Events » New Orleans Event Previews

New Orleans Festivals Guide: April 2014

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2, 9, 16, 23, 30Wednesday at the Square — (Lafayette Square, 500 block of St. Charles Avenue, 504-585-1500; — The Wednesday evening concert series features New Orleans musicians, food and arts and crafts. Proceeds benefit the Young Leadership Council. Hours 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Admission free.

3, 10, 17, 24Thursdays at Twilight — (Botanical Garden's Pavilion of the Two Sisters, City Park, 5 Victory Ave., — The weekly concert series features music ranging from Motown to jazz, with a different musician or group each week. Hours doors open at 5 p.m. Admission $10 adults, $3 ages 5-12.

3-6Paddle Bayou Lafourche (Various locations from Donaldsonville to Lockport, 985-447-0868; — The four-day, 52-mile boating trip goes from the headwaters of Bayou Lafourche in Donaldsonville to Lockport. The trip is sponsored by the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and paddlers will learn about the culture, heritage and ecology of the area. Paddlers can pick what days to participate. Hours vary. Registration $30-$50 per day, $110-$190 four-day package.

4-5Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival (Downtown riverbank, Natchitoches, 318-332-1059; — Marshall Tucker Band headlines the 19th annual festival, which also offers a variety of local and regional music including rock 'n' roll, jazz, R&B, country and soul. There also are food and drink vendors. Hours 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri., noon-11 p.m. Sat. Admission $5 adults, $6 students, free ages under 12 Fri.; $10 adults, $6 students, free ages under 12 Sat.; Weekend Pass (advance only, good for both days) $12 adults, $8 students, free ages under 12.

4-5T-Bois Blues Festival (T-Bois Alligator Farm, 900 Hamilton St., Larose, 985-209-3528; — The overnight camping festival features performances by regional and national musicians including Anders Osborne, Luther Dickinson and Honey Island Swamp Band. There's also NOLA Brewing craft beers, crawfish boils, Cajun cuisine, alligator farm tours and more. $110 for two days with camping, $185 VIP with camping.

5Crawfest 2014 (Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Ave., 404-310-9455; — The Tulane student-run music food and arts festival is held on the university's Uptown campus. The event features more than nine tons of free boiled crawfish (and free sodas and water), live music and two dozen vendors. Hours 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission $10.

5Fete Francaise (Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle Orleans, 821 Gen. Pershing St., 504-896-4500; — The 15th annual event features French cuisine, live music, kids' activities, a rock-climbing wall, pony rides and more. Hours 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission free.

5Freret Street Festival (between Napoleon and Jefferson Ave.; — The daytime neighborhood festival features five stages of live music, an art market, flea market, kids' area, a pet adoption campaign and more. Music from Wild Magnolias, Flowtribe, Sweet Crude and others. Hours 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission free.

5-6Kite Fest Louisiane (West Baton Rouge Soccer Complex, 3383 Rosedale Road, Port Allen, 225-344-2920; — Professional kite teams perform and there's kite-flying for visitors, live music and fireworks at the 10th annual event. Hours 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission free.

5-6Art in the Pass (War Memorial Park, Pass Christian, Miss., 228-452-5969; — The annual art festival overlooks the Gulf in Pass Christian, Miss., and features arts and crafts from more than 100 artists from 14 states as well as food and drinks. Hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission free.

5-6New Orleans Spring Garden Show (New Orleans Botanical Garden, City Park, 3 Victory Ave., 504-658-2900; or — The 35th annual show features dozens of exhibitors offering plants, arts and crafts, children's activities, and gardening and decorating ideas. There also are seminars by experts, children's activities and food vendors. Hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission $8 adults, $4 ages 5-12, free ages 4 and under and Friends of City Park.

5-10Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week (Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park, 300 Fisher Road, Lafayette, 337-234-8360; — Balfa Week is an annual cultural event featuring classes and workshops taught by Louisiana musicians. In the evenings, there are dances with Cajun and zydeco bands. Hours vary. Admission for workshops and classes varies; $10 per day for evening dances.

10-13A Taste of Covington (Various locations in Covington, 504-439-2543; — The four-day food, wine, music and shopping event features nine vintner's dinners, a grand tasting, and high-end tasting, a jazz brunch and the annual Spring for Art block party in downtown Covington. Hours vary. Admission varies.

10-13French Quarter Festival (French Quarter; — The 31st annual festival features almost two dozen stages for music and performances stretching from the Old U.S. Mint, throughout the French Quarter and along the Mississippi Riverfront. Each day has a full and varied music schedule, plus more than 60 food vendors offering a range of cuisines, arts and crafts and children's activities. Hours 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thu., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. Admission free.

11-13Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival (Main Street, Franklin, 337-940-1156; — Celebrating the Louisiana black bear, the festival features an art exhibit and sale, seminars, children's activities, field trips, food vendors, live music, a raffle and a fireworks display. Hours 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Admission free.

11-13Cajun Hot Sauce Festival (SugArena, New Iberia, 337-365-7539; — The family friendly festival has hot-sauce competitions, jambalaya cook-offs, live entertainment, food court, crafts and more. Hours 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Fri., 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Admission free.

11-13Great Louisiana Birdfest (Various locations, Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain;—The 18th annual event is timed to coincide with the migration of numerous bird species passing through Louisiana on their way from Mexico and South America. Hours vary. Admission $20-$60 per event.

11-13Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival (301 N. Sixth St., Ponchatoula, 800-917-7045; — The annual festival features live music, carnival rides, art and lots of the fruit for which it's named. There are strawberry eating contests, a strawberry auction and more. Hours 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., noon-6 p.m. Sun. Admission free.

12Spring for Art (Downtown Covington, 985-892-8650; — More than 40 galleries present works by regional artists at this street festival, which has live music, kids' activities, food and more. Hours 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission free.

16-19Washington Catfish Festival (Washington Festival Grounds, 143 Veterans Memorial Highway, Washington, 337-826-3627) — Live zydeco, Cajun, R&B and blues are highlights of the 15th annual celebration, which also features a catfish cook-off, arts and crafts, Cajun and Creole cuisine, antiques, exhibits and more. Hours vary. Admission $10 adults, $5 children 12 and younger.

17Concerts In the Courtyard —  The seventh annual event offers a monthly concert featuring Louisiana musicians playing in the courtyard and three complimentary beverages (beer and wine). Hours 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Admission $10, free for members.

17-19Great Southern Bluegrass Event (Great Southern RV Park, 30338 Highway 21, Angie, 985-516-4680; — The festival features bluegrass acts staged in an indoor facility. Hours 3 p.m.-till Thu., 12:30 p.m.-till Fri.-Sat. Admission $20 per day Thu.-Fri., $25 Sat., $55 weekend pass, free children 12 and younger.

19Earth Day Festival & Green Business Expo (Louis Armstrong Park, 901 N. Rampart St., 504-484-3433; — Live music, food, exhibits about green businesses, arts and crafts and children's activities are available at this ninth annual festival. Hours 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Admission free.

23-27Festival International de Louisiane (444 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 337-232-8086; — This community-based festival, which began in 1986, celebrates the cultural heritage of south Louisiana and is the largest outdoor, free Francophone event in the U.S. Performers from Europe, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean play music alongside Louisiana natives, and there's also food and arts and crafts. Hours vary. Admission free.

25Zoo-To-Do for Kids (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-861-6160; — This fundraiser is designed for kids and features music, food from local restaurants, inflatable play structures, arcade games, crafts and face painting. Patron/sponsor tickets are available. Proceeds benefit zoo construction projects. Hours 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m., early admission 5:30 p.m. Admission $25 ($20 members), $40 early admission

25-26Parks Cracklin' Cook-Off (Cecile Rousseau Poche Memorial Park, 103 Periou St. Parks, 337-230-1860; — The event combines a two-day cooking contest with live music, family activities and art scholarship awards. Hours 6 p.m.-midnight Fri., 10 a.m.-midnight Sat. Admission free.

25-27Cajun Fest 2014 (Visitation of Our Lady School, 3520 Ames Blvd., Marrero, 504-347-2203;—There is music and food for days at this Cajun festival on the West Bank. Hours 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Admission free.

25-27Etouffee Festival (Little Flower School Grounds, 370 Main St., Arnaudville, 337-754-5912; — The 29th annual festival features etouffee of all types, carnival rides, a cook-off, live music, a parade, silent action and car/motorcycle/truck show. Hours 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Admission free.

25-27Italian Festival (Highway 51, in front of City Hall, Tickfaw, 985-974-0565;—The annual festival, which has been held in Independence for the last 40 years, celebrates Italian culture and heritage with food, live music and carnival rides. A spaghetti cook-off begins at 8 a.m. Hours vary. Admission free.

25-27New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Fair Grounds Race Course, 1751 Gentilly Blvd., — The 45th annual festival, held the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May, features scores of local and international musicians and other acts that perform on stages and in tents on the horseracing course and in the grandstand. Headliners include Santana, The Avett Brothers, Robert Plant, John Hiatt and more. Hours 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission $70 per day, $5 ages 2-10, $55 advance (before April 24), VIP packages available.

25-27Spring Fair Deaux Deaux (St. Joan of Arc Church and School, 529 W. Fifth St., LaPlace, 985-652-9100) — The three-day festival features live music, carnival rides, games, a kids' stage, a gourmet dinner and other food vendors. Hours 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 1 p.m.-11 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Admission free.

26-27Angola Prison Rodeo (Louisiana State Penitentiary, Highway 66, Angola, 225-655-2415; — The prison's spring rodeo features inmates participating in rodeo events such as bull riding, wild cow milking and "Guts-n-Glory." The rodeo features prisoner arts and crafts, jewelry, furniture and more, plus food booths, pony rides, Space Walks, a carousel and carnival games. Hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (rodeo starts at 2 p.m.). Admission $15 ($20 premium seating).

27Allons Manger Food Festival (St. Jules Catholic Church, 7165 Highway 1, Belle Rose, 225-473-8569; — The 29th annual festival celebrates Cajun food with crawfish, oysters, turtle, shrimp and fish dishes. Creole jambalaya and desserts are available. There also is live entertainment, children's activities and an auction of more than 100 items. Hours 10:30 a.m.-till. Admission free.

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