Another festive weekend in Southeast Louisiana

Don Ames
April 20, 2018 - 7:04 am
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There are plenty of treats to tempt your taste buds at local festivals this weekend.

This time around, the main cuisines are Cajun and Italian.

In Kenner, you're invited to feast on the food at Festa Italiana in Rivertown.

"Award-winning Italian chefs from local favorites such as LaBella's, Andrea's, Ravasio's and Gendusa's," says Festival President Nick Congemi. "They'll be serving more than 20 different culinary items. Just reading this makes my mouth water."

The 17th Kenner Italian Festival runs tonight through Sunday, with live music each day, all day.

www.ItalianHeritageFestival.com 

If it's Cajun you want, head to the Visitation of Our Lady School in Marrero. Their Cajun Fest serves up down-home local treats as only locals can prepare them.

"The people who cook in these booths have been doing it for years," says fest organizer Rodney Ory. "They're always fine-tuning their cooking. So, it's all freshly made. We don't bring in any outside vendors. It's all made by volunteers in our parish."

The music is also down-home and local, with the Chee-Weez, Amanda Shaw, The Topcats, and Bucktown All-Stars.

https://vol.org/cajunfest

You can also drive a bit to the west for 'La Fete Du Monde', the Cajun fest in Lockport. Lockport's located between New Orleans and Houma. The festival is known as the swamp pop extravaganza of Louisiana's Cajun Bayou. It's their 21st year of serving up authentic local music and food.  

"We have seafood platters, catfish platters, oyster po-boys, shrimp po-boys, crawfish etouffee, grillades, jambalaya and lots more," says Director Wayne Bourgeois.

https://www.lacajunbayou.com/calendar-of-events/festivals-and-events/loc...

It's also NOLA Navy Week in New Orleans, with tall ships, and war ships from the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain.

There are Tricentennial fireworks on Saturday and Sunday during NOLA Navy Week, April 21 and 22.

On Saturday night at 9:00 p.m., Tall Ships New Orleans 2018 will present fireworks from a barge on the Mississippi River downtown across from Woldenberg Park.

On Sunday night at 9:00 p.m., the 2018 NOLA Foundation will delight audiences with two shows. One will take place in the same location as Saturday from a barge on the Mississippi River downtown off of Woldenberg Park. The other will simultaneously take place at 9:00 p.m. at City Park Big Lake.

The Angola Prison Rodeo is Saturday and Sunday. And, don't forget New Orleans Tricentennial Dog Parade Sunday in City Park.

WEEKEND EVENTS:
 
April 19-25
NOLA Navy Week and Tall Ships (New Orleans Riverfront; www.tallshipsnola2018.com) — Ships from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard arrive in New Orleans for NOLA Navy Week, and ships from Canada and Great Britain arrive for the Tall Ships celebration. Ships arrive along the riverfront Thursday from Port of New Orleans to the Nicholls Street Wharf, and are open for public tours Friday. There's a black-tie gala Saturday. Tall ships depart April 23; Navy ships depart April 25. 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Thursday (ships arrive), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday (boat tours), 6:45-10 p.m. Saturday (gala). Free Thursday-Friday and Sunday. $300 Saturday gala. Local residents and visitors will receive a rare treat this weekend while enjoying the beautiful weather. All are invited to view Tricentennial fireworks on Saturday and Sunday during NOLA Navy Week, April 21 and 22. On Saturday night at 9:00 p.m., Tall Ships New Orleans 2018 will present fireworks from a barge on the Mississippi River downtown across from Woldenberg Park.On Sunday night at 9:00 p.m., the 2018 NOLA Foundation will delight audiences with two shows. One will take place in the same location as Saturday from a barge on the Mississippi River downtown off of Woldenberg Park. The other will simultaneously take place at 9:00 p.m. at City Park Big Lake.Both will be choreographed to a patriotic soundtrack heard on the “J&M Displays” app that can be downloaded from iTunes for free. There will be a multitude of patriotic colors in each display with every color of the rainbow bursting in the skies over the course of both displays. Grand finales will finish off the thunderous display of color and light.

April 20-22
Cajun Festival (Visitation of Our Lady School, 3520 Ames Blvd., Marrero, 504-347-3377; www.vol.org/cajunfest) —Amanda Shaw, The Topcats, Bucktown All-Stars and others perform at the three-day event. There's also food, chicken drop bingo, a silent auction, a talent show and more. 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Free.

April 20-22  
Kenner's Italian Heritage Festival (400 block of Williams Boulevard, Kenner; www.italianheritagefestival.com) — The festival offers three days of live music, food, carnival rides, games and crafts. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. $5, free for children 12 years and younger.

April 20-22 
Lockport Food Festival (710 Church St., Lockport, 985-532-3117; www.facebook.com/lockportfoodfestival) — The festival spotlights Louisiana foods including beignets, crawfish etouffee, gumbo, seafood po-boys, shrimp boulettes and more. There are carnival rides, live auctions, arts and crafts, a 5K run and live music by Nonc Nu and the Wild Matous, Supercharger, Tet Der, Sheauxdown and others. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Free.

April 20-22
Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival (Various locations, Grand Isle, 985-306-0535; www.townofgrandisle.com/grand-isle-migratory-bird-festival) — The three-day event coincides with the annual migration of birds across the Gulf of Mexico. There are expert-led birding tours, a tour of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries research lab and kayak and boat tours to mangroves and rookeries. More than 168 species of birds were identified last year. Times and admissions vary.

April 21-22
Angola Prison Rodeo (Angola Prison Rodeo Arena, Louisiana State Penitentiary, 17544 Tunica Trace, Angola, 225-655-2030; www.angolarodeo.com) — Started in 1965, this is the longest running prison rodeo in the country and features bulldogging, barrel racing, bareback riding and more. There also are food vendors and a sale of inmate crafts. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Rodeo starts at 2 p.m.) $20.

April 22
New Orleans Tricentennial Dog Parade (NOLA City Bark, New Orleans City Park, 30 Zachary Taylor Drive, 504-483-3139; www.bestofneworleans.com/dogparade) — The event honoring New Orleans' 300th birthday includes a dog walk around City Bark, a contest for the best New Orleans-centric dog costume and more. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $40.
 

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