On Saturday, May 19, the community was given a rare treat put on by the St. Tammany Parish Library: a summer music festival! The Libraries Rock Family Music Festival kicked off the 2018 Summer Reading Challenge and took place at the Abita Springs Trailhead. The festival was in keeping with the summer reading theme, "Libraries Rock!"
“The Kick-Off concert was the perfect event for this year’s theme. Everyone who attended seemed to really enjoy themselves and the music performances,” said Jillian Boudreaux, Adult Programming Coordinator.
The event featured music for all ages with performances by Johnette Downing, The Necessary Gentleman, The Roots of Music and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Quartet.
“We had a rocking kick off to the Summer Reading Challenge. It was great to see kids playing their kazoos along with the bands!” said Tanya DiMaggio, Children's Services Coordinator.
The event also featured food catered by The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Junior Deputy Explorer Post No. 1324 which sold hot dogs, Frito pie, and chips. Free root beer was also available through donations by Abita Root beer. There were also free snowballs from Operation Sneaux.
“Operation Sneaux is a community project that was started by several members of Leadership Northshore's class of 2017. The purpose of the project is to encourage positive interactions between local law enforcement and communities in St. Tammany and to create a fun way to open up conversations about public safety. Karen Delhom and I were at the festival as members of Operation Sneaux along with Lt. Howard McCrea of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office who brought Alley the Alligator. We talked to the kids about strangers and bullying, gave out coloring sheets and encouraged them to spend time with the officers while giving out the snoballs.” said Noelle Williams, Reference Coordinator.
More than 420 festival-goers also enjoyed the splash pad, a playground, crafts and signed up early for the Summer Reading Challenge.
“The free family music fest is just one of the many reasons why Libraries ROCK! We hope to see everyone, especially teens, at the other jammin' events this summer,” said Jennifer Rifino, Teen Services Coordinator.