This past Sunday, the mayor of Abita Springs, Dan Curtis, made an announcement at the weekly farmer’s market. At 11 a.m., as the market opened, Mayor Curtis introduced Omelette the hen as the honorary mayor for the day from the stage of the museum overlooking the market. Omelette is the local mascot for the Abita Cafe.
Normally, Omelette is a free range bird, who pecks for worms and scraps in the yard and near the outside tables of the cafe. However, for her honorary day as mayor, she appeared in a cage and was wheeled around the town’s center in a wagon. In addition to touring the market stalls of vegetables, prepared food and crafts, she viewed Rosie’s Tavern, Artigue’s Grocery and Deli, and the Abita Brew Pub.
I have never been inside Rosie’s Tavern, but I am a regular customer at Artigue’s Grocery and Deli, as well as the Abita Brew Pub. If you come by Abita, I recommend the plate lunches at Artigue’s Grocery. The Abita Brew Pub has great burgers.
Omelette’s political views are unknown. I have no idea where she stands on the local issues such as zoning or sewerage improvements. Heaven knows what she thinks about impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors. For one blessed Sunday, Omelette blessed us with her apolitical tenure as mayor. It was refreshing.
In the evening, after the market closed. the chicken returned to her home at the cafe. Dan Curtis resumed his mayoral duties. Such is the news of a small town on Sunday in Louisiana.
How cool is Abita Springs, Louisiana? Well, let me tell you. Abita Springs, a town of about 2500 residents, made the list of 25 Top Coolest Towns in the US.* You can read the article yourself if you want their opinion. I won’t repeat the article here in this space.
However, I think this is a cool town. I live here, so I might be a bit biased. Let me give you my list on what makes Abita Springs a great place.
Abita Springs has quaint architecture. The town came into its own in the Gilded Age as a place to escape the Yellow Fever epidemics of nearby New Orleans.
Abita Springs has the St Tammany Tracerunning through the center of town. The Trace is a bike and pedestrian trail that replaced the train tracks in St. Tammany Parish.
Abita Springs has two museums. One museum is devoted to the history of the town, and the other is a museum of oddities with things like a stuffed alligator and collections of glass shards.
Abita Springs has the Push Mow Parade every Mardi Gras. I can’t add anything else to that – it’s just cool.
Abita Springs has its own Opry. The Abita Springs Opry has six concerts a year in the town hall, dedicated to preserving bluegrass and country music.
Abita Springs hosts an annual city-wide garage sale every spring. What can beat that? I don’t know, but maybe the beer. . . ?
Abita Springs is home to Louisiana’s best craft beer. The Abita Brewery sells thousands of barrels of beer and ale across the state and the nation.