This beautiful spring Saturday may be oriented toward Easter, but the Crescent City would be hard pressed to forget festing for a weekend. Two prime NOLA thoroughfares are set to host afternoon attractions that should last well into the night, and showcase their respective growth in recent years.
Julia St. is jammin’ harder than ever this year, with an expanded “Social A-Go-Go!” running from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. Last year, festivities at Jammin’ on Julia St. only lasted for three hours, but tomorrow, April 7, five blocks of Julia St., from St. Charles to Commerce, will be closed all day to be filled with music, art, fashion and all kinds of yummy food.
All proceeds go to the New Orleans Arts District Association, and NOADA joined forces with the Downtown Development District as well as Cathedral Creative Studios to coordinate the event. Owner of Cathedral Creative Studios Vic Granata said that he was also excited that Neighborland decided to get involved.
Granata said that, in addition to fundraising, the event is a perfect way for people all over the city to get a feel for the Warehouse District.
“Things in the Warehouse District are changing so quickly," he said. "This will be an immediate way for people to connect with the area.”
Vendors include Le Foret, Carmo Café, La Divina, Bittersweet Confections, Mia’s Balcony, Yakemein, Santa Fe Tapas, and Carmo Café. Musical performances from Shamar Allen and the Underdogs, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, Bonerama, The Marc Stone Band, Royal Teeth, The Tin Men, Luke Winslow-King, J. the Savage, World War II Museum Victory Belles, Africa Brass, Chegadao.
There will also be a fashion bazaar, events geared towards kids happening outside the children’s museum, and a cocktail demonstration by Elizabeth Pearce called, “History in a Glass: Story of New Orleans in a Sazerac” taking place at 527 Julia. There’s something for everyone, it’s happening all day, and it supports local art, so you have no excuse to miss out.
Freret's Fated Fete
As Freret Street has grown over the last few years, so has the Freret Street Festival, quickly becoming a staple of the spring festival calendar. What started as a neighbor event over 15 years ago has become a serious street party that stretches across six blocks of the Uptown corridor, featuring live music on four stages and over 200 vendors offering art, food, and flea-market style knick knacks. This year’s event kicks off on Saturday at noon and runs until 6:00pm.
Food is the big draw on Freret Street, but restaurant row will have some competition on Saturday, as the festival includes over 30 local food vendors. The fest will have its own food court set up and feature favorites like Woody’s Fish Tacos, the Fry Bar, and Beaucoup Juice. Edible Schoolyard NOLA—a charter school at the corner of Freret and Valence that uses their community garden as a tool for teaching students about gardening, cooking, and nutrition—will also have a food booth at the fest, highlighting a true gem of the neighborhood. The popular spots that have livened up Freret Street in recent years—Company Burger, Dat Dog, Midway Pizza, High Hat Café, Cure, and others—will have their doors open wide, ready to dish out their signature specialties for fest-goers.
The music at this year’s fest adds up to an impressive roster of some of New Orleans’ best bands, covering the spectrum of funk, blues and brass. Headliners include the Honey Island Swamp Band, blues guitarist John Mooney, and Mardi Gras Indian band the Wild Magnolias. All four of the stages will feature music throughout the day, from Los Poboycitos, Debauche, Lagniappe Brass Band, and a host of other favorites.
Those familiar with the Freret Market know there will be plenty of locals on hand with great art and jewelry, and others with a wide array of books, music, and clothing. A kids’ activity area will keep the little ones entertained with inflatable play stations, a petting zoo, and arts and crafts. As the festival winds down, the Big Easy Roller Girls will give the crowd a taste of roller derby New Orleans-style, and all-girl marching krewe the Pussyfooters will also perform.
For more information, including a full list of vendors, music schedule, and festival map, visit the Freret Street Festival website.