In the way that people in New Orleans will discuss the next meal while still enjoying the one before them, here in the midst of Carnival we are getting news about the springtime festivals.
In addition to the newly announced Jazz Fest lineup, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience recently revealed its own new plans for this year, including a different date and significant changes to its signature events.
NOWFE will take place over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-29, a switch from the previous plan for 2016 that had the festival occurring in June.
The move is a bid to attract more out-of-town visitors for the holiday weekend, and this year, NOWFE organizers are clustering their events closer to the weekend, too.
“This year, we shifted our events more into the weekend, making it an easy weekend trip, and created ticket packages to fit varying budgets and interest levels,” NOWFE president Ted Selogie said in a release detailing the changes.
The Royal Street Stroll, which turns a stretch of Royal Street into a roving, self-guided wine tasting and gallery tour, will now be on Friday (May 27), instead of its customary Thursday spot on the calendar. The smaller-scale ViNOLA! Tasting, with higher-priced wines, moves to that Friday as well.
The Grand Tasting, which fills a hall of the convention center with chefs from around New Orleans and wineries from around the world, has been reduced from two days to one — Saturday, May 28. The Big Gauteaux Show, a burlesque-themed dessert tasting is also that Saturday.
NOWFE events begin Thursday, May 27, with vintner dinners at local restaurants, which have yet to be announced. Wine and food seminars and “experiences” — small-group outings, dinners and tastings — are spread throughout the long weekend.
Ticket packages start at $225 for the Royal Street Stroll and Grand Tasting and rise from there with more events and access; while individual tickets are available for the Big Gateaux Show and ViNOLA! Tasting. Get details and tickets at nowfe.com.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.