"Use your words": Roy Blount Jr. speaks at Tennessee Williams festival

The festival returns with speakers, performances and more March 22-26
Roy Blount Jr.'s voice may be familiar to local fans of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, the current events quiz show on NPR, but they may or may not recognize him walking around the French Quarter or Marigny near his home.

Food and drink events in New Orleans this week (March 21-27, 2017)

Top Taco, Crawfish Festival, Bourbon Festival
March 23Top Taco6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ThursdaySpanish Plaza, Poydras Street at the Mississippi Riverwww.toptaconola.comThe event features tequila and mezcal tastings and creative tacos from Blue Oak BBQ, Bourbon House, Cochon Butcher, Drago's Seafood Restaurant, Johnny Sanchez, Juan's Flying Burrito, Nacho Mama's, Patois, Pirogues, Taqueria Chilangos and others.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals

Mark your calendars
A tour of Louisiana's fairs and festivals is like a walk through the history of the diverse people, cultures, foods and traditions that are the fabric of the state. There's something unique to do every month, whether it is watching traditional dances of the Attakapas Prairie Tribe in Opelousas or learning how our forebears lived and worked at Old Farmers Day in Loranger.

Food and drink events in New Orleans this week (March 14-20, 2017)

A whiskey tasting, pizza at Paradigm, and beer at the zoo
March 14Tullamore D.E.W. tasting5 p.m.-7 p.m. TuesdayBourbon House, 144 Bourbon St., (504) 522-0111www.bourbonhouse.comThe Irish whiskey tasting features Tullamore D.E.W., Tullamore's 12-year old special reserve and 14-year-aged single malt.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: March

Wednesdays-May 24 — Wednesday at the Square (Lafayette Square, 500 block of St. Charles Avenue, 504-585-1500; www.wednesdayatthesquare.com) — The 12-week evening concert series features local and regional musical acts and food and alcohol vendors. 5 p.m.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: April

1 — Asian Pacific American Festival (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-581-4629; www.audubonnatureinstitute.org/event/1217-apas) — The festival has live entertainment, handmade items from Asian countries including India, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as displays, Asian food and more. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: May

1-3 — NOLA Crawfish Festival (Central City BBQ, 1201 S. Rampart St., 504-558-4276; www.nolacrawfishfest.com) — The festival includes three days of music from George Porter Jr., John Medeski, Jon Cleary, Ivan Neville and dozens of others, with sit-ins and special collaborations among artists on the schedule. The festival also features more than 5,000 pounds of boiled crawfish, craft beer and barbecue. Twenty teams will compete in the Ultimate Crawfish Cook-off on Wednesday.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: June

Thursdays-November — Thursdays at Twilight Garden Concert  Series — See March 16 for event  description. 1-3 — Birdfoot Festival — See May 29 for event description.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: July

1 — Lebeau Zydeco Festival (Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 103 Lebeau Church Road, Lebeau, 337-351-3902; www.facebook.com/lebeauzydecofestival) — There's live zydeco music, food, pork backbone dinners and more. Tents and lawn chairs are allowed.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: August

Thursdays-November — Thursdays at Twilight Garden Concert Series — See March 16 for event description. 3-6 — Satchmo Summerfest (Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave., 504-522-5730; www.fqfi.org/satchmo) — French Quarter Festivals Inc. produces this celebration of the life and  music of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: September

1-2 — Southern Decadence Festival — See Aug. 30 for event description. 1-Sept. 4 — Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival — See Aug. 31 for event description.

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: October

Sundays in October — Angola Prison Rodeo — See April 22 for event description. 1 — Ponchatoula Fall Festival — See Sept. 29 for event description.

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    Spotlight Events

    • Varla Jean Merman Sings? @ Cafe Istanbul

      • Sat., March 25, 8 p.m.
    • Chris Rock @ Saenger Theatre

      • Sat., March 25, 7 p.m., Sun., March 26, 7:30 p.m. and Mon., March 27, 8 p.m.
      • 1 going/interested
    • Sweet Bird of Youth @ Loyola University New Orleans, Marquette Theatre, Marquette Hall

      • Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through April 16
      • 1 going/interested
    • Close Me Out @ Hi-Ho Lounge

      • First Saturday of every month
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    Popular Events

    • Breakfast in Paris, Martinis in Manhattan @ Cafe Istanbul

      • Thu., April 13, 7 p.m.
    • Spring Fine Art Auction @ Westin New Orleans Canal Place

      • Sun., March 26, 12:30 p.m.
    • The Pancakes & Booze Art Show @ Howlin' Wolf

      • Sat., March 25
      • 1 going/interested
    • Pedal With Purpose @ Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard

      • Sun., March 26, 1-4 p.m.
    • Friday Night Fights @ Friday Night Fights Gym

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