Thursday, July 15, 2021

Sesquicentennial Week 1963

 The week of July 4, 1963, was full of celebrations in Covington for the city's 150th year anniversary, its "Sesquicentennial." The pageantry was extensive, as shown below by the "Schedule of Events" throughout the week. Click on the images to make them larger and more readable. 

The Sesquicentennial Court: with Queen Miss Meg McLachlan

The week-long slate of activities included the Inauguration of elected officials with James T. Burns as guest speaker, planes dropping streamers, skydivers bringing in the time capsule, a motorcade to a new Historic Museum where the ribbon was cut and Mayor Emile Menetre was presented a new history publication written by Adrian Schwartz. 

Mayor Emile Menetre

The new history museum was located in the old Commercial Bank building and the program included a ribbon cutting for the facility. 

At the inauguration ceremony for the mayor and new city council members, Judge Steve Ellis presided, with Walter B. Hamlin, an associate justice with the Louisiana Supreme Court as guest speaker.

A luncheon program featured a speech by Victor Schiro, mayor of New Orleans, with a a tour of homes following, an inaugural ball, a youth parade,a number of youth baseball games (Covington vs. NORD), and a Swimming Meet, with a "water show" and "Water ballet."

Events included a teenage dance, a gigantic fireworks display, and other fairgrounds activities coordinated by Jack Salter. Later, there was a street bar-be-que by the Lions Club, a "cabaret-style entertainment called the "150 Year Revue" at the Community Center (sponsored by the Covington Rotary Club).

July 4th was the big day, with a parade, another skydiving exhibition, and a speech by U.S. Representative James Morrison. In recognition of the Fourth of July's patriotic festivities, there was a Bell Ringing Ceremony, complete with a cake.

Madisonville got in on the celebration with boat races on the Tchefuncte River, and there was also a Sesquicentennial Boat Race.

On Friday of the week, there was a Ladies Day and Golf Tournament at the Covington Country Club, with a style show and noon luncheon. Golf tournaments were also held at Tchefuncta Country Club and Pretty Acres
Tour of Local Landmarks During Sesquicentennial Week
A map of the tour that was given area landmarks
To see a booklet explaining the various landmark sites along the tour, CLICK HERE for a PDF file.

Bingo Game

A special Bingo game was offered by the Town of Abita Springs and Abita Springs Civic Organizations.

On Saturday, the last day of Sesquicentennial Week celebration, there were agricultural exhibits at the fairgrounds, plus tours of area farms, ranches and nurseries. This was followed by a "Parade of Progress" with old and new Farm Equipment. Watermelons were a big hit with the crowd.

The old fashioned "Turkey Shoot" at the fairgrounds also drew a crowd.

The Beard Contest was judged, several candidates for Governor gave speeches, and there was "street dancing" around the city hall, which included performances by square dancers, a Barbershop quartet, and community singing.

The Sesquicentennial Week Festivities


A picture of the Sesquicentennial Museum, which was coordinated by Mrs. Amos Neff and Mrs. J. Louis Smith. Photo from the St. Tammany Farmer newspaper.


See also:

Sesquicentennial Treasure Chest 

Covington Sesquicentennial Photos 

Adrian Schwartz, Historian