St. Tammany Parish Fair
The committee planning the 103rd St. Tammany Parish Fair has been working feverishly to get ready for all of the fun, excitement and entertainment scheduled for this week. From baby and beauty pageants today, there will be gospel night on Thursday, the parade on Friday, the family-friendly mini farm, livestock competitions, 40 rides on the midway, a rodeo on Friday and Saturday and the popular cheer and dance competition plus lots of great food and music.
A big treat will be when the Saintsations perform on the Main Stage on Saturday at 4 p.m. as special guests of the fair committee. They will also be available for photos and autographs immediately after their performance.
However, over the next two days, the community is encouraged to enter their handcrafted items such as jewelry, clothing, quilts and throws, small furniture items, bird houses, baked and canned goods as well as exhibits from the garden including everything from butterbeans to watermelons as well as potted plants and cut flowers.
Fair volunteers will be accepting these items on Monday and Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Sylvia Rivers Building near the Columbia Street entrance. Exhibits will be judged and awarded ribbons on Wednesday. See www.sttammanyparishfair.info for complete details.
On Wednesday, there will be a poultry and rabbit exhibit and competition for both adults and children. Animals must be checked in on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m.
According to Tommy Peters, Fifth Ward School agricultural science teacher, the chicken competition at the fair is the fifth-largest show in the state and there will be a good number of high quality breeds of chickens and rabbits at the fair.
Families can enjoy a bargain on Wednesday evening when all midway rides are just $1 beginning at 5 p.m. It also will be a good time to view the Mini Farm filled with small and baby animals provided by students from Fifth Ward School in Bush.
According to fair organizers, the Mini Farm is one of the highlights of the fair with a variety of farm animals many families seldom get to see.
“The mini farm is a hands-on experience for all ages and a safe way to view and learn about farm animals,” Peters said. “You could easily spend an hour or more at this exhibit and it is included in the fair admission.”
Students from Creekside, Fifth Ward, Folsom, Fontainebleau, Lee Road and Monteleone Junior high schools as well as Fontainebleau, Lakeshore, Northshore and Pearl River Senior High schools will be available to answer questions about the animals from 9 a.m. through 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Both the chicken and rabbit exhibit, along with the mini farm, will be in the small animal barn near the Columbia Street side of the fairgrounds.
“Don’t forget the school exhibits which will be near the mini farm,” Peters said. “The exhibits will be designed based upon the theme of the Louisiana Bicentennial.”
Other animals such as beef, sheep and goats will be exhibited at the fair Wednesday through Saturday and there will be several competitions such as a dairy competition at 8 a.m. on Thursday and other large animal competition at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Evening entertainment on the main stage near the Columbia Street entrance begins with Gospel Night on Thursday. The District Bogue Chitto Association Choir will open the evening at 6 p.m.
Other local gospel groups to perform include New Voice from Slidell, Kerri Gordons of Folsom, Word in Red from Magnolia Baptist Church, Faith Bible Praise Team and City Church the Rosettes and Mighty Supremes of all of Covington.
On Friday, the annual fair parade, which begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Jefferson and 21st Avenue, and the opening ceremonies at the fairgrounds kicks the fair into high gear with a welcome from parade Grand Marshall and parish President Pat Brister. Other dignitaries and the fair honoree will be presented as well.
The popular 4-H talent showcase and cheerleading and dance team competition will begin immediately after opening ceremonies around noon and midway rides will be open from 10 a.m. until midnight.
Bring your lawn chairs to enjoy the Doug Owens band and Thundercreek at the Main Stage from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday.
However, it may be standing room only on Saturday at 4 p.m. when the Saintsations make their special appearance on the Main Stage. Also on Saturday, the Chance Bastille Band will entertain at 3 p.m. with Christian Serpas at 6 p.m.
“All of the entertainment at our fair except for the midway rides is completely free,” said fair board member Debbie Sharp.
The excitement heats up on Saturday with a competitive beef cattle show at 9 a.m. followed by sheep and goat competition at noon. Midway rides are open all day, you can check out who won the home economics and school exhibits and enjoy a Battle of the Bands on the Main Stage at 2 p.m.
The TNT rodeo will begin at 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday with local and national competitors vying for prize money. Every dollar won at this rodeo goes to their prize total for the Tri-State Professional Rodeo Association.
Competitions will include barrel racing, bull riding, bareback riding and roping events.
Bobby Paul, who has been the International Pro-Rodeo Association Clown of the Year, will be on hand to not only help in the rodeo ring but entertain the crowd with special events for children.
Dusty Crane from Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will demonstrate of her professional trick riding skills. Other names you might know are Frank Grays of Poplarville, Miss., and Covington’s Cody Csto, who has won first place in the national bull fighting competition.
There will be some events for children including a calf scramble and a special salute to the Armed Forces. Tickets are available at the arena gate.
As a special treat for poster collectors, the fair board has decided to release posters from previous years as far back as 1982. If you missed a special year or would like to add to your collection, stop by their tent which will be near the food and craft vendors.
Entrance to the fairgrounds is free until 3 p.m. on Friday, when it will be $2 per person.
The St. Tammany Parish fairgrounds is located one block west of Louisiana 190/Collins Boulevard between 33rd Avenue and Magee Street in Covington. A complete schedule including midway prices is available at www.sttammanyparishfair.info.