Folks interested in the history and culture of Tangipahoa Parish shouldn't miss the celebration occurring across the parish Thursday through Saturday. 

Tangipahoa is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year with a play, parades, marker dedications and a day full of fun and education. The parish was founded amid the turmoil of Reconstruction in 1869. 

The festivities begins with a new play by Southeastern Louisiana University Theater Professor Jim Winter. “Strawberries, Guns and Milk” spoofs the history of Tangipahoa Parish. The premier of the play is at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Vonnie Borden Theater at SLU. Additional performances of the play will continue through the following week.

On Saturday , a marker and time capsule dedication will start at 8:30 a.m. at the parish government building in Amite. A parade through the center of Amite will follow at 10 a.m. The celebration moves to the Florida Parishes Arena in Amite at noon. The arena will host booths, photographic exhibits and historical presentations on the parish and its people. Activities will include train rides, truck pulls, dunking booth, K-9 demonstrations and numerous games for children.

Historical tours of Amite will depart from the arena throughout the afternoon. Multiple bands and DJs will perform on the stage through the event, and historical presentations will run start at 1 p.m. beginning with Samuel Hyde, followed by Eddie Ponds, Redell Hearn and Robin Abrams, until the 3 p.m. premier of a documentary film on Tangipahoa, produced by Paul Catalanotto.

All events are free and open to residents, including food and soft drinks, courtesy of the Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tangipahoa Parish Government and the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office. For information about the celebration contact the Tangipahoa Convention and Visitors Bureau at (985) 542-7520 or the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at (985) 549-2151 or visit www.tangitourism.com.