The Jefferson Parish Library will kick off its summer reading program with a special event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Blvd., in Metairie.

The theme of this year’s program is “Fizz, Boom, READ.” It is designed to highlight reading activities with scientific topics.

Saturday gets underway with a visit from the Audubon Nature Institute’s Zoomobile. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will provide a model of a watershed that kids can stick their hand into to change the course of the water. Mentos soda pop geysers will erupt every 15 minutes, and robots will be provided by St. Matthew the Apostle School.

The Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Barataria Preserve will provide materials on the local environment; the LSU AgCenter will provide information on health and nutrition; and Tulane-Lakeside Hospital will bring its human body torso model and teaching dolls, to discuss the organs and how they function.

There will be a craft room with each table and some of the floor space used for pre-kindergarten science activities and take-home science story times for toddlers and infants.

Teens will be able to participate in “We Are Sparking a Reaction — Ice Cream Sundae Experiment,” which allows them to experiment with a variety of toppings at the sundae bar, and they will be encouraged to sign up for summer reading.

The summer reading program runs until July 31. All the library branches have planned events including storytelling; visits from the Audubon Nature Institute’s Zoomobile, Bugmobile, Wetlands Express and AquaVan; and performances by magicians Irwin Royes and Glen Ghiradi.

Last year, about 7,000 children and teens participated in the program.

For information, contact Chris Smith at (504) 889-8143 or

Silver anniversary celebration

The annual summer novena to St. Jude, planned for Monday through June 10, will commemorate a special occasion.

The members of the St. Jude Society will also celebrate their 25th anniversary with a special Mass at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 6425 West Metairie Ave., in Metairie.

The Rev. James Ward will celebrate the anniversary Mass, and a reception will follow in the St. Mary Magdalen School cafeteria.

The St. Jude Society was organized in 1989 by Metairie resident Toni Ancona. The purpose of the group is to develop devotion to St. Jude and help with the needs of the community with funds raised through various projects. These projects include a baby layette program at a local hospital that gives a complete baby layette to needy mothers; the St. Jude Prayer Line used to request prayers for persons in need; the St. Mary Magdalen Social Apostolate for the needy residents living within the geographical boundaries of St. Mary Magdalen Parish; and a Christmas and Easter party given to children at a local group facility, providing gifts, games and pizza.

Novena days and hours are Monday through Friday, novena only at 12:15 p.m., 6 p.m., Mass and novena; Saturday, novena only at 12:15 p.m., Mass and novena at 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. Mass and novena as well as 6 p.m. Mass and novena.

For information, call (504) 733-0922.

Orchid group to meet

The New Orleans Orchid Society will hold its annual show and sale from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie.

The “World of Orchids” event will feature several exhibits of orchid plants from vendors from Louisiana, Florida and Texas.

A raffle for several of the plants will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday.

For information, visit

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events on the east bank of Jefferson Parish. She can be reached at or by calling (504) 430-8053.