Spring break in the Big Easy

Who needs beaches, bikinis and mai thais when you can spend your spring break in New Orleans with crawfish, jazz and a beer? If you’re skipping out on the hassle of a road trip or just avoiding another holiday with the family, here’s your guide to spring break in the Big Easy

Starlight Williams

WEBIllustrations by Mary Graci and Photo by Linda Hexter


New Orleans Food Festival  

From devouring dishes from over 50 American restaurants at the street festival to participating in the beignet eating competition, the New Orleans Food festival can be a foodie’s dream come true.

The New Orleans Food Festival celebrates a weekend-long dining experience of the American greats. The festival begins with a dessert tasting on March 27 at Café Reconcile at 8:00 p.m. The event continues with a street festival in the French Market on Saturday, March 28 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 29  from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A beignet eating contest will be held on March 29 at 12:30 p.m.

The street festival and beignet-eating contest both are free and open to the public.


Louisiana Crawfish Festival

You can bring your appetite and your crack-and-peel skills to the Louisiana Crawfish Festival to kick off the beginning of crawfish season.

Founded in 1975, the Louisiana Crawfish Festival embraces Cajun culture with music, crawfish boils and hand-crafted products. The event will run from March 26 to March 29 at the Sigur Cultural Center. The festival is free of charge.

Easter Keg Hunt

Adults can grab their Easter baskets and scavenge for a different kind of treat this spring at the Easter Keg Hunt.

Hosted by the New Orleans Brewing and Full Restoration Network and held on April 3, teams will follow clues along a 3 to 4 mile walking path to a prize of free beer and live music. Registration for the hunt starts at 1 p.m., and the first clue will be given out a 2 p.m.

Pre-registration is $15 and same-day registration is $20 .

All participants must be 21 years of age or older.

Freret Street Festival 

You don’t have to take a trip down the Bourbon brick road for a fun festival experience in New Orleans.

The Freret Street Festival showcases over 150 local vendors of arts and crafts, music and food from numerous New Orleans eateries. The event kicks off on Saturday, April 4 at 11 a.m. between Freret and Napoleon Streets.

All ages are welcome, and admission is free.

Wednesday at the Square

The month of May may bring flowers, but April will bring showers of live music.

The Wednesday at the Square concert series stages a variety of music from local artists. Jamming in Lafayette Square, the Revivalists and Robin Barnes will take the stage April 1 at 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Animation Block Party

Whether you are five years old or 50, the Animation Block Party reminds people of all ages that you are never too old for a Saturday morning cartoon.

One of the largest animation festivals on the East Coast, the Animation Block Party will make its first appearance in New Orleans as part of the Brooklyn Brewery Mash tour. The festival will highlight a mix of Brooklyn and New Orleans short films and will include local filmmakers.

Doors will open at One Eyed Jacks on March 29 at 3:00 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased for $5.