Across Livingston and Tangipaphoa parishes, 2018 brought stories of community unity and great accomplishments.
We've pulled together a recap of the year as seen through our favorite stories. Last week, we looked back at January through June. This week's edition includes stories and photos from July through December.
Livingston Parish celebrates the arts
Throughout the year, the Arts Council of Livingston Parish hosted art exhibits and provided classes for those interested in learning more about art. In July, the group's theme was "Anything Goes."
Main Street Denham Springs hosted the Smithsonian's Water/Ways Exhibit in the Old City Hall Museum. The Arts Council held a water-themed exhibit while the Smithsonian's display was in town.
DSHS gets new home for Athletic Hall of Fame
After surviving the flood of 2016, plaques honoring the inductees in the Denham Springs High School Athletic Hall of Fame were removed from the boxes that had housed them for nearly two years and displayed at Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill.
The opening of the Hall of Fame at Big Mike’s was celebrated in August with a reception. Residents were invited to view the many plaques on display honoring Denham Springs athletes, coaches and supporters.
2016 flood continues to impact area
The school year saw the opening of the new Walker High School, which included a newly completed classroom building, library, cafeteria, band room, vo-tech education building and administrative offices.
The flood of 2016 was still the topic at many events and government meetings, as recovery continued throughout the area. In August, Parish President Layton Ricks gave his annual State of the Parish address. He said the parish was not only recovering from the devastating flooding but also thriving with new homes being built and businesses opening.
Walker considers new city hall
The Walker City Council started talks in September to build a new city hall. The council unanimously approved a resolution Sept. 10 that requests the authority to sell and issue bonds not to exceed $10 million that would be used to “acquire, construct, equip and furnish a building to serve as City Hall,” according to the resolution.
Tangipahoa Parish forms beautification, anti-litter group
With the chartering in September of Keep Tangipahoa Parish Beautiful, a new initiative in fighting the age-old problem of litter and the proliferation of illegal dumping on roads and waterways in the parish was launched.
Keep Tangipahoa Parish Beautiful, an accredited affiliate of Keep Louisiana Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful, brings together parish officials and employees and a cadre of volunteers who will pursue several avenues to rid the area of unsightly litter while also pursuing educational programs aimed at preventing littering, according to Ginger Testat, executive director of KTPB and litter coordinator for Tangipahoa Parish.
Hammond Airshow returns
The Hammond Airshow returned in October after a 26-year hiatus. The airshow was dedicated to the memory of the late Frank van Mullem, who was a leader in bringing the show back to Hammond before his death in 2017.
Football season brings success to many teams
Walker, Denham Springs, Live Oak, Albany and Springfield high school football teams made it to the playoffs. Denham Springs was the lone Livingston Parish team to make it to round two of the playoffs.
The Yellow Jackets came close to reaching the state quarterfinals for the first time since 1985. Instead, the team saw its season end in a 38-37 loss to Acadiana in the second round.
Holiday season filled with events
December included many Christmas and holiday events. The Walker Christmas parade rolled on Dec. 1 but the Denham Springs parade was canceled due to rain.
Denham Springs' Christmas in the Village featured a monthlong list of holiday activities in the downtown district.