While many of us don't want to relive 2020, let's take a look at some of the events and people that made the news last year.

Last week we took a look at the first half of 2020 and now we'll walk down memory lane for the second half of the year.

Here are our favorite stories and photos from the year.


Flags fly for 4th of July

Despite rain and the coronavirus, some communities in Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes continued to celebrate the 4th of July with flag ceremonies and small remembrances. Many of the traditional daylong ceremonies were canceled. 

Art exhibits reopen

A July 15 story by contributing writer Vic Couvillion highlighted the efforts of the Arts Council of Livingston Parish to continue holding art exhibits despite the coronavirus restrictions. Receptions were canceled and patrons needed reservations to view the art shows.

Laine Hardy recovers from coronavirus

After a bout with the coronavirus, Livingston's Laine Hardy was back making music in mid-July. During the pandemic, Hardy turned to online releases of his music. 

Schools announced fall reopening plans

Livingston Parish officials announced plans for starting the fall semester, with youngest students returning Aug. 7 and older students attending school on alternating schedules as the district works to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Livingston Parish schools Superintendent Joe Murphy said the district contracted with Guarantee Restoration Services, a restoration company that managed much of the cleanup in the parish following the 2016 flood, to clean and disinfect every classroom and bus in the parish to ready them for the reopening of school.


Animal shelter announces new building

The Denham Springs animal shelter, a facility that sustained extensive damage during the August 2016 flood, announced a new building to provide a new, permanent home for the cats that are cared for at the shelter.

The 1,900-square-foot building, estimated to cost about $551,000, is being funded by grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, donations from the Petco Foundation and from patrons who responded to a GoFundMe page request following damage to the shelter in the flood.

Antique District opens with social distancing, masks

Despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic that has affected many small business throughout the state and nation, the Antique Village, a collection of shops and restaurants in the city’s Downtown Historic District, continued to thrive. While the district's popular festivals were canceled, many shops were open for socially distanced shopping.

Teachers, students test positive for coronavirus

Not long after opening day, a couple dozen students and a handful of teachers tested positive for the coronavirus in Livingston Parish schools, Superintendent Joe Murphy announced

Murphy said 0.1% of students had tested positive, and another 0.8% of students had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive, requiring them to quarantine.

Dogs fly to new homes 

Shortly before 9 a.m. Aug. 28, a turboprop airplane loaded with 51 dogs, all in individual carriers, slipped into the partly cloudy skies above the Northshore Regional Airport on its way to Rochester Hills, Michigan, where the once unclaimed and unwanted animals on board were destined to find permanent homes far away.

The dogs were brought to the airport by staff members of shelters in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, Jefferson, St. Charles and Orleans parishes. The dog airlift was the latest in a series of flights sponsored by Wings of Rescue, a national, nonprofit organization funded strictly by donations, that carries animals from parts of the nation where there are an excess of animals ready for adoption to other places where a shortage of adoptable dogs exists.


Livingston schools brings back more students to classrooms

In September, plans were announced for Livingston Parish students in grades 3 to 5 to attend school in person full time.

District officials said they believe face-to-face instruction is the best learning environment for students. Previously, only kindergarten through second graders were on campus full-time. Grades 3 through 12 were learning in a hybrid online and in-person schedule.

Football returns to the field

After a month delay and uncertainty, high school football players hit the fields under the lights at the end of September. Fans were limited and coronavirus restrictions made practices and games challenging. 


Antique Village holds appreciation day

Thankful for the shoppers that kept the doors open during difficult times, merchants in the Denham Springs Antique held the first Customer Appreciation Day.

The first Saturday in October is traditionally the day the Antique Village celebrates its Fall Festival that attracts hundreds of vendors and thousands of visitors to the area. However, the threat of the coronavirus being spread among large crowds packed into the Antique Village brought a halt to the popular festival. Instead, the Downtown Merchants’ Association, Main Street Denham Springs, the Arts Council of Livingston Parish, Denham Springs Animal Shelter and other sponsors came together to create the Customer Appreciation Day, which was designed to put the spotlight on the historic Denham Springs area and help produce an economic boost to local businesses.


Libraries change to meet pandemic challenges

After months of challenges brought on by the coronavirus, libraries in Livingston and Tangipahoa fine-tuned new ways to keep people reading and engaged.

Contributing writer Vic Couvillion talked to leaders of the two library systems about virtual learning experiences and innovate initiatives the libraries undertook to provide services during the pandemic. Craft programs became virtual and online resources were more important than ever.

Eagle for the night

We were pleased when a Live Oak High parent and photographer shared photos and the story of senior Ethan Champagne's dream-come-true night as a member of the football team. Champagne, who has Fragile X syndrome, was able to run out with the team and score the first touchdown of the eventing. We encourage our readers to share news tips and photos with us and this tip lead to a touching story during a sad time.


Renaissance Festival continues in Hammond

Masks and social distancing were part of the 2020 Hammond Renaissance Festival. The annual event that usually draws tens of thousands of visitors who come to the mythical village of Albright saw smaller crowds and no school trips.

Christmas celebrations smaller but festive

Many cities canceled or downsized holiday celebrations. In Denham Springs, the lighting of Old City Hall Museum, Chef's Eventing, Christmas tree lighting, Kiwanis Christmas parade and Nativity Pageant were canceled. But the Antique Village did hold an open house to promote local shopping.

Giving continues during pandemic

While the 2020 holiday season was a bit different, many group's continued the tradition of giving. Volunteers in Tangipahoa joined forces to take part in Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child, a ministry that delvers boxes filled with gifts to children in developing countries around the world.