‘TOOT’ had a great first year showing

Editor November 5, 2017 Comments Off on ‘TOOT’ had a great first year showing
‘TOOT’ had a great first year showing

The first “Taste of Olde Towne” is in the books.

A whirlwind of five days last week wrapped up on Sunday with a Champagne Brunch at Chateau Bleu, with a sold-out crowd of 75 in the historic home on West Hall Avenue where Allen and Kathy Little hosted the final event.

“Taste of Olde Towne” is a new fundraiser in Slidell that has a two-fold purpose: raise money for over 60 historic street signs in Olde Towne, and give the businesses in that district a boost. It’s really about reminding Slidellians that we do have a historic district that we hope to one day turn into something really special.

The funny thing is that Olde Towne is already special in its own way—I would just like to see it be, well, more special.

And that was the idea behind hosting the event, similar to “A Taste of Covington,” that began six years ago and has grown into a huge five-day party which draws thousands to their downtown area.

In Slidell the first year of “TOOT” as my daughter Vicky has kiddingly named it—yes, that is the acronym for “Taste of Olde Towne”—turned out to be outstanding. Ticket sales were good to great at most of the events, but overall I saw a lot of people simply finding their way to Olde Towne since they knew there was a party going on there.

At Restaurant Cote on Wednesday the special run of wine tastings and dinners began with a very interesting happening in the street—they literally blocked off Carey Street and served a seven-course meal to about 40 people on white linen tables right in the middle of the road.

But inside Cote was a great crowd of people like myself and Slidell Memorial CEO Bill Davis who were hanging out, having an adult cocktail, and enjoying the time with our business friends. Yes, it all worked—a lot more of us spent time in Olde Towne last week than normal.

We have tons of pictures in the paper today from the many events so I hope you enjoy them. But next week I hope to see us show up the western side of the parish and watch as TOOT explodes to be bigger and better.

I do think it will happen, and with a new mayor coming into office next summer who I am already pressuring to show us all what plans there will be for Olde Towne, it should be a great week.

Hope to see you for TOOT in 2018! (Thanks Vicky.)




As much as we all love so many things about St. Tammany Parish, there is one thing that seems to be proliferating at the intersections of our major highways and I know most of you would probably agree with me that it ISN’T something we love about the growth occurring on the North Shore.


Yes, we seem to be hearing more and seeing more about the so-called “homeless” population, or in reality, the increasing number of beggars who seem like they simply popped up in the last couple of years in St. Tammany Parish.

I don’t seem to remember this beggar thing being a problem here as little as five years ago, do you?

Suddenly in Covington on Hwy. 190 heading from the interstate, or over on Hwy. 21 just off I-12, and positively in Slidell at the Gause Boulevard and Fremaux Town Center exits I am now seeing them regularly stationed there.

I do not think I would be considered a stingy person—But I will tell you I don’t hand money to people on the street corner. I’ve worked hard all my life with no handouts and I do believe in the American heritage of people working for what they want. I taught my kids that, they all work hard and they don’t expect someone to hand out money, even if my youngest daughter has had a long time joke in the family about money.

“I know we don’t have to worry about money,” she said to dear old dad. “They make more every day.”

OK, jokes aside, these beggar folks really do irritate me, especially with the pathetic signs they have. We’re way past the signs that used to say, “Will Work for Money,” which we know is usually a lie anyway.

Now I’m seeing incredibly ridiculous signs. Seems all the men are now military veterans, and some of them claim they are a “veteran with cancer.” Ever notice how often they have their dog? They know that works with some people.

But the most pitiful one I’ve seen is one exit in the parish where it seems a handful of the beggars take turns sitting in a wheelchair.

I saw one the other day and am quite positive it was someone else sitting in the wheelchair the week before. They probably play some gambling game just to see who gets it each day.

Sometimes you think that if they are smart enough to think of those scams they probably could do well if they actually tried to use that talent in a real job.

Excuse me, but I have one four-letter word to describe them: L-A-Z-Y.


Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at kevinchiri@gmail.com.









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