Today is St. Joseph’s Day, also known as the Feast of St. Joseph. Each year, on March 19, devout Catholics celebrate the day by erecting elaborate altars decorated in wreaths, crosses, and Italian pastries and dishes.

The tradition, which dates back to the Middle Ages when Sicilians paid homage to St. Joseph for his intercessory prayers for deliverance from famine, has been carried on as a means to give thanks for good fortune, to sharing with people who are less fortunate, to asking for healing of the sick.

The Knights of Columbus Archbishop Rummel Council 5747 and its Ladies Auxiliary will once again host its annual St. Joseph’s Day Altar at the council home, 2107 Paris Road, Chalmette. The public feeding will be held from noon to 6 p.m. March 19.

For information, call the hall at (504) 271-0537.

Arabi resident Mary Ann Pierce also will carry on a St. Joseph’s Day Altar tradition she started in St. Bernard in 2006 with a feeding March 19 from noon to 6 p.m. next to her place of business, Courtesy Discount House, 7829 W. St. Bernard Highway in Arabi. The public is invited.

For information, call Pierce at (504) 277-8106.

Crawfish Festival

This month, the Louisiana Crawfish Festival will celebrate 40 years of serving up the tasty crustaceans every way imaginable.

Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Archbishop Rummel Council 5747, the festival, set for March 26 through March 29, draws more than 100,000 spectators annually who descend on the grounds of the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center in Chalmette to enjoy live music, rides, crafts and plenty of boiled crawfish, as well as specialty dishes like crawfish bread, crawfish soup and crawfish étouffée.

Since 1975, the festival has been hailed as St. Bernard Parish’s largest gathering of both locals and residents from neighboring parishes and across the country. Festival hours are Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

With the exception of Thursday, visitors will have to pay $5 per person to enter one of four entrances. The fee will be waived for anyone who purchases a $25 one-day pay-one-price armband.

Ticket booths will be placed at each of the four entrances: two in front of the Civic Center along Judge Perez Drive; one in the parking lot behind the St. Bernard Parish government complex; and another on the Jean Lafitte Parkway side of the Civic Center.

In addition to the thousands of pounds of crawfish being provided by Casanova’s Seafood, the menu also will include traditional festival fare like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken strips, nachos, onion mums, fried eggplant, shrimp étouffée, funnel cakes, pizza, beer and snowballs.

This year’s musical lineup won’t disappoint with performances on Thursday by Weathered, and Friday by 90 Degrees West and The Chee Weez. On Saturday, August Rush, VooDoo Gumbo and Bag of Donuts will perform, and Waylon Thibodeaux, The Boogie Men and Groovy 7 will hit the stage on Sunday.

A plethora of rides will be provided by Mitchell Bros. There also will be crawfish races, pageants for children, teens and women, and arts and crafts booths.

Information also is available at louisianacrawfishfestival.com.

Spring Tea and Fashion Show

The St. Bernard Business and Professional Woman’s Club’s Spring Tea and Fashion Show is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the ARC Family Community Center, 3700 Jean Lafitte Parkway in Chalmette.

The latest spring fashions will be provided by All About Me, Stage and Cato, and will be modeled by community business members.

Finger sandwiches, scones and an assortment of desserts will be served, along with a variety of teas. Pick a hostess, decorate your own table and bring your own tea sets for this fun event.

Choose a theme, get fancy, or just relax with your old favorite tea cup. Prizes will be awarded to the hostess of the top three best-decorated tables.

Tickets are $20 per person. Tables of 10 can be reserved. For information or tickets, call Wanda Alcon at (504) 451-3694.

CHS alumni spring meeting

The Chalmette High School Alumni Association’s annual spring membership meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. March 26 in the tech theater at the Chalmette High Cultural Arts Building, 1101 E. Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette.

The first 25 members to attend the meeting will receive a complimentary ticket to the Chalmette High School Concert Band’s annual spring concert set for the same night at 7 p.m. in the main theater of the Cultural Arts Center.

Membership dues are $10 per year. For information, contact Beryl Hargis at berylhargis@att.net or (504) 442-1421.

Coaches needed

The St. Bernard Parish Recreation Department is accepting applications for coaching positions for the 2015 baseball and softball All-Star programs. For information, call (504) 278-4295.

Kim Gritter writes about people, places and events in St. Bernard Parish. She can be reached at parishlines@gmail.com.