Published 8:48 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Village of Varnado Christmas Parade
The annual Village of Varnado Christmas Parade will take place on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.
The entry fee is $10 to ride. Participants floats, cars, trucks, 4-wheelers, bikes, motorbikes, etc.
A cash prize will be given for the best entry.
All monies collected will go to needy families in the community.
For more information, call Mary Adams at 985-516-3918.
Varnado High School, junior high school bands performances
Varnado High School and Varnado Middle School bands will be performing in a Christmas concert along with the Cornerstone Harmonizers and a professional trio that Band Director Otto Harry Jr. is member of on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m.
Sneakers Drive drop-off locations needed
The Washington Parish Sexual Assault Center, a non-profit agency serving Washington Parish for over 30 years, would like your participation in this year’s Sneaker Drive. Your donations will help raise public awareness, support victims and survivors of sexual assault and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence through multiple services including counseling and advocacy, and aid in prevention education. We will be collecting only tennis shoes or sneakers. There is a call for all types and brands of sneakers. The sneakers must be at least 4.5 inches long (size 4 infant and larger). They can be old, new, ragged or holey shoes with shoelaces. If you would like to be a participating drop-off location, or to donate, contact Leslie Holmes, victim services coordinator, at 985-332-2085.
Light Up Franklinton
Bring back the memories of loading up the family and going to look at the Christmas lights in the community. Light up Franklinton with us and create those memories with today’s generation! The Franklinton Christmas Festival is inviting all residents and businesses to celebrate the spirit of Christmas together. Decorate and light up your home and/or business through Dec. 3 and leave them up throughout the holiday season. Big or small … this is how you can get involved in our community.
Christmas on Avenue B
Save the date for “Christmas on Avenue B,” to be held Saturday, Dec. 3, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Avenue B Sportsplex in Bogalusa. A winter wonderland awaits — this event is offered in partnership with Better Bogalusa, Greater Bogalusa Community Center, and The Garden of Knowledge.
Christmas Festival 2022
Plans are underway for the Varnado Store Museum’s Christmas Festival, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 at the fairgrounds in the commercial building, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. This is the major fundraiser for the non-profit organization and will feature food, art and craft booths, visits with Santa, entertainment, a Christmas tree raffle and a gift raffle with about 25 gifts, which might be won for just $1. Now is the time to begin your holiday shopping and get in the spirit of the season. If you are interested in renting a booth, contact Kay Branch at 985-515-5121 before they are filled. Prospective entertainers should contact Terry Seal at 985-839-3279. Across the street, the Pioneer Christmas in Mile Branch Settlement will show how Christmas was celebrated long ago in log-cabin times. Be sure to make this weekend a must-do on your family fun list.
Christmas on Austin Street
The Bogalusa, Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission will present the fourth annual “Christmas on Austin Street” on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. There will be free activities, festival-style games and booths, Santa Claus, food and vendor booths and more.
Lighted Christmas parade in Franklinton
The beautiful Franklinton Christmas Festival’s Lighted Christmas Parade will roll through the streets of Franklinton on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. This parade is listed as one of the top-10 must-see events in Washington Parish.
Drug Take Back event
There will be a “Drug Take Back” event on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Council on Aging, located at 603 Willis Ave. This will be a drive-thru drop off with no questions asked. There will be free turkeys for participants, sponsored by Healthy Blue, and a free lunch provided by the Krewe of Brothers and Sisters Together (while supplies last). Acceptable items include prescriptions, over-the-counter pills, liquid medications, vitamins and pet prescriptions. Non-acceptable items include needles and sharps, mercury thermometers, chemotherapy/radioactive substances, illicit drugs and pressurized containers/inhalers. There will be free Deterra packets to dispose of pills at home, and flu shots available on site. Recovery from opioid and heroin addiction is possible; we can help — call the Washington Community Health Center at 985-730-7310. Partners for this event include the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, ADAPT, Inc., the Washington Community Health Center, and the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.
K of C Assembly 2206 raffle
Knights of Columbus Patriotic Degree Assembly 2206 members are selling raffle tickets. The first prize is a Henry Big Boy Wildlife Edition II 44 Magnum Rifle, second prize is a Charbroil 6 burner gas grill and third prize is a $100 Walmart gift card. Tickets are $5 each and are available through members of the assembly and can be ordered in Bogalusa by calling Bob Ricca at 504-460-8887 or in Franklinton by calling Joe Aucoin at 985-335-8710. The drawing will be done just before Christmas, in December of this year.
Join for “Thrive Thursdays” every Thursday at Goodyear Park through Dec. 8, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. (excluding fair week and Thanksgiving). This free community event will feature weekly health talks from trusted Our Lady of the Angels healthcare providers, community resource information, healthy family activities and a small farmers’ market with locally grown fruits and veggies and locally made foods and crafts. Vendors are welcome, just be set up and ready for 4 p.m.
Mark your calendar for 2nd balloon festival
The Bogalusa Balloon Festival has already announced its date for the second annual event. Mark your calendars now for June 2-4, 2023. Follow the festival on Facebook to stay updated.
A new Narcotics Anonymous meeting series, led by Bro. Ruben Watts, will be held Tuesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Brown’s Soul Kitchen in Cassidy Park in Bogalusa. The New Life NA Group will meet from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. and will be led by Watts, a deacon at Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church.
American Legion bingo
Bingo is every Thursday at the American Legion. Doors open at 5 p.m. Great food. All jackpots pay out 100 percent, including the $1,000 blackout.
YouthBuild Bogalusa (YBB) is enrolling students for its program. To gain entry in the program, a student will need to be between the ages of 16-24, and have not graduated from high school or earned his or her HISET. The new applicant will take the TABE placement test, in order to gain entry in the program. There will be testing for placement, Monday through Thursday every week from 9 a.m. until noon. YBB offers opportunities in educational aid in passing the HISET, Carpentry Skills (NCCER Certification/OSHA 30), mentoring, AmeriCorps (educational stipend/award), CNA, and welding, along with life skills (community involvement/leadership skills). YBB provides monetary incentives to learn — up to $500 every two weeks. YBB also has a full-time Case Manager and Counselor on staff. If you have any interest in the program or know of any one that will benefit from the program, visit YBB at 1242 Austin St. in Bogalusa, or call 985-545-1622.
Washington Parish alert system
Stay alert by enrolling in the Washington Parish Emergency Notification System. This alert system provides rapid notification of emergencies, critical events and urgent situations. The alert system can send notifications through the following methods: phone call, text, email or TTY/TTD service for the hearing impaired. Landline phones are automatically entered for the alert system. To receive alerts through a mobile phone or email, a citizen must register through one of the following options: call 985-282-2620, text “Alert” to 985-282-2620, or sign up online at www.hyper-reach.com/lawashingtonsignup.html. Citizens can also download the Hyper Reach Anywhere app to any smartphone. This alert system is completely free.
Bogalusa Help Center
It’s easy to smile when someone cares, and Bogalusa Help Center, our local food bank, cares. It is now a drive-through operation, located at 350 Martin Luther King Drive in Bogalusa. It is open from 8 a.m. until noon every Wednesday (except the fifth Wednesday of the month) providing food to those in need in our community. Since partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank/USDA, and along with generous donations from our community, BHC now distributes 35-40 pounds of food each month to over 400 families. These distributions include canned goods, meat, dry beans, peanut butter, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc. New clients can apply each week. They must provide: Name of head of the household; driver’s license or ID; address; number of persons in the household and ages; and SNAP or SSI printout, or proof of income of all in the household. Donations are always very much needed and appreciated. For more information, BHC may be reached at 985-735-6404 every Wednesday.
Ongoing services at the Bogalusa library
• The Bogalusa branch of the Washington Parish Library offers a variety of services throughout the year. Faxing is available for $1 per 20 pages, and copies can be made for 20 cents each (black and white) or 50 cents each for color. There is also free computers for use — the first five copies are free, and it is 10 cents a copy after the first five.
• If you are an E-book reader, check out the selections offered by the Washington Parish Library in partnership with four other library systems.
• Patrons have free access to ancestry.com at any Washington Parish Library, and free access to heritagequest.com from any home or personal device, as well as a large selection of genealogy materials at the Bogalusa and Franklinton branches.
• The Bogalusa branch receives current copies of local and national newspapers, as well as popular magazine publications. The public is invited to sit in the comfortable reading center to enjoy their favorites.
• For students, the Homework Louisiana website offers a variety of assistance methods, including a live online tutor, “Skills Builder,” homework help and tutoring for kindergarten through basic college level, a writing center, a career center and an adult education center.
Republican Executive Committee
The Washington Republican Parish Executive Committee (PEC) meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. On even months the meetings are held at Bogalusa City Hall, and on odd months they are held at the Washington Parish Courthouse.
Democratic Executive Committee
The Washington Parish Democratic Executive Committee meets the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. The committee meets at Bogalusa City Hall in even-numbered months, and at Franklinton Town Hall in odd-numbered months. All members and interested parties are urged to attend.
The BRIDGES support group meetings are available in both Franklinton and Bogalusa now. The name stands for “Building Recovery of Individual Dreams and Goals through Education and Support.” The group meetings, aimed at those with mental disorders, are confidential and free of charge. The meetings are held at Monroe Street Baptist Church, 1412 Monroe St. in Bogalusa, on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. For additional information, contact Brian Collins at 985-205-5599.
Franklinton library children’s programs
The Washington Parish library offers many free programs to the public, including story times for children. The Franklinton branch hosts its story times every other Saturday at 11:30 a.m. At story times, children are read fun stories, do fun crafts, and have snacks. Come join us at the Franklinton library for our story time.
The Bogalusa American Legion Post 24 holds charity bingo every Thursday night at the Legion Hall. This event sponsors flag education in schools, many scholarships to local students, military honors at veterans’ funerals, and much more. Each bingo night, more than $10,000 in prizes are awarded from the bingo and pull-tab games. The top bingo prize on the blackout game is $1,000, with 14 other bingo games with prizes from $50 to $300. There are eight or more pull-tab prizes of $500. Come early to get a good seat, limit is 250, and concessions are provided. A night of fun with a full set of bingo games costing only $20.
Library story time
The Washington Parish Library hosts weekly children’s programs during the school year. Children enjoy stories, crafts, and snacks during story time. Movie matinees are also offered once a month. Story time is scheduled for Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. All children and family members are welcome to attend.
Tech time at the library
Free technology help is available at the Washington Parish Library by appointment, or by dropping by during “Tech Time” hours at the Franklinton and Bogalusa branches. Times are Mondays at the Franklinton branch, from noon until 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. until 5 p.m.; and Wednesdays at the Bogalusa branch, from noon until 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. You can get help with using library services online (library database), email set-up and use, computer basics, Internet basics, Microsoft Office, social networking, mobile devices, downloading e-books, and how to search for a job online, among other topics. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Franklinton branch at 985-839-7806 or the Bogalusa branch at 985-735-1961.
‘Lunch and Learn’ diabetes education
Every third Thursday of the month, the Washington Community Health Center hosts a “Lunch and Learn” diabetes education seminar from 1:35 p.m. to 3 p.m. at their offices at 2807 South Columbia St. in Bogalusa. Call 985-730-7310 or 504-256-3703 for more information.
PAL Support Group
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) has a support group that meets at the ADAPT office, 216 Memphis St. in Bogalusa, every Tuesday from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Rhonda Gunnell, facilitator of the group, encourages parents and spouses of family members who are abuse or are addicted to drugs or alcohol to attend the meetings. The group is free of charge and offers help and hope to family members of the addict. The focus of each meeting is one of nine educational topics, such as how to help an addicted loved one in a healthy way and how to identify enabling behavior. There is no requirement to go to every meeting or learn all the educational topics. Meetings also include a time for prayer, although the group is open to any denomination or religion. For more information, call Gunnell at ADAPT at 985-735-0160.
Join St. Tammany Parish Hospital spiritual care providers and social workers for a support group open to all who are grieving any loss. The group meets from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month in the Madisonville Conference Room at St. Tammany Parish Hospital, 1203 S. Tyler St., in Covington. For more information, contact Daniel Vanek, chaplain, at 985-898-4562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tai Chi and meditation
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at St. Tammany Parish Hospital will offer free Tai Chi classes from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and free meditation classes from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Monday at the Paul D. Cordes Outpatient Pavilion, located at 16300 Louisiana Highway 1085 in Covington.
New baby support group
St. Tammany Parish Hospital Parenting Center holds its new baby support group from 11:15 a.m. to noon every Thursday at 1505 N. Florida St., Suite B, in Covington. Join other mothers and their little ones up to seven months old to discuss child development and parenting tips with other parents as well as professionals. The group is free. To register or for more information, contact email@example.com or 985-898-4435.
Safety seat inspection
To see if your child is safe in their car seat, call 985-898-4435 to schedule an appointment with the Parenting Center to have your child’s safety seat inspected. Inspections are also held at Troop L from 3-6 p.m. every Tuesday. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are appreciated. Call 985-893-6250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Hope for Today Al-Anon family group meets every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at 1918 Ave. F in Bogalusa. For more information, call 985-570-3460 or 985-516-1263.
Washington Parish Council on Aging Board of Directors meeting
Washington Parish Council on Aging board of directors meets on the fourth Friday of every other month. The meeting location alternates between the Franklinton Senior Center and the Bogalusa Senior Center. For more information, call 985-839-4535.