Louisiana's Most Delicious Spring Festivals
A key feature of Louisiana's culture is a thriving outdoor festival scene. Our spring is packed with giant parties celebrating genres of music, neighborhoods, and even important culinary ingredients. Let's take a look at some of the season's best events!
Grab your ice chest and your picnic blanket, because it's festival season in Louisiana again! Nurses in Louisiana have the added benefit of incredible parties sprinkled throughout the year. And with so many options, we've got an entirely new crop of recommendations for food, fun, and great live music. Make sure to read last year's post about spring festivals as well [just know that event dates have shifted]. Here are five sure bets for a great weekend outdoors, fueled by some of the world's best food.
Hogs for the Cause
WHERE: New Orleans WHEN: March 31-April 1
MUST-HEAR MUSIC: As Hogs for the Cause has grown in popularity [making the move from City Park to the UNO Lakefront Arena Grounds], the music lineup has only gotten bigger. This year, make sure to catch South Carolina folk duo Shovels & Rope and New Orleans funk legend George Porter Jr.
SIGNATURE DISH: At Hogs, you can try pork prepared in every conceivable way, as teams of BBQ experts prepare everything from ribs to whole hog roasts. Make sure to stop by Aporkalypse Now’s booth. The competitive BBQ team has attended seven consecutive events and often takes home the trophy.
BEST PART: As a fundraiser that supports families with children battling pediatric cancer, you can shove aside your glutton’s guilt with the knowledge that you’ve also done a good deed with all of that eating.
Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival
WHERE: Ponchatoula WHEN: April 7-9
MUST-HEAR MUSIC: The schedule is filled with family-friendly fare, including a number of cover acts. Catch Waylon Thibodeaux for a taste of traditional Cajun music.
SIGNATURE DISH: With options ranging from strawberry wine to deep fried strawberries, you’ll see every incarnation of the fruit imaginable. But we think you can’t go wrong with good, old-fashioned strawberry shortcake.
BEST PART: Make sure to check out the festival’s extensive arts and craft fair.
French Quarter Festival
WHERE: New Orleans WHEN: April 6-9
MUST-HEAR MUSIC: In recent years, French Quarter Festival has become one of New Orleans’s most popular events, drawing ever-larger crowds with its impressive lineup of local favorites. While we’re still waiting on the final lineup, you can count on seeing heavy-hitters like Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, and Jeremy Davenport on stages throughout the French Quarter.
SIGNATURE DISH: This is the perfect opportunity to try Miss Linda’s signature Yakamein, a legendary hangover helper dish that has become a new New Orleans classic.
BEST PART: Location! If you somehow get bored at French Quarter Festival, just wander off in any direction. There’s fun to be had all around you.
WHERE: Scott WHEN: April 21-23
MUST-HEAR MUSIC: Hear some cutting-edge zydeco from accordionist Chris Ardoin.
SIGNATURE DISH: Boudin—a Cajun sausage that combines rice, seasonings, and pork—is obviously the highlight of the event. Walk around and try the many variations of this traditional Louisiana speciality.
BEST PART: Once you’re finished with the festival, check out Scott’s incredible antique stores. Nearby Breaux Bridge is also worth a visit.
Cochon de Lait Festival
WHERE: Mansura WHEN: May 11-4
MUST-HEAR MUSIC: This year’s headliner is Lil Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers, fan favorites at Jazz Fest and all throughout Louisiana.
SIGNATURE DISH: Sunday boasts The Grand Feast, a Cochon de Lait dinner with roast pig, rice dressing, and an assortment of sides. It’s a great way to pig out.
BEST PART: The Cochon de Lait Festival was canceled in 1972 when the party got entirely too wild, fueled by hippies and cheap wine. After a thirteen year hiatus, the festival is far more reserved and is appropriate for the entire family.