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Gambit’s 2016 Louisiana Fairs & Festivals: March 

click to enlarge A voodoo ceremony performed by La Source Ancienne Ounfo at the Sacred Music Festival in New Orleans. The 2016 festival is March 12.

A voodoo ceremony performed by La Source Ancienne Ounfo at the Sacred Music Festival in New Orleans. The 2016 festival is March 12.

Thru May 1—Chinese Lantern Festival (City Park, New Orleans Botanical Garden, 5 Victory Ave., 504-482-4888; www.cityparkpresentschinalights.com) — More than 100 lanterns and 30 brightly colored lighted silk-covered structures created by artisans from Zigong, China, fill the garden. Chinese-inspired cuisine available. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Sun. & Tue.-Thu., 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Admission $18, $12 kids ages 3-12, free for kids 3 and under.

8, 10-11, 14-15 & 17—Festinema Junior (Prytania Theater, 5339 Prytania St., ) — Alliance Francaise presents its third French-speaking film festival to introduce young people to French independent films. Times and admission TBA.

Wednesdays-May18—Wednesday at the Square (Lafayette Square, 500 block of St. Charles Avenue, 504-585-1500; www.wednesdayatthesquare.com) — The Wednesday evening concert series features New Orleans musicians, food, drinks and arts and crafts. Proceeds benefit the Young Leadership Council. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Free.

Thursdays-April 21—Thursdays at Twilight (Botanical Garden's Pavilion of the Two Sisters, City Park, 5 Victory Ave., 504-483-9488; www.neworleanscitypark.com) — The weekly concert series features music ranging from Motown to jazz, with a different musician or group each week. 6 p.m. Admission $10 adults, $3 ages 5-12.

10-13—Slow Fish Festival (Old U.S. Mint; www.slowfish2016.com) — Slow Food New Orleans hosts a three-day Lenten festival featuring locally sourced seafood, drinks from the Slow Food Speakeasy and regional music. 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Fri., noon-6 p.m Sat. Free. There's also a seafood boil in Violet on Sunday. Time TBA.

B11-12—Buku Music + Art Project (Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place; www.thebukuproject.com) — The fifth annual festival features two days of indie rock, hip-hop and electronic dance music, as well as food, art and more. Hours TBA. Admission $99.50 one-day pass, $189.50 general two-day pass, $399.50 VIP two-day pass.

11-13—Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival (312 E. Railroad Ave., Independence, 985-969-5916; www.indysicilianfest.com) — This festival features the tastes and sounds of Sicily. Highlights include a spaghetti-eating contest, live music and a meatball-throwing contest. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Free.

11-13—New Orleans Home & Garden Show (Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive, 504-835-6383; www.neworleanshomeshows.com) — The event features home and garden products and services, home renovation and energy-efficiency seminars, repurposed art workshops, cooking demonstrations and more. Noon-8 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Admission $15, $8 military, free for children 12 and under.

12—Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Parade (Irish Channel; www.stpatricksdayneworleans.com) — The 66th annual parade begins at Napoleon Avenue and Tchoupitoulas Street. 1 p.m. Free.

12—NOMA Egg Hunt & Family Festival (Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans City Park, 504-658-4121; www.noma.org) — The family day includes egg hunts, a petting zoo, spacewalks, live music, games, face painting and crafts. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission $15, free for kids 2 and under.

12—Sacred Music Festival (New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave., 504-940-1130; www.neworleanssacredmusicfestival.org) —The theme of the fifth annual festival is "A Prayer for Humanity," and it seeks to unite people of diverse cultures through musical traditions including gospel, drumming, chanting, voodoo and poetry. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Free.

12-13—New Orleans Spring Fiesta & Historic Home Tours (French Quarter, 826 St. Ann St., 800-550-8450; www.springfiestanola.com) — Homes not usually open to the public will be part of the 80th annual tour of French Quarter residences. There's also a morning walking tour both days and a presentation of the court and parade Saturday. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. Admission $25.

12-13—NOLA Global Youth Festival (Louis Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart St., 504-957-9823; www.globalyouthfestival.com) — The festival, part of NOLA Global Youth Week, features all-youth entertainment, a health fair and healthy living expo, job fair, exhibits by outreach organizations, arts and crafts vendors and more. There's also a Youth Super Sunday parade. Noon-7 p.m. Sat., noon-6 p.m. Sun. Free.

16-20—Art in Bloom (New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins C. Diboll Circle, 504-658-4100; www.noma.org) — The centerpiece of this annual festival is floral arrangements inspired by artworks at NOMA. There are also educational programs, a luncheon, fashion show and preview party. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Wed., 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thu., all day Fri.-Sun. Admission varies.

17-19—T-Bois Blues Festival (900 Hamilton St., Larose, 985-209-3528; www.tboisbluesfestival.com) — The blues festival is held on an alligator farm about an hour from New Orleans and features all-inclusive camping, art, bonfires, national and local music acts, Cajun food and beer from NOLA Brewing Co. Doors open 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. Fri.-Sat. Admission $128.50 two-day pass, $255 VIP two-day pass.

18—Concerts In the Courtyard (The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St., 504-523-4662; www.hnoc.org) — The spring monthly concert series showcases Louisiana musicians including Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Sweet Crude, Colin Lake Band and Roddie Romero. Ticket includes three complimentary beverages (beer and wine). 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Admission $10, free for THNOC members.

18—Crawfish Boil on the Lake (Treasure Chest Casino, 5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 504-443-8000; www.treasurechest.com) —This series of free concerts on the front lawn of Treasure Chest Casino features a band a week: Four Unplugged, Groovy 7 and Category 6. There's lots of crawfish for sale. 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

18-19—Iowa Rabbit Festival (Burton Coliseum Complex, 7001 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles; www.iowarabbitfestival.org) — The 30th annual festival features regional music, a carnival, art vendors and a rabbit dish cook-off. It's also a showcase for state rabbit breeders. 5 p.m.-midnight Fri., 9 a.m.-midnight Sat. Admission $10; weekend pass $15.

18-20—Amite Oyster Festival (Downtown Amite, 985-969-5340; www.amiteoysterfestival.com) — Oysters done most ways — including fried, raw or grilled — are the stars of the festival, which also offers live music in a variety of genres, carnival rides, arts and crafts and more. 3 p.m.-midnight Fri., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., noon-6 p.m. Sun. Free.

18-20—Audubon Pilgrimage (West Feliciana Historical Society, 11757 Ferdinand St., St. Francisville, 225-635-6330; www.westfelicianahistoricalsociety.org/audubon-pilgrimage.html) — The event features living history demonstrations, 1820s costumes and an antiques sale. Attendees can tour historic homes, gardens and cemeteries. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Admission varies.

18-20—Festival Bonfouca (Heritage Park, 1701 Bayou Lane, Slidell, 504-460-5957; www.festivalbonfouca.com) — The inaugural family-friendly festival includes music on two stages, an arts market showcasing regional artists, kids' activities, local food vendors, canoe and kayak rentals and a fishing tournament. 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun. Admission $5 Friday, $10 Saturday-Sunday, $20 three-day pass, free for kids under 12.

18-20—LimmudFest New Orleans (Congregation Gates of Prayer, 4000 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 504-885-2600; www.gatesofprayer.org) — The Jewish festival of learning, community and culture includes a Shabbaton on Friday and Saturday and education panels on Sunday at Tulane's Lavin-Bernick Center. 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Admission $35-$90.

18-20—Louisiana Nursery Festival (4300 Highway 112, Forest Hill, 318-748-6300; www.louisiananurseryfestival.com) — The spring garden festival offers a sale of plants, yard decor, garden products and lawn and golf equipment, and has food booths, entertainment, a parade and carnival rides. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Admission TBA.

19—Bloomin' on the Bricks (Front Street, Natchitoches, 318-352-2746 or 866-941-6246; www.downtownnatchitoches.com) — The spring garden festival features a sales area of lawn and garden products, decorative items and plants. There's also food booths, live entertainment and children's activities. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free.

19—Children's World's Fair XVIII — (Louisiana Children's Museum, 420 Julia St., 504-266-2415; www.lcm.org) — The fair explores cultural diversity in science, technology, engineering and math, plus there are games, music, literature, performances, crafts and food relating to Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Scotland, Senegal, Tanzania and Vietnam. Noon-4:30 p.m. general, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. early explorer. Admission $20, $30 early explorer.

19—Earth Fest (Aududon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-581-4629; www.auduboninstitute.org/earth-fest) — The annual event has live entertainment, food and crafts vendors and exhibitors offering information about conservation and saving the environment. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with zoo admission: $19.95 adults, $14.95 65 and older and ages 2-12, free for members.

19—Egg Scramble (New Orleans City Park, 5 Victory Ave., 504-483-9402; www.neworleanscitypark.com) — The event includes an Easter egg hunt, live music, face painting, an appearance by the Easter Bunny and other activites. Easter baskets provided. Pre-printed tickets required at gate. 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Admission $10, $5 City Park members.

19—Fete Francaise (Ecole Bilingue, 821 Gen. Pershing St., 504-896-4500; www.fetefrancaise.com) — Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orleans presents its annual Francophile festival featuring French food, art, music, children's activities and cultural demonstrations. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

19—Italian American Parade (French Quarter; www.iamcnola.org) — The St. Joseph's Day parade featuring more than 500 marching members, including honoree NCIS producer Joseph Zolfo, will roll through the French Quarter from Convention Center Boulevard and Girod Street. 6 p.m. Free.

19—Louisiana State Truck Driving Championships (Blue Bayou Waterpark, 18142 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, 225-928-5682; www.louisianatrucking.com) — The LMTA invites families to its driving championships, where drivers in nine classes compete on a field test course. Hours and admission TBA.

19—New Orleans International Beer Festival (Champions Square, 1 Lasalle St., 504-587-3663; www.neworleansinternationalbeerfest.com) — The festival includes unlimited sampling of more than 150 craft beers, as well as live music, a beer mixology garden, a cider garden, beer seminars, a cornhole tournament and VIP area featuring reserve beers. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Advance admission $40 general, $20 designated driver, $75 VIP, $30 VIP designated driver.

19—Southdown Marketplace Arts and Crafts Festival (Southdown Plantation, 1208 Museum Drive, Houma, 985-851-0154; www.southdownmuseum.org) — More than 300 booths dot the plantation grounds, offering arts, crafts, Cajun food and activities. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission $5, free for children 12 and under.

19-20—Congo Square Rhythms Festival (Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart St., 504-558-6100; www.congosquarerhythms.com) — The ninth annual festival celebrates the history of New Orleans' Congo Square with brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians and African, Caribbean and Louisiana music. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free.

20—Smoothie King 5K (Lafreniere Park, 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie, 504-304-2326; www.runnotc.org) — The New Orleans Track Club presents a 5K and kids' half-mile run to benefit CASA Jefferson. 8 a.m. Admission $15-$35.

20—World Championship Crawfish Etouffee Cook-off (Northwest Community Center Pavilion, 483 Samuel Drive, Eunice, 337-457-2565; www.facebook.com/crawfish.etouffee) — Professional and amateur cooks vie for the title of World Champion for crawfish etouffee. There's live Cajun and zydeco music, a poker run, petting zoo and arts and crafts. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

25-26—Hammond Blues & BBQ (Downtown Hammond, 985-969-8172; www.hammondbbq.com) — Festivalgoers help determine who wins the Tip-2-Taste challenge Saturday by sampling food at different booths and leaving a tip as a vote. The one with the most tips wins. There are other cooking contests featuring teams from across the U.S., live music and activities. 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free.

click to enlarge Runners race for the finish line at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic in March. - PHOTO  COURTESY  CRESCENT CITY CLASSIC
  • Photo courtesy Crescent City Classic
  • Runners race for the finish line at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic in March.

26—Crescent City Classic (Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1500 Sugarbowl Drive, 504-861-8686; www.ccc10k.com) — The largest 10k in the region includes an expo March 24-25 at the Hyatt Regency and a post-run festival in New Orleans City Park. 8 a.m. start time, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. festival. Race registration $45, festival admission $10, free for registered runners.

30-April 3—Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival (Various locations in the French Quarter; www.tennesseewilliams.net) — The 30th annual festival honors the playwright's works and life in the city and features theatrical, literary and cultural offerings including master classes, panels, food, music and writing com- petitions. Hours and admis- sion vary.

31-April 3—Louisiana Crawfish Festival (St. Bernard Government Complex, 8200 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette; www.louisianacrawfishfestival.com) — The festival offers 30,000 pounds of boiled crawfish and dishes like crawfish bread, crawfish pasta and crawfish jambalaya. The event includes local bands, amusement rides and arts and crafts. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Thu., 5 p.m.-midnight Fri., 11 a.m.-midnight Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun. Admission $5, free for children under 48 inches tall.

31-April 3—Paddle Bayou Lafourche (Donaldsonville to Lockport, Bayou Lafourche, 985-447-0868; www.btnep.org) — Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program hosts a four-day, 52-mile paddling trip down the bayou. Participants can do one day or all four and will experience the area's food and music along the way. Pre-registration required. Admission with your own canoe $40 per day, $150 four days; with canoe rental $60 per day, $225 for four days.



March | April | May
June | July | August
September | October
November | December
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