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

An egret spotted on an evening birdwatching tour at the Great Louisiana Bird Festival. This year the event is in New Orleans and on the Northshore April 7 through 9.

1Asian Pacific American Festival (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-581-4629; — 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. Free with zoo admission: $22.95  adults, $19.95 seniors, $17.95 children 2-12, zoo members free.

1Delgado Music Festival — See March 31 for description.

1Freret Street Festival (Freret Street from Napoleon Avenue to Valmont Street; — More than 200 vendors offer art and collectibles, while live music plays on three stages. There are children's activities, pet adoptions and an appearance by roller derby skaters. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

1Wanderlust 108 (Scout Island, New Orleans City Park, 1 Palm Drive; — The triathlon includes a 5K fun run, an outdoor yoga class with Chelsey Korus, meditation with Noah Levine, live DJs, classes in acro yoga, hula hooping, meditation, photography, essential oils and more. 7 a.m.-2 p.m. $21-$39.08.

1West Louisiana BBQ Cook Off (West Louisiana Forestry Festival Fairgrounds, 276 H.M. Stevens Blvd., Leesville; — Participants sample brisket, ribs, chicken and other barbecue dishes. Opens 10 a.m. Free.

1-2Art in the Pass (War Memorial Park, 103 Fleitas Ave., Pass Christian, Mississippi; www.passmainstreetcom/events/artinthepass) — The 20th annual event offers fine arts and crafts by 100 artists from 14 states. The Gulf Marine Education Festival is held concurrently, and there is a "marine cusine" pavilion, scholarship awards, student art exhibit and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.

1-2Dave Robicheaux's Hometown Literary Festival — See March 31 for event description.

1-2Kite Fest Louisiane (West Baton Rouge Soccer Complex, 3383 Rosedale Road, Port Allen, 225-344-2920; — Professional and amateur kite fliers show off their kites and skills. There's a kite-making workshop, inflatable play structures, face painting, Louisiana food vendors, fireworks on Saturday and more. March 31st is students' day. Lawn chairs are allowed. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Free.

1-2Spring Fiesta & Historic Home Tours — See March 25 for event description.

1-18Spring Pilgrimage 2017 — See March 18 for event description.

2 & 9Music Under the Oaks — See March 26 for event description.

4Washington Square Park Music Festival — See March 21 for event description.

Wednesdays-May 24Wednesday at the Square — See March 15 for event description.

5-9A Taste of Covington (Various locations in Covington; — The food and wine event features vintner's dinners, a block party, a grand tasting and more. Hours and admissions vary.

Thursdays through NovemberThursdays at Twilight Garden Concert Series — See March 16 for event description.

6Lenten Concert Series — See March 9 for event description.

6-9French Quarter Festival (French Quarter; — Aaron Neville plays at the annual food and music festival for the first time. The fest has stages set up throughout the French Quarter. The event showcases more than 1,700 local musicians and food from more than 60 New Orleans restaurants. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday & Saturday. Free.

7-9Great Louisiana BirdFest (Various locations in New Orleans and on the Northshore; — The 21st annual festival, held each year during the spring bird migration, features birding trips to Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, New Orleans City Park and Lafreniere park on the South Shore and Northlake Nature Center, Manchac Swamp, Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge, Madere Marsh, Honey Island Swamp and other spots on the Northshore. Registration required. Times and admissions vary.

7-9Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival (Memorial Park, 301 N. Sixth St., Ponchatoula, 800-917-7045; — There's a parade, carnival rides, live entertainment, games, food vendors, arts and crafts, fresh strawberries and strawberry-based dishes. 3 p.m.-midnight Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Free.

8New Water Music (Seabrook Boat Launch at the end of Lakeshore Drive; — The event is focused on coastal erosion and restoration of Louisiana's coast and features the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and local musicians performing composer Yotam Haber's New Water Music from a vessel on Lake Pontchartrain. Visitors watch from the shore. There's also food, talks and exhibits by coastal conservation advocates. 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Free.

8Railroad Makers and Music Festival (Downtown Ruston; — The inaugural fair features the Seratones and Louisiana Soul Revival, as well as alternative, indie and rock 'n' roll performers. There also are more than 100 regional makers offering jewelry, woodwork, apparel and paintings. The festival takes place in two locations. Makers Fair (Historic Fire Station, 200 E. Mississippi Ave.) 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; music festival (Railroad Park, Park Avenue) 3 p.m.-9 p.m. $5 music festival, makers fair free.

8Southdown Plantation Marketplace Artisan Craft Show (Southdown Plantation, 1208 Museum Drive, Houma, 985-851-0154; — The shopping expo features more than 300 vendors offering arts and crafts, fine art, textiles, entertainment and food. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. $5, children 12 and younger free.

8Spring for Art (Downtown Covington, (985) 892-8650; — The festival in downtown Covington features live music, art demonstrations, performances, a mix masters' competition and dozens of businesses stay open late and offer live music.

8-9Baton Rouge Blues Festival (Downtown Baton Rouge, South River Road; — The lineup includes The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Marc Broussard, Henry Gray, Ana Popovic, Alvin Youngblood Hart and dozens of others. There also are food and drink vendors, interviews with artists, arts and crafts and more. 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Free. VIP access tickets are $200.

8-13Balfa Week (Various locations in Lafayette, 337-234-8360; — Presented by Louisiana Folk Roots, the week is named for Cajun fiddler and singer Dewey Balfa and includes classes in fiddle, guitar and accordinan, Cajun and Creole vocals, band labs, appearances by musicians, nightly dances, words and music sessions and live music. Times and admissions vary. $720 all-inclusive.

15Crescent City Classic (Superdome, 1500 Sugarbowl Drive, 504-861-8686; — The 10K starts in front of the Superdome and goes through the French Quarter and ends in New Orleans City Park. There's a two-day health and fitness expo (free and open to the public) and post-race festival at the park. 8 a.m. start time. 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. festival. Registration $45. Admission to festival $10, free for runners.

20-23Louisiana International Film Festival (Cinemark Perkins Rowe, 10000 Perkins Rowe, Baton Rouge, 225-761-7844; — The festival showcases filmmakers and musicians of Louisiana. Hours vary. Individual event tickets TBA. $120 all-access pass, students $20.

20-23New Orleans Poetry Festival (New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave.; — The festival includes national and international poets, readings, workshops, panel discussions and author events. 7 p.m.-until Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. $75 all-access pass.

21-22Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival (Downtown Franklin on Bayou Teche, 337-828-4100, ext. 371; — There are tours of the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge, educational exhibits about the Louisiana black bear, live music, food, arts and crafts, children's activities and fireworks on Saturday. 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. Free.

21-22Parks Cracklin' Cook-off (Cecile Rousseau Poche Memorial Park, 103 Periou St., Parks; — There are cooking contests, a horse poker run, live music, children's activities and a raffle for $5,000. 6 p.m.-midnight Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday. Free.

21-23Cajun Festival (Visitation of Our Lady School, 3520 Ames Blvd., Marrero, 504-347-3377; — Cajun food, live music, bingo and other games are among offerings at this festival, which also has live music by Regeneration, the Chee Weez, Junior and Sumtin' Sneaky and Groovy 7. There's a 5K walk/run at 8 a.m. Saturday. 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Admission TBA.

21-23Scott Boudin Festival (125 Lions Club St., Scott; 337-233-1130; — There's live music, dishes made with boudin, food vendors, arts and crafts and more. Bands include Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Chris Ardoin, Wayne Toups & ZydeCajun and Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie. 5:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Free on Friday, $5 Saturday and Sunday, children under 6 free.

21-27New Orleans French Film Festival (Prytania Theater, ; — The festival offers a showcase of contemporary and classic French films. Times vary. Individual events, $11, $9 for film society and Prytania members, $85 all-access pass, $70 for film society and Prytania members.

22Lake PontchARTrain Craft Fair (New Canal Lighthouse, 8001 Lakeshore Drive, 504-836-2215; — Thirty vendors sell a variety of arts and crafts, artwork, jewelry, clothing, pottery and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

Fridays through May 19Music & Market (Opelousas Tourist Center, 828 E. Landry St., Opelousas; — The music series offers genres from Cajun to swamp pop and a market of products from Louisiana farmers and producers. 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Free.

22New Orleans Mini Maker Faire (Delgado Community College Student Life Center, 916 Navarre Ave., — The family-friendly festival urges makers to create technology items, including DIY, robotics designs and 3-D printing, drones, arts and crafts and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $10, free for attendees under 18 years old and students with ID.

22Halfway 2 Halloween (Castillo Blanco Art Studio, 4321 St. Claude Ave., — The inaugural festival, presented by the NOLA Horror Film Festival, focuses on filmmaking in the horror genre from around the globe with screenings as well as live music, local artists, dancers, DJs  and other performers. Times and admission TBA.

22-23Angola Prison Rodeo (Angola Prison Rodeo Arena, Louisiana State Penitentiary, 17544 Tunica Trace, Angola, 225-655-2030; — Situated at the end of Highway 66 at Angola, the country's longest running prison rodeo (it started in 1965) features bulldogging, barrel racing, bareback riding, wild cow milking, wild horse racing and more. There also are lots of food vendors and inmate crafts for sale. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Rodeo starts at 2 p.m.) $20.

22-23Covington Antiques and Uniques Festival (Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire St., Covington; — The event features live music, food, antiques, collectibles, classic cars, architectural salvage, crafts, a live auction, appraisals, demonstrations and walking tours. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.

22-23Le Feu et l'Eau (Fire and Water) Rural Arts Celebration (Downtown Arnaudville, (337) 453-3307; — The two-day event features works by local artists and performers, as well as cooking demonstrations, feature films, live music, poetry and arts. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

23 - Pinch A Palooza (Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant, 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie; - The outdoor seafood and music festival features a crawfish eating contest, seven band including Flow Tribe, Amanda Shaw & The Cute Guys, Rockin’ Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters and more. There also are crawfish races, inflatable climbing structures and games. This year’s event adds a second crawfish-eating contest, this one for children 6 to 12 years old. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Free.

26Concerts in the Courtyard (The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St., 504-523-4662; — The monthly spring concert series showcases Louisiana musicians. Ticket includes a complimentary beverage. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Admission $10, THNOC members free.

26-30Festival International de Louisiane (Downtown Lafayette; — The international music and arts festival draws more than 300,000 visitors and features performances by artists from more than 20 countries. There also are workshops, exhibits, theater shows, food and drink vendors and more. Hours vary. Free.

28Art Walk (Downtown Lake Charles; — The annual event brings local artists together and features pop-up galleries, an outdoor art market, demonstrations, exhibits, drink specials and art contests. 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Free.

28Zoo-To-Do for Kids (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-581-4629; — The festival for kids offers food, live music, arcade games, face painting, inflatable structures and crafts. 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. $25, $20 zoo members, $40 early entry (5:30 p.m.).

28-30Etouffee Festival (St. John Francis Regis Church, 232 Main St., Arnaudville, 337-754-5912; — The festival features an etouffee cook-off, a variety of etouffee types — including wild game and seafood — live music, carnival rides, an auto show, food vendors and more. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

28-30The Italian Festival (Downtown Tickfaw, Highway 51 next to City Hall, 985-634-0597; — The celebration features Italian food, live soul, country and R&B music, a parade, carnival rides, games, crafts and a motorcycle poker run. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Free.

28-30, May 4-7New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, 1751 Gentilly Blvd.; — The festival draws visitors from all over the world to hear music ranging from jazz, zydeco and rap to gospel, Cajun and pop. Headliners include Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Maroon 5, Kings of Leon, Usher, Alabama Shakes, Wilco, Patti La-Belle and others. There also are arts and crafts, kids activities, food and more. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. $70 in advance, $80 at the gate, $5 ages 2-10 (at gate only).

28-30Spring Fair (St. Joan of Arc Church, 529 W. Fifth St., LaPlace, 985-652-9100; — The fair features rides, games, food, children's activities and live music nightly from the Peyton Falgoust Band, Image and Catch. 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Free.

30Allons Manger Food Festival (St. Jules Catholic Church, 7165 Highway 1, Belle Rose, 225-473-8569; — The daylong fair offers Cajun food, live music and an auction. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.