The weekend for family fun is all set for each and every one of you from the east to the west of St. Tammany Parish.
It reminds us that this is yet another great thing about our parish–free entertainment!
Seriously, how great is that?
In all of our cities throughout the parish we’ve got free offerings of music and special events so much of the time. So yes, we might be paying those somewhat higher taxes than most parishes, but our public officials are still doing what they can to budget money for purely fun entertainment, arts and culture on the North Shore.
Covington and Mandeville both have two free events scheduled this Friday night.
In Covington, the Columbia Street Block Party is set for downtown between 6:30 and 8:30. There is always a great car show set up to enjoy, and there will be free live music at selected areas on that street.
In Mandeville, the start of Free Movie Nights kicks off on Friday with an 8 p.m. showing at the Trailhead. This week’s first showing will be “Moana,” one of those fun animated films, then there will be two other free Movie Nights at the Mandeville Trailhead when Sing is played on the big screen on Friday, June 23, followed by Storks on May 28.
Slidell also holds a summertime free movie night that will begin there on June 3 when they show Disney’s “Moana,” followed by “A League of Their Own” on June 17, “Singin’ in the Rain” on July 8 and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” on July 22.
There will be popcorn, drinks and other concessions sold for all the movie nights in Mandeville and Slidell.
While I make a big effort to keep our two parish papers separate—Tammany West and The Slidell Independent—I do occasionally run a story in both of them that might be about the other side of the parish, especially if it doesn’t conflict with something here and is of interest to everyone.
This Saturday I know there is a great event in Slidell that many of you might want to attend.
The Slidell Jazz and Blues Festival will be held on Saturday, from 3:30 p.m. to 10 that night, in Heritage Park, just off Front Street as you are coming into town.
The festival is set on the park right in front of Bayou Bonfouca so there is usually a bit of a breeze there. But at this time of the year it still isn’t sweltering hot and could very well be a great day to enjoy a family time.
Best of all is that the event only costs $10 all day for what are some really great bands, and children 12 and under get in for free.
New Suit starts the day at 3:30, bringing a band that is from New Orleans and specializes in 60s and 70s “old school” soul and R&B music, covering a wide-range of popular music from a variety of genres. The band has performed across the U.S. and abroad with a six-member act, promising a visual and precision musical show.
Jordan is a recognized jazz singer from New Orleans who has made her mark on the national scene for years. She has performed at the NBA All-Star game and was selected for the cover of the World’s Who’s Who in Jazz magazine. She has been likened to the talent of Lena Horn, Abbey Lincol and Nancy Wilson said Ted Panken with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Playbill report.
Ingram is considered a “child prodigy” guitar player who began playing at the age of 6, now mastering bass and rhythm guitars. His influences include Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Elmore James and more. He has shared the stage with guitar greats like Buddy Guy, Rick Derringer, Guitar Shorty and others and has performed in six different countries, along with his regular touring in the United States.
Astral Project has been called “New Orleans’ most exciting, inventive and respected modern jazz group” with band members who have multiple album credits as leaders and sidemen. One review from Jazz Times said the group is “the city’s premier modern jazz ensemble.”
The Big ‘E’ Brass Band is a local collection of Slidell High musicians and will close the show with a 45 minute set. The band is named after former band director Mrs. Val Estoque, who inspired the group to create the band.
Gates open at 3 p.m. Coolers are not allowed in the park that day with food and drinks available for sale to support the event.
The Slidell Jazz and Blues Festival is in its third year and is a project created by the Leadership Northshore program, or at least one of the teams from it. In Slidell the Leadership group asks every four or five students for that year to create a “lasting community project.”
The festival is one of them, but there is much more to what they do. They use the proceeds from the festival to repair and refurbish band instruments that they seek out. This year they donated a piano to a junior high choir program and last year they donated six band instruments to another junior high.
If you’re looking for some great music on a Saturday you might want to pack it up and roll over to Slidell. I expect it to be a great event.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org