A taste of the Louisiana Northshore
Words by Amy Lewis
If you're planning a visit to Louisiana this fall, the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain should be on your autumn itinerary. The beautiful lakeside parish, located just across the Causeway Bridge from New Orleans features towns like Covington, Abita Springs, Madisonville, Lacombe, and Pearl River. Each town has a unique charm, cultural heritage, and fun-filled events that keep people returning. This fall, the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission is helping to host a variety of local festivals. The Tammany Taste of Summer, St. Tammany Crab Festival, Chefs to Watch dinner, and Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival are all sure to make for an action-packed autumn.
Whether you’re a visitor exploring the area for the first time, or a local looking for new places to eat, the 5th annual Tammany Taste of Summer is the perfect opportunity to try new things. Sponsored by the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission, the event gives local businesses the opportunity to reach new people, encouraging travel to one of the most beautiful parts of Louisiana. Tammany Taste of Summer begins August 1st and runs through September 15th. For access to exclusive deals on food, hotels, and more, be sure to grab a summer savings pass online.
The St. Tammany Crab Festival is another local festival that is a great way for families, couples, and visitors to end the summer. On the weekend of September 24-25, residents and visitors of St. Tammany gather at Heritage Park in Slidell to celebrate the cultural and culinary value of Louisiana crabs. The festival features live music, a classic car show, battle of the bands, boat rides, and all the crabs you can eat. Spicy boiled crabs, fried softshell crabs, and crab po’boys are just a few of the local favorites. The festival is open from 11am to 10pm and costs $20 for 1-day admission, $25 at the gate, and is free for kids under 12.
Chefs to Watch recognizes and celebrates up-and-coming Louisiana chefs. The dinner event, hosted by Louisiana Cookin’ and the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission, will be happening on October 13 at the beautiful Southern Hotel in Covington. Visitors can expect a cocktail hour with the previous year’s Chefs to Watch, with delicious artisanal cocktails and tapas. Following cocktail hour, a six-course meal with signature dishes from local chefs with wine pairings. Previous plates include Roasted Pork Belly Torchon, Lump Crab Salad, and Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya. Individuals can purchase tickets for $150 or sponsor a whole table for $2,500.
Head over to Madisonville on October 15-16 for vintage boats, live music, and delicious food. Hosted by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, Madisonville’s Wooden Boat Festival takes place in between Water Street and the Maritime Museum on the Tchefuncte Riverfront. The festival benefits educational programs and Madisonville lighthouse reconstruction. Visitors can expect to see beautiful vintage boats like sailboats, skiffs, trawlers, cruisers, and luggers! The festival also features two competitions: the Quick ‘n’ Dirty Boat Building Competition and the Anchors Away Cardboard Boat Regatta. Both require participants to use given materials to construct their own boats. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for active military and kids under 12.
From swamp tours to boutique shopping, each town in the St. Tammany parish has its own unique appeal. Families can enjoy kid-friendly festivals, like the Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival, which features boat building competitions and STEM activities. Or, if you’re with a group, plan a visit to the St. Tammany Crab Festival, where you can find a wide variety of local crab dishes on the menu. The autumn festivals in St. Tammany celebrate the rich Louisianan culture through food, music, and fun. Don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities to experience and celebrate the vibrant culture of Louisiana’s Northshore.