Festival season is here! And we’ve got a full list of New Orleans festivals happening over the next few months in and around the city and its metro area. Take a peek!
Hogs for the Cause. (Photo via Facebook)
Spring 2017 New Orleans Festivals
Wednesdays at the Square — The Young Leadership Council (YLC) of New Orleans hosts this fun, free event every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. in Lafayette Square in downtown New Orleans. It’s a great way to get yourself over that weekday hump, and proceeds from sales of food and beverages benefit YLC charities and causes. The weekly series runs through May 24.
Delgado Music Festival — Delgado Community College hosts this free event at its City Park Campus (615 City Park Avenue) on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Expect performances from artists like Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Stephanie Jordan, and more.
Hogs for the Cause — Help support kids facing scary diagnoses at Hogs for the Cause, benefitting treatments and support for families with children with pediatric brain cancer. This fest is all about the barbecue, with amazing pork dishes (vegetarian, too) and plenty of live music at the UNO Lakefront Arena festival grounds March 31 and April 1. One-day general admission tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate; kids under 12 are free.
Kenner’s Italian Heritage Festival — Celebrate Italian culture even after St. Joseph’s Day with this fest happening March 31-April 2. Local crafts and live music set the tone to browse historic photos and a St. Joseph’s Day altar. The fest lasts from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 (free for children under 12).
Freret Street Festival — Freret Street in Uptown New Orleans just keeps growing. This free fest celebrates the neighborhood with more than 200 vendors plus live music on three stages, activities for kids, pet adoptions, and more. Hit the fest on April 1 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Music Under the Oaks — On April 2 and April 9, the Loyola University School of Music (April 2) and the New Orleans Concert Band (April 9) offer free concerts at 5 p.m. at Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park. Food and drinks are available at this lovely event — bring your lawn chair for a comfy seat!
A Taste of Covington — Dine out on some of the North Shore’s best food and wine at this upscale event happening April 5-9. Tickets vary.
French Quarter Festival — All the French Quarter becomes a stage at this free event from April 6-9. Hundreds of bands play all throughout the French Quarter on stages small and large. Food from more than 60 restaurants keeps your appetite at bay so you can enjoy the music!
Spring for Art — This free downtown Covington fest on April 18 features music, live performances, and — of course — art. Businesses will stay open late so you can peruse and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Lake PontchARTrain Craft Fair — Browse work from more than 30 vendors offering jewelry, crafts, artwork, pottery, and more from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22.
Covington Antiques and Uniques Festival — On April 22 and 23, browse antiques and collectibles (everything from crafts to classic cars!) at this free fest, featuring a live auction, walking tours, music, food, and more.
Jazz Fest — On April 28-30 (and then again May 4-7), Jazz Fest brings in incredible acts like Stevie Wonder, Alabama Shakes, Wilco, Patti La-Belle, Kings of Leon, Maroon 5, Tom Petty, and more. The fest runs from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; tickets are $70 in advance and $80 at the gate.
Jazz Fest — See above!
Mother’s Day Celebration — Treat mom to a fun day at Audubon Zoo for a free concert (with price of regular zoo admission) from New Orleans legend Irma Thomas. Additional performances plus family activities round out your day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 14.
Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo — Boogie on the bayou at this three-day festival featuring Jon Cleary, Luke Winslow King, and more local music acts. Plenty of food plus arts and crafts are all part of the fun from April 19-21. Even better? It’s free!
New Orleans Food and Wine Experience — Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in good taste at this ultimate New Orleans culinary experience featuring grand tastings, a pastry show, a wine stroll, and so much more. Tickets vary; the Experience runs from May 25-28.
Greek Festival — Go Greek! Along Bayou St. John in New Orleans, scope out Hellenic dances, cooking demonstrations, Greek music, food, and much more May 26-28. Ticket information TBA.
Bayou Country Superfest — The Baton Rouge favorite moves to New Orleans this year with country artists like Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and more. Head to the Superdome May 26-28; tickets start at $99.
Louis Armstrong Airport is truly undergoing a renaissance. In addition to a new, upcoming terminal and new restaurants on-site (planned vendors for the terminal expansion include Pizza Domenica, Mondo, Mopho, and Emeril’s Table), “MSY” is also adding new international flights to its roster. Keep reading to plan your dream international vacation — we’ve got the scoop on where to go and what to pack so you always feel at home.
British Airways offers direct flights from New Orleans to London. (Photo via Facebook)
Where to Go
London — British Airways announced its exciting new nonstop from New Orleans to London last year… and now flights are finally available starting March 27. The global culture and ancient history of this premiere city is just a direct flight away; there’s truly no reason not to take advantage of this amazing new offering from Louis Armstrong Airport!
Panama — Some call Panama the gateway to the Americas, but it’s also a destination in and of itself. Whether you choose to stay in Panama or use the direct flight on Copa Airlines to venture into other nearby Central and South American countries like Costa Rica or Colombia, your flight will be quick and easy — it’s only 3 1/2 hours long!
Frankfurt — Frankfurt is one of the largest, busiest airports in the world that offers easy access to other countries in Europe and Asia. You may choose the direct flight to Frankfurt as your connection to nearly anywhere else in the world, or you might decide to stay and explore Germany. Frankfurt is a truly European-style destination with historic landmarks, botanical gardens, museums, performing arts venues, and so much more; it’s also just a train ride away from Germany’s capital, Berlin.
Cancun — Your beach getaway just got a lot more exotic with direct flights available seasonally to Cancun. Revel in the surf and the sun on a flight that clocks in at under 2 hours!
Punta Cana — This gem of the Dominican Republic is another must-do beach destination available seasonally. You’ll be treated to incredible resorts, beautiful ocean views, and the laid-back style of the Caribbean.
Toronto — Spend your vacay on the shores of Lake Ontario with a flight to Toronto. This cosmopolitan city is a prominent location for films, music, and the performing arts. Get a view of it all from the city’s famous CN Tower.
What to Pack for an Overseas Flight
Of course, you’ll want to prepare for weather and desired activities (are you envisioning a fancy night out? A heart-pumping hike? Pack accordingly!) wherever you’re headed, but there are a few things you can bring with you to stay relaxed and feel at home on a long flight. You’ll arrive feeling refreshed, not frazzled.
- Noise-canceling headphones — Crying baby? What crying baby?
- USB battery pack — A backup battery means you can Netflix binge without worrying about draining your phone!
- Lightweight scarf, jacket, or blanket — Planes get chilly, after all.
- Travel pillow — Pick one up at the airport if you forget to bring your own. The last thing you want when you land is a sore neck!
- Address of where you’re staying — This sounds obvious, but have the address written down or committed to memory. Customs agents may ask when you land, and you’ll certainly want to direct your cab driver to the correct place.
- Care pack — Pack a quart-size, clear plastic zip bag with items like moisturizer, eye drops, Tylenol, Alka-Seltzer, chapstick, and Emergen-C. Sometimes, long flights are just plain uncomfortable, but these items can help!
Happy Mardi Gras! If you’re headed to the parades, take a peek below to see what’s rolling in Metairie, plus more information about each parade.
The Corps de Napoleon parade. (Photo via Corps de Napoleon)
Metairie Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
Friday, Feb. 24
Krewe of Centurions, 7 p.m. — The Krewe of Centurions parade begins at Woodlawn Avenue and Eldorado Street and ends at Veterans and Martin Behrman Avenue.
Krewe of Excalibur, follows — This parade was rescheduled due to rain. The krewe will roll immediately following Centurions, although more details are TBD. Check their Facebook page for updates!
Saturday, Feb. 25
Krewe of Isis, 6:30 p.m. — The largest and oldest all-female krewe in Jefferson Parish, Isis starts at Woodlawn Avenue and Eldorado Street and concludes at Veterans and Martin Behrman Avenue.
Sunday, Feb. 26
Corps de Napoleon, 5 p.m. — The Corps de Napoleon parade begins at Woodlawn Avenue and Eldorado Street and ends at Veterans and Martin Behrman Avenue.
Krewe of Athena, follows — Like the Krewe of Excalibur, this parade was rescheduled due to rain. They’ll roll directly after Krewe of Napoleon; check their Facebook page for updates!
Monday, Feb. 27 (Lundi Gras)
No parades today, but consider attending the 24th Annual Lundi Gras Festival at Spanish Plaza in downtown New Orleans. This free event includes live music and fireworks as revelers welcome the King of Rex.
Tuesday, Feb. 28 (Mardi Gras)
Krewe of Argus, 10 a.m. — This family-friendly parade is a Mardi Gras day favorite. Try to catch a stuffed blue dog thrown from the George Rodrigue float! The parade starts at Woodlawn Avenue and Eldorado Street and ends at Veterans and Martin Behrman Avenue.
Krewe of Elks Jefferson, follows — More than 90 vehicles comprise this truck parade, which begins at Veterans and Houma Boulevard and ends at Veterans and Martin Behrman Avenue.
Krewe of Jefferson, follows — Another truck parade, Krewe of Jefferson begins at Veterans and Houma Boulevard and ends at Veterans and Martin Behrman Avenue.
Jefferson Parish must be on the nice list, because there are so many fun activities for us to enjoy this holiday season! Whether you live in Metairie, River Ridge, Kenner, or elsewhere in the Greater New Orleans region, we’ve got you covered with a veritable winter wonderland of holiday happenings.
Our present to you: all the holiday fun you can handle in Greater New Orleans!
Holiday Activities in Greater New Orleans
Music and Theater Events
Jefferson Performing Arts Society Presents: The Ultimate Christmas Show
This holiday variety show and Christmas pageant runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. from Dec. 2-11. If you’d like to catch it during the week, enjoy a special Thursday performance on Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25; call (504) 885-2000 for more information.
Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts’ “Steel Poinsettias”
A comical riff on “Steel Magnolias,” this play has a Christmas-themed twist and just as much Southern sass. Catch it Dec. 2-3; Dec. 9-10; and Dec. 16-17 at various evening and matinee times. Tickets are $30; call (504) 461-9475 for more information.
The National World War II Museum’s “A Vintage Christmas”
Singing vintage tunes “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in perfect harmony, the vintage-chic Victory Belles conjure up an era gone by during their show, happening throughout the holiday season. You can even catch a show on Christmas Day! Buy tickets in advance to reserve your spot.
Jefferson Performing Arts Society Presents: “The Nutcracker”
An absolute holiday classic. Last year, JPAS’s performance of “The Nutcracker” was named the best ballet presentation of 2015 at the Big Easy Classical Arts award — you won’t want to miss it! Get your tickets online (from $40) for Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. or Dec. 18 at 2 p.m.
Kenner Christmas Village
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through the holiday season, find caroling, holiday characters, crafts, food vendors, and entertainment at Kenner Christmas Village, 405 Williams Blvd. Admire beautiful Christmas lights and animated scenery, and don’t even worry about bringing your wallet — admission is free! (Of course, food and drink are additional costs.)
Christmas in the Park
Lafreniere Park hosts this dazzling event throughout its lush grounds. Explore LED light displays plus amusements like the Children’s Carousel ride. Admission is $5 per vehicle, so plan to carpool and save some cash! Christmas in the Park runs every Sunday through Thursday from dusk until 9:45 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday until 11:45 p.m. throughout the holiday season.
Lights at the Lake
Save Our Lake hosts this annual event at the New Canal Lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain. It’s free to attend, but you can also purchase $5 raffle tickets for your chance to win a variety of prizes, including a staycation, restaurant gift cards, City Park memberships, and more. Call (504) 836-2205 for details on event times.
For the Kids
Deanie’s Seafood Holiday Kid’s Sing-a-Long
The French Quarter location of Deanie’s Seafood will host a kid’s event on Dec. 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 9 a.m. This family-friendly event includes complimentary photos with Santa, a full breakfast buffet, face painting, arts and crafts, a commemorative crawfish, and more. Tickets are $42 per person, and children under 2 years are free.
Teddy Bear Tea at The National WWII Museum
On Dec. 3, 10, and 17, treat the kids to tasty food, sweet treats, and live music. They can bring their favorite teddy bear as a “plus one,” but all young guests will leave with a new teddy bear to commemorate the event. Holiday songs, a photo station, and Santa are all part of the fun.
Jefferson Parish harvests a hefty crop of fun things to do this fall. Take a look at all there is to do this October and November!
Shady trees, a paved walkway, and water features are all part of Lafreniere Park in Metairie. (Photo courtesy ExperienceJefferson.com)
Fun Fall Activities
Lafreniere Live! Fall Concert Series — This park is one of our favorites in the area, and on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m., it’s also your spot for live music. Check out The Strays at this free concert taking place at Al Copeland Meadow Concert Stage inside the park. Vendors are on site for food and drinks!
Oktoberfest — Three straight weekends of German food, music, and beer with contests every single day (including Dachshund races!). It’s a whole lot of fun in Kenner’s charming Rivertown. Head there from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturdays throughout October. Admission is $8, but kids ages 12 and under are free.
Junie B. Jones: The Musical — Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts takes on the beloved children’s book character Junie B. in this family-friendly play running Oct. 7-16. Tickets are $15.
Park-A-Boo — Lafreniere Park is at it again with fun programming Oct. 21-23 with their Park-A-Boo event. Costumes are encouraged at this safe Halloween event featuring trick or treating, activities, a boo house, and more for families with kids ages 13 and younger. Food booths will serve up kid-friendly favorites like pizza, hot dogs, and soft drinks. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for kids, and free for children under 2.
Bucktown Seafood Festival — Head to 1600 Lake Avenue for music and food all weekend during the 19th annual Bucktown Seafood Festival. Deanie’s seafood provides the grub, and you’ll hear music from bands like Contraflow and Category 6. There will also be rides and games for all ages plus a crafts fair, raffle prizes, and more.
Hocus Pocus at Muss Bertolino Park — The City of Kenner screens the Disney favorite on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, and costumes are encouraged! There are also games and photo opportunities starting at 5:30 p.m. prior to the screening.
Funny Girl — Jefferson Performing Arts Society in Metairie presents this classic musical theater performance Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. from Nov. 4-13. Tickets are available from $30.
1776 The Musical — Harness your patriotism just in time for elections at this Rivertown Theaters event running Nov. 4-20. Tickets from $36.
Oyster Festival — On Nov. 11-13, check out Oyster Fest at 3978 West Esplanade Ave. in Metairie. This local community fair features live music, crafts, games, kids’ activities, and a whole lot of oysters! Admission is free.
Pecan Festival — With Thanksgiving in mind, the Pecan Festival is overflowing with pecan dishes (including pie!). Admission is free and includes live music, games, and plenty of family fun.
Kenner Christmas Village — Ring in the holidays at this annual event lighting up Main Street USA in the Rivertown historic district starting on Nov. 27. Admission is free to this festive holiday village, studded in Christmas lights and animated scenery from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. throughout the holiday season.