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Gambit's 2013 Guide to Fairs & Festivals: April 

April

All month — Azalea Trail (Various locations, 888-942-3742; www.iberiatravel.com) — See March 1-April 30 listing for description.

1-27 — Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities (Various locations, Thibodaux; www.nicholls.edu/jubilee/) — Nicholls State University organizes the 15th annual festival, which includes seminars, a primitive weaponry demonstration, plays, music performances, lectures and more. Hours and admission vary.

3, 10, 17 and 24 — Wednesday at the Square (Lafayette Square Park, 504-585-1500; www.wednesdayatthesquare.com) — See March 6 listing for description.

4, 11, 18 and 25 — Rockin' the Rails (Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, 985-892-1873; www.covla.com) — The weekly series offers free concerts by area musicians. Hours 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Admission free.

4, 11, 18 and 25 — Thursdays at Twilight (Pavilion of the Two Sisters, Botanical Garden, City Park, www.garden.neworleanscitypark.com) — See March 7 listing for description.

4-7 — A Taste of Covington (Various locations, Covington, 504-439-2543; www.atasteofcovington.com) — The event presents four days and nights of food, wine, music and shopping, plus vintners' dinners, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, an art market and more. Hours vary. Some events free, others require tickets.

4-7 — Paddle Bayou Lafourche (Donaldsonville to Lockport, 985-447-0868; www.btnep.org) — This four-day, 52-mile boating trip takes participants through Bayou Lafourche, starting at Donaldsonville and ending in Lockport. Trip includes camping sites, meals and entertainment. Registration required. Admission $30 with canoe, $50 for rental for one day; $110 with canoe, $190 for rental for four days.

5-6 — Le Festival du Bon Temps a' Broussard (Stine Lumber, 6501 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Broussard, 800-346-1958; www.bontempsfest.org) — It's the fifth year for this Acadian festival, which features Cajun and zydeco music, food and drinks, dancing, a kid's area and more. Hours 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. Admission n/a.

5-7 — Cypress Sawmill Festival (Kemper Williams Park, 264 Cotten Road, Patterson, 800-256-2931; www.cypresssawmill.com) — The festival has live music, a gumbo cookoff, sports tournaments, a petting zoo, a lumber jack show, a car show and more. Hours 9:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday, noon-9:30 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission $5 Friday, $10 per car Saturday and Sunday, $20 weekend pass.

5-7 — Family Fun Festival (Larose Civic Center, 307 E. Fifth St., 985-693-7355; www.bayoucivicclub.org) — The 50th annual festival features live music, food, carnival rides, a pirogue race and more. Hours: 5:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission free.

5-7 — Festa Italiana (Williams Boulevard at Jefferson Hwy., Kenner, 504-830-3720; www.italianheritagefestival.com) — The 12th annual celebration features live music, local craft exibits, Italian food, seafood specialties, a display of historic photos, genealogy specialists, children's activities and more. Hours 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission $5, children 12 and younger free.

5-7 — Russian Festival for Children (Rivertown Theatres for the Performing Arts, 325 Minor St., Kenner, (504) 461-9475: www.rivertowntheaters.com) ) — The festival includes performances of a Russian version of Cinderella by the Jefferson Ballet Theatre. There also is a Russian bazaar with food vendors, a Russian tea room, children’s art and more. Hours: Bazaar opens at noon; play 7:30 p.m. April 5, 2 p.m. April 6-7. Admission $20, $15 seniors, $10 children.

6 — St. Francisville Spring Garden Stroll (Town Hall, 11936 Ferdinand St., St. Francisville, 225-635-3614) — The self-guided tour takes participants through seven gardens in historic St. Francisville and the surrounding area. Hours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission $15.

6 — Taste at the Lake (Robert Fresh Market parking lot, 135 Robert E. Lee Blvd.; www.tasteatthelake.com) — It's the third year for this celebration of food, wine and music. Restaurants and other food vendors from across the city will prepare their signature dishes and there will be wine and beer. Tickets include unlimited food and drink. Cartoonist Bunny Matthews will sell a poster he created to commemorate the event. Hours 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m. VIP. Admission $50 advance, $60 at the door, $100 VIP.

6-7 — Art in the Pass (War Memorial Park, 319 E. Scenic Drive, Pass Christian, Miss., 228-324-1697; www.artinthepass.com) — One hundred artists will sell their creations at this festival, which also includes Gulf seafood cooking demonstrations, live music and food. Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival runs concurrently 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 6. Hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission free.

6-7 — Kite Fest Louisiane (West Baton Rouge Soccer Complex, 3553 Rosedale Road, Port Allen, 800-654-9701; www.westbatonrouge.net) — The event includes professional kite-flying teams, a children's kite-making workshop, a candy drop, races, Louisiana cuisine and live music. Hours 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission free.

6-7 — Spring Garden Show (The Botanical Garden, City Park, 3 Victory Ave., 504-483-9471 or 504-736-6519; www.lsuagcenter.com) — Master gardeners and horticulture experts answer questions and collect soil samples for analysis at the LSU AgCenter's Soil Testing Lab. There is also a plant sale, exhibits of gardening ideas, products and services for lawns and gardens, food vendors and children's activities. Hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $8, $4 children ages 5-12, children 4 and younger and Friends of City Park members free.

8-21 — Washington Catfish Festival (Downtown Washington, 337-826-3626; www.townofwashingtonla.org) — The 14th annual festival kicks off with live music Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday feature live Cajun, zydeco, swamp pop and R&B bands, arts and crafts, cultural exhibits, a parade, antiques, food and a catfish cookoff. Hours vary. Admission varies.

11-14 — French Quarter Festival (French Quarter, between Bourbon Street and the Mississippi River; www.fqfi.org/frenchquarterfest) — The 30th annual festival features 22 stages of music by more than 1,000 musicians playing genres ranging from jazz to pop. As many as 60 restaurants will offer a variety of cuisines from around the world. Admission free.

12-13 — Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival (Downtown riverbank, 800-259-1714, Natchitoches; www.natchjazzfest.com) — The 18th annual festival offers national and regional musicians playing jazz, R&B, rock, soul and country on three stages. There's also food, drinks and more. Hours 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday. Admission free Friday; $8 advance, $10 at the gate, $4 students advance, $5 students at the gate, children under 12 free Saturday.

12-14 — Great Louisiana Birdfest (Various locations, Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain; www.northlakenature.org) — The 17th annual event during spring bird migration includes bird watching trips, a social, photo workshop and more. Hours vary. Admission $20-$50 per event.

12-14 — Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival (Memorial Park, downtown Ponchatoula; www.lastrawberryfestival.com) — The 41st annual festival includes lots of strawberries, food, a parade, beauty contest, nonstop music and more. Hours 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission free.

13-14 — Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival (Melrose Plantation, 3533 Hwy. 119, Melrose, 318-581-8042; www.melroseplantation.org ) — The 39th annual festival features more than 100 vendors from around the region selling original artworks, jewelry, decorative items and more. There also is live music, as well as food and drinks. Hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Admission $5.

16-18 — Xavier University Jazz Festival (Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave.; www.xula.edu/music/special.php) ) — The free three-day festival, which is open to the public, features evening concerts by traditional and contemporary jazz groups and the university’s jazz ensemble, plus a day of workshops (April 18) on the Xavier Campus. Hours 7 p.m. concerts, noon-3 p.m., workshops. Admission free.

18 and 25 — Jazz in the Park (Armstrong Park, 901 N. Rampart St., 504-233-4276; www.armstrongpark.org) — The cultural heritage of New Orleans is spotlighted in this concert series, sponsored by People United for Armstrong Park. The third year of the series features live music from jazz and brass bands, an arts and crafts sales area, food and a children's play area. Hours 3 p.m.-8 p.m. Admission free.

18 — Sunset at the Landing (Foot of Columbia Street, Covington, 985-892-1873; www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org/landing.shtml) — See March 14 for description.

19 — Spring for Art (Columbia Street, Lee Lane and surrounding blocks, 985-892-8650; www.sttammanyartassociation.org) — The work of dozens of artists from the region will be showcased among the 50 galleries and other businesses displaying artworks and more. Live music and food are available. Hours: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission free.

19-21 — Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival (Various locations around Grand Isle, 504-731-7083; www.btnep.org/subsites/grandisle/grandislehome) — There are bird-watching tours where songbirds, shorebirds and waders can be seen on the beach or in marches. There also are free videos and birding trail maps, as well as other displays and arts and crafts for sale. Hours vary. Admission n/a.

19-26 — Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week (Various locations, Ville Platte, 337-234-8360; www.lafolkroots.org) — The week features classes in fiddle, accordion and guitar taught by Louisiana artists, language activities, cooking seminars and demonstrations and more. Nightly dances and a festival day at Chicot State Park (3469 Chicot Park Road, Ville Platte). Hours vary. Admission varies.

20 — Bugs & Brew (Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, River City Plaza; www.bugsandbrew.com) — This family-friendly festival is designed for crawfish lovers with a passion for Louisiana beer and local music. The event features a crawfish cook-off with more than 50 teams, a beer garden with beer from many of Louisiana’s breweries, live music from local bands and kids’ activities. Proceeds benefit the Drew Rodrigue Foundation (named for a former Jesuit football player and Abbeville coach), a nonprofit that supports cancer research and more. Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission free. VIP pass (with food and drinks included), $60.

20 — "Meet Me at the Fair" Family Day (The New Orleans Museum of Art; One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park, New Orleans, LA 70124) — In celebration of the exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, NOMA is hosting “Meet Me at the Fair” Family Day! This day of family-friendly activities includes live music by Wayne Daigrepont and a Barber Shop Quartet, art activities by NOMA and Young Audiences, special tours of the exhibition, scavenger hunts, StoryQuest, demonstrations by the Holy Cross Robotics Club and by jewelry artist, Vitrice McMurry. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Admission $10 adults, $8 seniors and active military, $6 children (7-17). NOMA members and children 6 and under are free. University students with valid ID receive $8 admission. Please call (504) 658-4100 or visit noma.org or for more information.

20-21 — Angola Prison Rodeo (Louisiana State Penitentiary, Hwy. 66, 225-655-2415; www.angolarodeo.com) — Angola prisoners compete in events including wild cow milking, bull riding, convict poker and more, but the festival also includes live music by inmate bands, Southern cuisine, children's' activities including pony rides, space walks, carnival games, as well as inmate-made arts and crafts. Hours 9 a.m.-till (rodeo starts at 2 p.m.). Admission $15.

21 — Louisiana Earth Day 2013 (Downtown Baton Rouge, North Boulevard, 225-205-2680; www.laearthday.org) — Regional music and food are featured at this daylong environmental festival, which features more than 100 booths including environmental exhibits, games, educational activities and more. Hands-on activities for children are scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Hours: Noon-8:30 p.m. Admission free.

21 — New Orleans Earth Day Festival and Green Business Expo (Bayou St. John on North Jefferson Davis Parkway; www.nolaearthdayfest.wordpress.com) — This daylong event presented by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade has music, food, beer, youth activities and vendor booths for nonprofits, green businesses and crafts. Hours 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Admission free.

25-28 — New Orleans Giant Puppet Festival (Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St., 415-385-3025 and Mudlark Public Theatre, 1200 Port St.; www.marignyoperahouse.org) — The second annual event features a range of puppetry in a variety of styles and size scales. Events at the Marigny Opera House are for all ages. Adults-only events at Mudlark Friday and Saturday. Hours 6:30 p.m. Marigny Opera House, 10 p.m. Mudlark. Admission $20, $10 students, children and seniors Marigny Opera House; $10, $7 with festival stub at Mudlark.

26 — Zoo to Do for Kids (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-581-4629; www.auduboninstitute.org) — The zoo is turned into a giant playland with face painters, live music, arcade games, inflatable structures, crafts and a video game center. There's also a patron party. Hours 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. general, 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m., early admittance, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. patron party. Admission $25 general, $20 Audubon Institute members, $40 early admittance, $400 and up for patron party.

26-28 — Etouffee Festival (370 Main St., Arnaudville, 337-754-5912; www.johnfrancisregis.net) — Chubby Carrier and Geno Delafose are among the many musicians playing at the three-day festival, which also features an etouffee cookoff, auto show, arts and crafts booths, food and more. Hours 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission free.

26-28 — New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, 1751 Gentilly Blvd., 504-410-4100; www.nojazzfest.com) — The annual festival on the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May features nonstop music on multiple stages in genres ranging from funk and zydeco to bounce and Cajun and everything in between. There also are Louisiana Folklife and Native American villages, food from dozens of Louisiana vendors, the Congo Square Marketplace and other contemporary arts and crafts. Hours 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission $50 advance, $65 gate, $5 children ages 2-10, VIP tickets available.

27-28 — Slidell Spring Street Fair (First, Second and Erlanger streets, Slidell; www.slidellantiques.com) — The 32nd annual street fair features food, music and 150 vendors selling furniture, glassware, art, pottery, crafts and more. Hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission free.

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