Events

20 Things You Must Do in New Orleans This Spring

Published On 03/24/2015 Published On 03/24/2015
YLC Wed@Square?

Date

Event

Location

Mar 25-May 27

YLC Wednesday at the Square concert series Who doesn’t love free music? Now that the weather is nice and warm, this weekly outdoor concert series -- which also features food, naturally -- is always a good bet. Performers this year include everyone from Bonerama to Kermit Ruffins, George Porter Jr., Flow Tribe, and the inimitable Irma Thomas.

Lafayette Square (CBD)

YLC Wednesday at the Square concert series Lafayette Square (CBD) Who doesn’t love free music? Now that the weather is nice and warm, this weekly outdoor concert series -- which also features food, naturally -- is always a good bet. Performers this year include everyone from Bonerama to Kermit Ruffins, George Porter Jr., Flow Tribe, and the inimitable Irma Thomas.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 25 Wed

Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival The Big Easy’s biggest book fest comes around yet again, with all its brainy bells and whistles, including the most important “Stella Shouting Contest” in Jackson Square.

Various venues

Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival Various venues The Big Easy’s biggest book fest comes around yet again, with all its brainy bells and whistles, including the most important “Stella Shouting Contest” in Jackson Square.

Flickr/dbr Atl

Date

Event

Location

Mar 26 Thu

Louisiana Crawfish Festival You like mudbugs? Yeah, you know you do. Get your fill at this annual celebration of all things crawfish, from crawfish ettouffee to crawfish pies, crawfish pastas, crawfish bread, crawfish rice, crawfish jambalaya...

Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center

Louisiana Crawfish Festival Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center You like mudbugs? Yeah, you know you do. Get your fill at this annual celebration of all things crawfish, from crawfish ettouffee to crawfish pies, crawfish pastas, crawfish bread, crawfish rice, crawfish jambalaya...

Date

Event

Location

Mar 27 Fri

Festa Italiana Ciao bella! Now that St. Patrick’s Day has celebrated NOLA’s Irish population, it’s time to party it up with the Italian heritage festival. And of course Italian music as well (including Lena Prima), plus rides, including giant hamster balls. Nope, not making that up.

Kenner

Festa Italiana Kenner Ciao bella! Now that St. Patrick’s Day has celebrated NOLA’s Irish population, it’s time to party it up with the Italian heritage festival. And of course Italian music as well (including Lena Prima), plus rides, including giant hamster balls. Nope, not making that up.

Flickr/wd wilson

Date

Event

Location

Mar 27 Fri

NOLA Pyrate Week Avast! Swab the poop deck (hehehe) and batten down the hatches, because New Orleans’ favorite celebration of scurvy scallywags is back again for another year. Arrrrrrrr you ready?

Pirate’s Alley, French Quarter

NOLA Pyrate Week Pirate’s Alley, French Quarter Avast! Swab the poop deck (hehehe) and batten down the hatches, because New Orleans’ favorite celebration of scurvy scallywags is back again for another year. Arrrrrrrr you ready?

Hogs For The Cause

Date

Event

Location

Mar 27 Fri

Hogs For The Cause The Crescent City’s favorite (and biggest) BBQ championship returns, and it promises to be bigger and badder than ever. Last year hosted over 90 competing teams, in categories ranging from pulled pork to brisket, ribs, beans, and “porkpourri.” And, as always, proceeds go to benefit a wonderful cause.

City Park

Hogs For The Cause City Park The Crescent City’s favorite (and biggest) BBQ championship returns, and it promises to be bigger and badder than ever. Last year hosted over 90 competing teams, in categories ranging from pulled pork to brisket, ribs, beans, and “porkpourri.” And, as always, proceeds go to benefit a wonderful cause.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 27 Fri

NOLA FoodFest This culinary festival, for once, is not just about our local cuisine. Cooks from all over the country will be coming in to show off their hometown, home-cooked American fare, with everything from Memphis BBQ to New Mexico tamales, Texas brisket, and desserts from Gloucester, MA, among many others. There is also a beignet-eating competition, if you think you can hack it.

Various locations

NOLA FoodFest Various locations This culinary festival, for once, is not just about our local cuisine. Cooks from all over the country will be coming in to show off their hometown, home-cooked American fare, with everything from Memphis BBQ to New Mexico tamales, Texas brisket, and desserts from Gloucester, MA, among many others. There is also a beignet-eating competition, if you think you can hack it.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 28 Sat

The 79th Annual Spring Fiesta Want to get a good eyeful of some of NOLA’s most beautiful, historic places and homes? Spring Fiesta has you covered with plenty of walking tours of the French Quarter and some of its most iconic locations.

French Quarter

The 79th Annual Spring Fiesta French Quarter Want to get a good eyeful of some of NOLA’s most beautiful, historic places and homes? Spring Fiesta has you covered with plenty of walking tours of the French Quarter and some of its most iconic locations.

Louisiana Oyster Jubilee

Date

Event

Location

Mar 29 Sun

Louisiana Oyster Jubilee Yet another fun food festival with plenty of live music, this one focuses on our favorite bivalve. Lots of fun stuff to do here, but don’t miss the annual building of the world’s largest oyster po-boy, which, of course, you’ll get to sample if you’re patient.

300 Block of Bourbon St

Louisiana Oyster Jubilee 300 Block of Bourbon St Yet another fun food festival with plenty of live music, this one focuses on our favorite bivalve. Lots of fun stuff to do here, but don’t miss the annual building of the world’s largest oyster po-boy, which, of course, you’ll get to sample if you’re patient.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 4 Sat

Freret Street Festival There was a time, a while back, when the Freret St corridor was a less-than-savory place. Well, not anymore, and Freret Street Fest shows off that fact in excellent form, with three stages of live music and tons of local food vendors ready to show you a good time, as well as arts, crafts, and a flea market.

Freret St between Napoleon & Robert

Freret Street Festival Freret St between Napoleon & Robert There was a time, a while back, when the Freret St corridor was a less-than-savory place. Well, not anymore, and Freret Street Fest shows off that fact in excellent form, with three stages of live music and tons of local food vendors ready to show you a good time, as well as arts, crafts, and a flea market.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 5 Sun

NOLA Easter Parades It’s not a holiday in New Orleans without a parade, and there are several going on to celebrate Easter, including the big, historic one in the Vieux Carre, as well as one hosted by local entertainer (and “stripper of indeterminate age”) Chris Owens.

French Quarter

NOLA Easter Parades French Quarter It’s not a holiday in New Orleans without a parade, and there are several going on to celebrate Easter, including the big, historic one in the Vieux Carre, as well as one hosted by local entertainer (and “stripper of indeterminate age”) Chris Owens.

French Quarter Festivals, Inc

Date

Event

Location

Apr 9 Thu

French Quarter Festival When most people think about the biggest music fest in NOLA, they’ll probably think of Jazz Fest, but FQF has quickly become a favorite for locals and visitors alike. The free entry certainly doesn’t hurt.

Ummmm... the French Quarter

French Quarter Festival Ummmm... the French Quarter When most people think about the biggest music fest in NOLA, they’ll probably think of Jazz Fest, but FQF has quickly become a favorite for locals and visitors alike. The free entry certainly doesn’t hurt.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 10 Fri

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival If you really love Louisiana strawberries (and there’s much to love there), it’s worth driving out to the town of Ponchatoula to sample everything strawberry-licious, from pies to preserves.

Memorial Park, Ponchatoula, LA

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Memorial Park, Ponchatoula, LA If you really love Louisiana strawberries (and there’s much to love there), it’s worth driving out to the town of Ponchatoula to sample everything strawberry-licious, from pies to preserves.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Date

Event

Location

Apr 23-26

Zurich Classic of New Orleans Golf fans, this one is for you. Not only does the Zurich host some of the best pro golfers in the world, it’s also the only other reliable place you can find the infamous “combo plate” from Patton’s Caterering (crawfish sack, crawfish beignets, and oyster patty) outside of Jazz Fest.

TPC Louisiana

Zurich Classic of New Orleans TPC Louisiana Golf fans, this one is for you. Not only does the Zurich host some of the best pro golfers in the world, it’s also the only other reliable place you can find the infamous “combo plate” from Patton’s Caterering (crawfish sack, crawfish beignets, and oyster patty) outside of Jazz Fest.

Flickr/Mark McLellan

Date

Event

Location

Apr 24-May 3

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Oh yeah, it’s Jazz Fest time, baby. Come hungry, thirsty, and ready for a tour of music from gospel to country, folk, jazz, zydeco, and of course tons of major national acts. This year’s headliners include Elton John, The Who, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Widespread Panic, Lenny Kravitz, Keith Urban, Pitbull, John Legend, and so many more.

Fair Grounds Race Course

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Fair Grounds Race Course Oh yeah, it’s Jazz Fest time, baby. Come hungry, thirsty, and ready for a tour of music from gospel to country, folk, jazz, zydeco, and of course tons of major national acts. This year’s headliners include Elton John, The Who, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Widespread Panic, Lenny Kravitz, Keith Urban, Pitbull, John Legend, and so many more.

Date

Event

Location

May 5 Tue

Cinco de Mayo Just because New Orleans doesn’t have the largest population of Mexican-Americans doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate it on May 5th! Look for specials and other good stuff at local eateries like Superior Grill, Sarita’s Grill, Juan’s Flying Burrito, El Gato Negro, and Felipe’s Taqueria, to start.

Various locations

Cinco de Mayo Various locations Just because New Orleans doesn’t have the largest population of Mexican-Americans doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate it on May 5th! Look for specials and other good stuff at local eateries like Superior Grill, Sarita’s Grill, Juan’s Flying Burrito, El Gato Negro, and Felipe’s Taqueria, to start.

Date

Event

Location

May 15 Fri

Bayou Boogaloo Time to get funky (and maybe a little wet) out on Bayou St. John for this music festival that has, in recent years, quickly become a favorite among locals. Don’t forget the cooler and the lawn chairs, and remember: rock the boat, but don’t rock the boat.

Mid-City

Bayou Boogaloo Mid-City Time to get funky (and maybe a little wet) out on Bayou St. John for this music festival that has, in recent years, quickly become a favorite among locals. Don’t forget the cooler and the lawn chairs, and remember: rock the boat, but don’t rock the boat.

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

Date

Event

Location

May 20 Wed

New Orleans Food & Wine Experience If you like a hearty cab sav, a coupe of bubbly, or perhaps a light pinot noir, you’ll find all of it and more during these events, as there are literally hundreds of wineries participating. Also, be on the lookout for food from some of the best local restaurants in town. Bacchus himself would be proud.

Various locations

New Orleans Food & Wine Experience Various locations If you like a hearty cab sav, a coupe of bubbly, or perhaps a light pinot noir, you’ll find all of it and more during these events, as there are literally hundreds of wineries participating. Also, be on the lookout for food from some of the best local restaurants in town. Bacchus himself would be proud.

Date

Event

Location

May 22 Fri

New Orleans Greek Festival Celebrating Greek culture and heritage in NOLA doesn’t get much better than this, with plenty of music, dancing, and food. Do not miss the spit-roasted lamb. Just... don’t. Opa!

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Gentilly

New Orleans Greek Festival Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Gentilly Celebrating Greek culture and heritage in NOLA doesn’t get much better than this, with plenty of music, dancing, and food. Do not miss the spit-roasted lamb. Just... don’t. Opa!

Flickr/jennifer durban

Date

Event

Location

May 30-31

Oyster Fest Wait...another oyster festival in New Orleans? Yes, another oyster festival. There can’t be too many. NOOF features not just a huge music lineup, but also food from some of the very best seafood spots in town. Raw, char-broiled, fried, barbecued, oysters Rockefeller, oyster pasta, oyster pie, you name it, they’ll have it. The shucking competition is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, too.

French Quarter

Oyster Fest French Quarter Wait...another oyster festival in New Orleans? Yes, another oyster festival. There can’t be too many. NOOF features not just a huge music lineup, but also food from some of the very best seafood spots in town. Raw, char-broiled, fried, barbecued, oysters Rockefeller, oyster pasta, oyster pie, you name it, they’ll have it. The shucking competition is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, too.

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