Saturday, November 11, 2017

Three Rivers Art Festival Flows Into Covington

The 21st annual Three Rivers Art Festival is now being held in downtown Covington, November 11 and 12, with more than 200 artists displaying thousands of pieces of art in a wide variety of media, and then some. There are tents, balloon arches, fun for kids activities, food, drink and music, along with souvenirs and T-shirts.

Here are some photographs of the Columbia Street pedestrian thoroughfare. Click on them to make them larger. 

Musical performances were scheduled by Brooke Hager, Cassie Krebs, Reed Alleman, Those Olivier's, Maddi tripp, Patrick Kreber, Jessica Kreber and Ghost Town Duo. A student art exhibit was held at Heritage Bank, and the Children's Discovery Area featured activity booths by the Children's Museum of St. Tammany, the Creative Arts of St. Tammany, the Northlake Nature Center, Culinary Kids, Painting with a Twist, the Youth Education Service of Mandeville, the St. Tammany Parish Library, Kellie's Characters, Northshore Families Helping Families, Bayou Yoga, Bricks 4 Kidz, and Archbishop Hannan High School.

The Food Court offered edibles from Beck-N-Call, Southern Concessions and the Coffee Rani Food Truck. 

It all began back in 1996.

I served on the committee tasked with coming up with a name for the new arts festival. It was an interesting give and take, coming up with creative potential names, but when someone suggested "Three Rivers," it was agreed to recommend that name for the event. Three Rivers honors the three rivers that merge just below Covington: the Bogue Falaya River, the Tchefuncte River, and the Abita River. 


In 2019, the Three Rivers Art Festival won the Patron Of The Year honors from the St. Tammany President Arts Awards for 2017-2018. Here's a link to a video by Cliff Bergeron telling of the history and success of the Covington Three Rivers Art Festival
CLICK HERE to view video with Cliff Bergeron 
In the video Bergeron told an interviewer that when the event first started it had a couple of hundred artists apply, mostly local.

"Now we are up to 500 artists applying every year. It's a juried event so only 200 get in," he explained.

It has become nationally known and nationally recognized, something that people look forward to each year. "They put this event on their calendar as soon as we announce next  year's dates," he said.

 For St. Tammany Parish and particularly Covington, the festival brings in from 50,000 to 60,000 people over the weekend so the tax revenues derived from it are tremendous, Bergeron went on to say.

Now in its 25th year, this has been an ongoing project that continues to grow every year, according to Bergeron. "If you want to invest in a very high quality piece of art you can do it there. We have everything from ten dollar pieces of jewelry to $50,000 pieces of art," he noted.

It's also a great family event. "So you bring out your kids. It's a wonderful place to go and there's something for everybody," Bergeron concluded.