french quarter festival

Thursday through Sunday

French Quarter Festival, a 23-stage extravaganza of music, food and fun throughout the Vieux Carre, has steadily grown into a top-notch event in the Crescent City. Things get rolling at 11 a.m. Thursday and run through the weekend, including the world’s largest jazz brunch.

‘theater of war’


Ancient Greece meets contemporary issues in this unique theatrical-town hall experience. Readings of ancient Greek plays, Sophocles’ “Ajax” and “Philoctetes,” are a catalyst for discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, families, caregivers and communities. Hosted by the Department of Classical Studies as the 2016 Dennis A. Georges Lecture in Hellenic Culture. 7 p.m. Thursday, Dixon Hall, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. (504) 865-5719.


Friday and Sunday

Giacomo Puccini penned the music for this opera in 1900, basing the work on a play about Napoleon invading Naples. The New Orleans Opera Association’s “Tosca” remains true to the melodramatic operatic style, filled with intrigue, torture, suicide and murder, with beautiful music carrying the story. Opening 8 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday; Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, 1419 Basin St., New Orleans. Additionally, two brunch seatings available. $26 and up, show only. (504) 529-3000.

ponchatoula strawberry festival

Friday through Sunday

The luscious red berries and the warm spirit of this Tangipahoa Parish town are the backdrops for the annual Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. This festival features over 60 nonprofit organizations cooking Louisiana cuisine. Continuous entertainment runs on two stages; a Saturday morning parade rolls downtown. Contests include strawberry eating, an egg toss and sack races. Memorial Park, 300 N. Sixth St., Ponchatoula.

spring wildflower walk


Take a stroll through nature Saturday during the Spring Wildflower Walk at the Barataria Preserve. Rangers report the giant blue irises are ready to break forth in time for viewing. Reservations suggested. 10:30 a.m., Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, 6588 Barataria Blvd., Marrero. (504) 689-3690 ext. 10.