This year’s STARC Art Night partnered with the East St. Tammany Chamber Business “After Hours” at Patton’s in Slidell.

The event was supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs. Guests were greeted at the venue with several patriotically themed pallets, painted to resemble American flags.

One of the pallets was positioned on the front porch, and guests were encouraged to sign the artwork that would be donated following the event.

More than 150 guests were greeted with music by Ed Barrett and Mike Robbins, and each room was decorated with colorful, matted and framed works of art, many with a patriotic theme.

Special tables were located in the front sitting room, featuring note cards, stationery and artwork available for purchase. All proceeds from the event benefitted STARC.

STARC art instructors include Emile Henriquez and Sandra Deason Schott. Classes are held for individuals served through STARC at STARC Adult East, 1541 St. Ann Place in Slidell and at STARC Adult West, 1705 Viola St. in Mandeville. The decorated pallets are available for purchase and can be personalized. Contact STARC at (985) 641-0197 or visit for more information.

Crabfest Lacombe

Crabfest Lacombe was held the last weekend of June at John Davis Park in Lacombe. The weekend-long event featured music, food, arts and crafts and family fun.

Of course, crab was king at this festival, but other culinary delights included crawfish, shrimp, smoked chicken and jambalaya, fried catfish wrapped in bacon and an assortment of desserts and frozen treats.

Entertainment included a host of local and regional musicians including Waylon Thibodeaux, Witness, Tab Benoit, Benny Grunch and the Bunch, Christian Serpas and Supercharger.

In addition, the event also featured the “Claws for the Cause,” a five-stop poker run that began and ended at the festival. All proceed from that exciting event benefitted Ride of the Brotherhood. Emma Villamarette was crowned Queen Crabfest Lacombe by Dorothy Calderone, who served as coordinator for the original festival for 28 years.

The park was filled with a variety of festival goers from face-painted children dancing on stage with the bands, to older seafood lovers sitting under the oaks. Crabfest Lacombe promises to continue the legacy of festival fun in lovely Lacombe.

Missie Arata Noel is the society and features writer for the St. Tammany Advocate. She can be contacted by email at