Downtown Covington's Legacy of Art & Artists

To say that downtown Covington supports the arts is an understatement. 

Downtown Covington business owners are artists themselves in many ways, both in the traditional ways of thinking about art, and in more outside-the-box creative techniques of showcasing art as well. Here are the stories of the central business district merchant/artists who demonstrate skills central to the creation and  appreciation of art. 

In the middle of it all stands the landmark St. Tammany Art Association building, originally a toy store 100 years ago, now a resource providing outstanding classes, gallery exhibitions, and a mission of promoting the arts throughout the community. 

The list of artistic businesses is quite impressive. Here's a sampling.  

Several incredible restaurants showcase the culinary arts across downtown Covington, in every setting from elegant evening eating to the daily lunch cafe encounter (as well as a hot dog restaurant). The unique Louisiana style of delicious menu favorites is well represented, but there is an array of unique dining experiences available that cater to all tastes.

There are clothing stores that range from avant-garde fashion to vintage collectibles you can wear, apparel for the young and the young-at-heart. The downtown Covington offerings include general merchandise and sporting goods stores, as well as shops for the discriminating cigar-smoking aficionado and artists who need supplies, easels, and frames for their finished products.

Since Covington is a courthouse town, there are a number of attorney offices scattered about, but even the attorneys show off their artistic skills, with one attorney the recipient of many national awards for his essays, poems, and humorous cartoon books on the legal profession itself. Google the "Bard of Boston Street" to see what we mean. 

The Tammany Trace Bike Trail runs through the middle of downtown Covington.

One place of business specializes in the beauty of glass, for pieces of art as well as large corporate architectural installations.

And speaking of art, there's a galaxy of galleries, from exhibit galleries that offer works by a wide variety of artists in a wide variety of media, to individual galleries that spotlight the creations of individual artists, many of whom are nationally-known. Art schools are also a favorite, and visitors often seek out places where the famed writer Walker Percy used to hang out. 

Photographers are among the artists with their own galleries and studios. You can often see them taking clients for a downtown walk-around for pictures and posing in front of the classic old town storefronts.

For visitors who can't see it all in just one day, award-winning boutique hotel suites and several nearby bed & breakfast accommodations are available.

As time goes on, we will be adding to this website the stories of downtown Covington merchant artists, how they discovered their niche in the art of business (and the business of art), how they laser-focused their creativity, and most of all, how they packaged and promoted their art through successful merchandising. 

The main contributor to this website is Ron Barthet, a retired newspaper editor who has himself drawn a few cartoons and written a few books over the years. But we welcome artfully-written submissions as well. 

So sit back, take out a map (or a smart phone GPS app) and chart your course to downtown Covington, Louisiana. It's the place to be to be the artist you are.

showing where Covington downtown can be found.

Antiques and Uniques Festival
Walker Percy 
Three Rivers Art Festival Flows Into Covington 
The Columbia Street Landing Archways  
Movies Filmed In Downtown Covington 
Fall For Art
Covington Art Market

Window on Columbia

Here is one of the H.J.Smith's Sons General Merchandise store windows facing Columbia Street, in the old original building which is now a museum.  Imagine standing inside this store, shopping. The year is 1887. 

You look out this exact same window and see the street filled with horses and wagons and oxen. It's very dusty outside, because the street is just dirt. People are heading down the street to the schooner landing to welcome visitors from across the lake.

Now, here are some more windows looking out upon Columbia St. in buildings new and old.

Downtown Covington Photos 2018

To view a series of photographs around downtown Covington, click on the YouTube video and sit back and enjoy. 

Covington Downtown 2018

Bicycle Race in Downtown Covington

Covington has hosted many bicycle races over the past several years, and most recently was the 46th Annual Tour de Louisiane Bike Race. Dozens of cyclists rode the 1.25 kilometer challenging course (eight turns) with a slight to moderate breeze to contend with. The races took place  in the historic downtown area from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the New Orleans Bicycle Club on hand to oversee and coordinate the event. Here are some photographs. 

Click on the images to make them larger. 

Competitive races were held for Juniors, Women, Master-40+, and various other categories. 

Twenty one years ago, the 25th annual race was held on Covington downtown streets.

Parades on Boston Street

Boston Street has been the main parade route for Covington for years and years. There have been fair parades, Mardi Gras parades, CHS Homecoming parades, St. Paul's School parades, the Dixie Trail Ride, St. Patrick's Day parades...




Above, Fair Parade October 5, 1979