)
Foodies have loads of great options to choose from in St. Tammany Parish, all year long, but in festival season, it's all about sharing with friends and family while soaking up sunshine and sweet sounds from a stage. If live music is your bag, you can take your pick of the tried-and-true combo of live music and great food all season long.
Believed to be the largest single-day crawfish boil in the world, don't miss Slidell's All-you-can-eat Crawfish Cook-off on April 22. It's a day of food and live music, and is a fundraiser too, so you can support a great cause while you pinch those tails. Then, on May 6, it's all about variety at the Mandeville Lions Club's Mandeville Food Truck Festival, where you'll find food trucks, music, a kids' zone and the Kentucky Derby on a big screen. Proceeds benefit the non-profit's mission to provide eyeglasses to low-income individuals and a camp for special needs children. And, it's not a festival but it feels like one: Abita Brewing Company's monthly Food Truck Round-up with different food trucks and live music in the beer garden, every first Friday.
It doesn't start until June 1st, but events sell out every year, so make reservations soon for the month-long celebration of wine, music, art and food: the 12th annual A Taste of Covington in historic downtown Covington, happening June 1-30 with wine dinners and special events. Also in June, Mandeville's Castine Center at Pelican Park will welcome craft beer lovers from across the region on June 17 at the annual Larry Hartzog's Twisted Beer Fest and Homebrew Competition. With special goodies for VIP ticket holders, you'll want to secure your spot s in advance at this unique festival, too.
Let's Dance, Let's Shout
If it's music that feeds your soul, we've got you. On April 22, Madisonville's second annual Maritime Music & Art Festival will celebrate the arts as it benefits Maritime Museum Louisiana. Pack a picnic basket and head to Slidell's Heritage Park on May 13 for Some Enchanted Evening, the Northshore Community Orchestra's spring concert. The following Saturday, on May 20, Heritage Park also hosts Slidell's 8th annual Louisiana Veterans Festival. Held each year on Armed Forces Weekend to pay homage to Louisiana veterans of the armed forces, the festival features three bands and numerous food vendors, and closes the night with fireworks. Also on May 20, in Covington, the St. John Fools of Misrule Carnival club throws a springtime party with Fools Fest 3.
Things To Do With The Family
Festivals offer plenty of things to do with the whole family, and some fests are a bit more specialized. On Saturday, April 15, the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office presents its second annual Special Needs Expo featuring vendors offering services, resources and quality of life enhancing activities for special needs individuals and their families in St. Tammany Parish. On April 22, Abita Springs will host the Louisiana Bicycle Festival for its 23rd year of bike swap meets, races and wheelie competitions for the kiddos, a bicycle auction, prizes and awards, and a fun ride through the town. Admission is free to all events.
Bhakti Farms Yoga Fest, May 19-21 in Covington, features two large tents with yoga classes every hour on the hour, specialized yoga sessions, and a healing village with medical and homeopathic practitioners, lecturers, meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, and more. Fest-goers can also enjoy live music, a retail village, food and craft vendors, bonfires and numerous activities for the kids--including yoga. Both offer VIP experiences and passes for the full weekend--including camping--or single day passes.
Another multi-day festival taking place that same weekend is actually north of St. Tammany Parish, at the Washington Parish Fairgrounds in Franklinton. The Bogalusa Balloon Festival happens over three big days, June 2-4 and features awe-inspiring hot air balloon shows (weather permitting) and includes a carnival with rides, games and food booths, a full day of live music, food and craft vendors, and more.
Painting The Towns Red
The month of April is an exciting one for art lovers, with events happening from one end of St. Tammany Parish to the other. On April 15, downtown Covington and Olde Towne Slidell host evenings of contemporary art, live music, and eateries offering special menus at the annual arts celebrations Spring for Art and Arts Evening, respectively. Stroll these towns' historic districts and take in the sights, sounds and flavors of springtime creativity.
April 21-23, the Abita Springs Trailhead Museum hosts its popular annual event, the Abita Springs En Plein Air Exhibition, featuring recent landscapes by accomplished local artists who create their works out-of-doors. In Covington the following weekend, discover all things vintage and unusual with finds from collectors and dealers across the region at the Covington Antiques and Uniques Festival, April 29-30, at Covington Trailhead and surrounding streets. That same weekend, the Folsom Scenic Rivers Art Festival presents its third annual celebration of art and music in and around Folsom's Far Horizons Art Gallery and The Giddy Up, on April 30. All events are free and open to the public.
Finally, if you're looking for a go-at-your-own-pace day of art appreciation, check out the many colorful murals you'll discover on a stroll through Olde Towne Slidell.
The Northshore has many options for memorable experiences with family and friends, and this is only a highlight. Discover more, including upcoming summer festivals and celebrations, on our event calendar.
Want to bring your group to The Northshore and make our festivals a part of your gathering? Our group sales team can help. Check out our Group Tours, Student Tours & Reunions page for more info.