Southeastern helps celebrate Tangipahoa's 150th anniversary


Monday, September 16, 2019 
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, Tangipahoa Parish Government, and the Tangipahoa Convention and Visitors Bureau are sponsoring a weekend of activities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tangipahoa Parish.
     “For folks interested in an immersion into the history and culture of Tangipahoa Parish, you do not want to miss the celebration that will be occurring across the parish Sept. 19-21,” said Professor of History and Director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies Samuel C. Hyde, Jr. “Founded amid the turmoil of Reconstruction in 1869, Tangipahoa is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year with a Broadway caliber play, parades, marker dedications, and a power packed day full of fun and education.”
     The excitement begins, Hyde said, with a hilarious new play by Southeastern Theater Professor Jim Winter titled “Strawberries, Guns, and Milk” that spoofs the history of Tangipahoa Parish. The premiere of the play is Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in Vonnie Borden Theater on Southeastern’s campus. Additional run dates are Sept. 20 and 21 and Sept. 24 and 25. Tickets are $20 general admission, with Southeastern students admitted free with university I.D.
     “Strawberries, Guns and Milk celebrates the wild and wonderful first 150 years of Tangipahoa Parish,” Winter said. “The play centers around a traveling theatre troupe passing through this area just as it is becoming its own parish. Challenged by the rowdy and lawless locals, the troupe does what has never been done before: they show their audience the future that awaits them. What ensues is a comedic romp showcasing the sensational, bizarre and triumphant rise of this unique and amazing place.”
     On Saturday, Sept. 21, activities will begin in Amite with a marker and time capsule dedication at the parish government building at 8:30 a.m. A parade through the center of Amite will follow at 10 a.m. The celebration will then move to the Florida Parishes Arena in Amite beginning at noon.
     “The arena will come alive with booths, photographic exhibits, and historical presentations on the history of the parish and its people,” Hyde said. “Family fun and children’s activities will include train rides, truck pulls, dunking booth, K-9 demonstrations, and numerous games for the kids.”
     Historical tours of Amite are scheduled to depart from the arena throughout the afternoon, and multiple bands and DJs will perform on the entertainment stage through the course of the event as well. Hyde will kick off a series of historical presentations from 1 to 3 p.m., that also includes Eddie Ponds, Redell Hearn, and Robin Abrams. At 3 p.m. a new documentary film on Tangipahoa, produced by Paul Catalanotto will premiere.
     All events are free and open to the public, including food and soft drinks, courtesy of the Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tangipahoa Parish Government, and the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office.
     For more 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

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