Springtime in New Orleans: Flowers, Food, and Festivals

Jazz Fest, a popular event during the New Orleans festival season.
Jazz Fest, a popular event during the New Orleans festival season.

By Ray Willhoft ’00

Spring is here, and while for most people around the country that means enjoying the vast array of colors that comes with springtime flowers, for New Orleanians, it also means the festival season will soon begin. After several months of winter, nothing brightens the spirit more than that enticing combination of music and food—two things that the city has in spades.

Up first on the calendar is French Quarter Festival, April 12 – 15, which coincidentally happens to be taking place the same weekend as Alumni Weekend/Centennial Kick-Off. How’s that for timing? Touted as “the largest, free music festival in the South,” French Quarter Festival got its start in 1984 as a way to bring residents back to the French Quarter following the World’s Fair and extensive sidewalk repairs in the Quarter.

The festival has continued to grow, and now features numerous stages throughout the French Quarter where local music representing every genre can be heard. There’s no shortage of food options either.

On French Quarter Fest’s heels is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, lovingly referred to as Jazz Fest by the locals, April 27 – May 6. Over the course of two weekends, patrons can partake in the sights, sounds, and smells of several different cultures, with great local, national, and international music and food in the spotlight.

This year, some of the notable Jazz Fest performers will include Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, The Eagles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Foo Fighters, The Beach Boys, The Zac Brown Band, John Mayer, Al Green, Ne-Yo, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Feist, Bonnie Rait, and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, among many others.

And of course there is no shortage of local fairs and festivals sponsored by various schools and organizations throughout the spring. Just about every weekend brings with it the chance to get out and have fun.

So, plan your trip to New Orleans now and take advantage of the fantastic food and music that await you, as well as the great spring weather.

View the complete spring 2012 issue of LOYNO.

Springtime! I love enjoying

Springtime! I love enjoying this spring so have got Zac Brown Band concert tickets from GoodSeatTickets.com to see my favorite band on stage!

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