Gambit's 2018 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: March_lowres

The Louisiana Crawfish Festival in Chalmette features 30,000 pounds of boiled crawfish.

13-14

Agave Week (Various locations in New Orleans; www.facebook.com/agaveweek) — The week's activities, which started March 11, include a trip to a huge bloody mary bar, a scavenger hunt and bar crawl through the French Quarter, dinners and tequila pairings, a margarita mix-off, social events and more. Times and admissions vary. Some events require pre-registration.

Tuesdays-March 27

Lenten Concert Series (St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1100 Chartres St., 504-586-1609; www.faulknersociety.org) — The theme of the series is "Soul of the City: 300 Years of Musical Diversity," with music styles ranging from Louis Gottschalk to gospel to chamber music. 6:30 p.m. Free.

Wednesdays-May 30

YLC Wednesday at the Square (Lafayette Square, 600 Maestri St., 504-585-1500; www.ylcnola.org) — The Young Leadership Council hosts free concerts on Wednesdays through May with music from local and regional artists. There's also art market and food and drink vendors. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Free.

14-18

Art in Bloom (New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans City Park, 1 Collins C. Diboll Circle; www.noma.org/event/art-bloom-2018) — The 30th installment of Art in Bloom showcases floral designs by more than 75 exhibitors. There are preview and patron parties, a fashion show and lecture series. Times and admissions vary.

Thursdays-April 26

Thursdays at Twilight concert series (New Orleans City Park, Botanical Garden, 5 Victory Ave., 504-483-9488; www.neworleanscitypark.com/files/events/ThursConcerts2018Spring.pdf) — The weekly series began in January and features performers including The Yat Pack, Pfister Sisters, New Leviathan Oriental Fox Trot Orchestra and others. Food, mint juleps, wine and beer are available. 5 p.m. $10.

15

Top Taco (Woldenberg Park, 8 Canal St.; www.toptaconola.com) — Three dozen local restaurants compete to create the best taco and the best tequila cocktail. There's also a silent auction. VIP admission includes live Latin music aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. $69, $125 VIP.

15-17

Iowa Rabbit Festival (Burton Coliseum Complex, 7001 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles; www.iowarabbitfestival.org) — The music lineup includes Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Wayne Toups, Aaron Istre and others. There's also a rabbit dish cook-off, queen pageant, rabbit show, carnival rides, arts and crafts, food vendors and more. 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday. Free Thursday, $5 Friday-Saturday, free for 12 years old and younger.

15-18

Louisiana Sportsman Show & Festival (Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Ave., Gonzales; www.louisianasportsmanshow.com) — 2018 marks the 39th year for the festival, which features boats, fishing and hunting equipment, all-terrain vehicles, lawn equipment, seminars, a Big Buck Contest, retriever competitions, a kids' area, an ATV test track and more. Noon-7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $10, $5 children 6-12 years old, free kids 5 and younger.

16

Drafts for Crafts (National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., 504-528-1944; www.draftsforcrafts.org) — The event features live music on two stages, food from local restaurants, a NOLA Brewing beer garden and a wine raffle. 7 p.m.-until. $100, $85 museum members.

16-17

St. Patrick's Party (New Orleans City Park, City Putt, 8 Victory Ave., 504-483-9385; www.neworleanscitypark.com/calendar/category/kids) — Admission includes one round of minature golf, a free drink, treats, a raffle ticket and giveaways. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. $10.

16-18

Amite Oyster Festival (Downtown Amite; www.amiteoysterfestival.com) — There's a chili cook-off Friday, live Cajun, country, reggae and rock 'n' roll music, oysters prepared lots of ways, an oyster-eating contest, oyster scavenger hunt, carnival rides and more. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Free.

16-18

Audubon Pilgrimage (West Feliciana Parish Historical Museum, 11757 Ferdinand St., St. Francisville, 225-635-6330; www.westfelicianahistory.org) — The 47th annual event features 1820s costumes, tours of historic homes and gardens, living history demonstrations, cemetery tours, nighttime activities and more. Times vary. Admission varies by event.

16-18

Limmud New Orleans (Congregation Gates of Prayer, 4000 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 504-885-2600; New Orleans Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave., 504-897-0143; www.limmudnola.org) — The family-focused festival celebrates Jewish life with 90 sessions covering Jewish history, arts and culture, Israel, social justice, spirituality and more. There are children's activities and kosher foods. Hours vary. $80 weekend pass for 35 years and older, $45 weekend pass 18-35 years old, $15 child weekend pass 3-18 years old, free for children under 3; Sunday only: $55 for 35 years and older, $30 18-35 years old, $10 children 3-18.

16-18

Louisiana Nursery Festival (4300 Highway 112, Forest Hill, 318-748-6300; www.facebook.com/louisiananurseryfestival ) — There's a parade on Saturday, carnival rides, arts and crafts, food and dozens of vendors of plants, gardening equipment and accessories. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Free.

17

Abbey Youth Festival (St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College, 75376 River Road, Covington; www.abbeyyouthfest.com) — The festival is for high school students 13 and older and includes speakers, discussion sessions, live music, education and more. 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. $50.

17-18

Antiques & Vintage Collectibles Mart (Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd., Kenner;www.crescentcityglass.org) — The two-day sale features Depression glass, antiques, pottery, collectibles and china, silver, jewelry, furniture, linens and more, plus door prizes are awarded hourly. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. $6, good for both days.

17-April 17

Natchez Spring Pilgrimage (Various locations in Natchez, Mississippi, 800-647-6742; www.natchezpilgrimage.com) — About two dozen historic homes in a variety of styles are open for public tours during the annual event, and hosts don antebellum costumes to welcome guests. There also are theater performances, live music and special presentations. Times vary. $15 single-home tour; $45 for three-house package, $30 children 12 and older, free for children 11 and younger.

18-24

New Orleans Fashion Week (Various locations in New Orleans; www.neworleansfashionweek.com) — It's the eighth iteration of this fashion festival, which includes runway shows, design competitions, a kids runway show, information sessions about fashion, history, beauty and more. Times and admissions vary.

21-25

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (Various locations in the French Quarter, 504-581-1144; www.tennesseewilliams.net) — There are tours, writing workshops, performances, a Stella and Stanley shouting contest, writing marathons and speakers including Rick Bragg, Leah Chase, Donna Brazile, Richard Ford and others. Times and admissions vary.

23-25

African Dance and Drum Conference (Historic Treme Center, 900 N. Villere St., 504-430-0894) — The conference offers dance and drum classes from master teachers, and there's a play Friday at Ashe Power House. 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Play $25, $15 for seniors and children 16 and younger; classes $10 each.

22-25

Louisiana Crawfish Festival (8245 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, 504-329-6411; www.louisianacrawfishfestival.com) — The festival features 30,000 pounds of boiled crawfish, plus dishes including crawfish bread, crawfish pasta, crawfish pies and jambalaya. There's also live Cajun music, arts and crafts, games and carnival rides. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun. $5.

22-25

San Gennaro Feast (The Esplanade, 1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner; www.sangennarofeast.com) — The outdoor festival features live music, beer gardens, arts and crafts, carnival rides and Italian, Louisiana and international foods. 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. $10.

23

Friday Nites on the Square (Terrabella Village, 111 Terrabella Blvd., Covington, 985-871-7171; www.terrabellavillage.com) — There's free music and food and drink vendors at this periodic concert series. 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Free.

23-24

Hammond BBQ Challenge (200 S.W. Railroad Ave., Hammond; www.hammondbbq.com) — The festival draws more than 50 professional cooking teams from across the country. The festival includes a cooking competition for backyard barbecuers, another for children 6 to 16 years old and a competition in which diners vote for their favorite barbecue. There's also live music, arts and crafts vendors and more. 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Free.

23-24

Hogs for the Cause (UNO Lakefront Arena, 6801 Franklin Ave.; www.hogsforthecause.org) — More than 85 chefs and cooks compete in several barbecue categories. There's also local beer, Southern food, and music from 21 bands. 3:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday, 11 am.-8:45 p.m. Saturday. $25 single day, $49 two-day pass.

23-25

Jackson Assembly Antiques and Art Show (1740 Charter St., Jackson, 225-634-7155; www.jacksonassemblyantiquesshow.com) — The invitational antiques and collectibles show features dealers from throughout the South. An art show features fine art, jewelry, pottery and baskets, and there also are plants, herbs and baked goods for sale, tours of historic buildings and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. $10 for three days.

23-25

Saints and Sinners (Various locations in New Orleans, 504-581-1144; www.sasfest.org) — The LGBTQ-focused literary festival, a project of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, offers emerging and established writers a place to hone their skills and meet others in the industry. There are panel discussions, a reading series, master classes, a fiction contest, book launch party and speakers including Jericho Brown, Jaffe Cohen, Jewelle Gomez and others. Schedules vary. Registration $150, partner party pass $25.

24

Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival (New Orleans City Park, 56 Dreyfous Drive, 504-722-0735; www.bigbassfishingrodeo.com) — The 71st annual freshwater bass rodeo includes the fishing competition plus exhibitors, vendors, raffles, sales of fishing tackle and more. 6 a.m.-noon. Admission varies.

24

Children's World's Fair (Louisiana Children's Museum, 420 Julia St., 504-523-1357; www.lcm.org) — The festival spotlights New Orleans' tricentennial by exploring the cultures that made the city what it is. There are exhibits about Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Native Americans, crafts and cultural performances. $20, $16 museum members.

24

Earth Fest (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-861-2537; www.audubonnatureinstitute.org/earth-fest) — There is live entertainment, food vendors, crafts and educational exhibits about conservation and saving the environment. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with zoo admission, $22.95, $19.95 65 and older, $17.95 children 2-12.

24

Fleur De Leaf Extravaganza (Crescent Park, 2300 N. Peters St., 504-636-6400; www.frenchmarket.org) — DJ Captain Charles spins music and there are cigars, food, cocktails and arts and crafts. Noon-8 p.m. Free.

24

Gretna Food Truck Fest (Gretna Market, 300 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna, 504-361-1822) — Food trucks assemble for dinner service. 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Free admission.

24

NOMA Egg Hunt & Family Festival (Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, City Park, 1 Collins Diboll Circle, 504-658-4100; www.noma.org/event/noma-egg-hunt-family-festival-2018) — The festival includes Easter egg hunts, a petting zoo, face painting, arts and crafts, inflatable structures, refreshments and more. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $12 in advance, $10 NOMA members; $15 day of event, free for children 2 and younger.

24

Southdown Marketplace (Southdown Plantation House, 1208 Museum Drive, Houma, 985-851-0154; www.southdownmuseum.org) — More than 300 local and national vendors attend the daylong arts and crafts festival, offering handmade items, jewelry, clothing, woodcrafts, art, seasonal products and more. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. $5, kids under 12 free.

24-25

Bloody Mary Festival (The Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St.; www.thebloodymaryfest.com) — The festival features bloody marys and food from New Orleans restaurants and bars, plus competitions for Best Bloody Mary in New Orleans (judged by industry experts) and a People's Choice Award (selected by the audience). Tickets include tastes of all bloody marys in the competition. Noon-4:30 p.m. Tickets $45.

24-25

Egg Scramble (Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and Storyland, New Orleans City Park, 7 Victory Ave., 504-483-9402; www.neworleanscitypark.com) — More than 36,000 Easter eggs will be hidden for children to find. Tickets are date-specific. 9 a.m.-noon. $10, $5 Friends of City Park members.

24-25

Slidell Spring Street Fair (First and Erlanger streets, Slidell; www.slidellantiques.com) — Booths offering antiques, collectibles and more line the streets of Olde Towne Slidell. There's also live music and food vendors. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.

25

World Championship Crawfish Etouffee Cook-Off (438 Samuel Drive, Eunice, 337-457-2565; www.etouffeecookoff.org) — The 33rd annual event features live music by Courtbouillon, Kyle Huval and the Dixie Club Ramblers and Seth Spell and Cajun Strong. There's also an etouffee cook-off, a fun run and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

28

Sippin' in the Courtyard (Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., 504-648-6103; www.maisondupuy.com) — The series, which has monthly concerts in the hotel's courtyard except for June, July and August continues through November, with live music, discounted cocktails and small plates. Proceeds benefit local nonprofits. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Free.

30-31

Gretna Mainstreet New Music Theatre Festival (Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts, 740 Fourth St., Gretna; www.gretnacca.com) — The festival features three new musicals presented as staged readings, including Cupid and Psyche (7 p.m. Friday) for teens and young adults, Treehouse Players' Rapunzel (2 p.m. Saturday) for all ages and Sit Down and Eat Before Our Love Gets Cold (7 p.m. Saturday) for adults. $20 per show.

31

Crescent City Classic 10K (Champions Square, LaSalle Street, 504-861-8686; www.ccc10k.com) — The 10-kilometer race begins at the Superdome, winds through the French Quarter and ends at New Orleans City Park. There's a post-race party that includes live music and Creole cuisine. There's also a two-day health and fitness expo open to the public the weekend of the race. 8 a.m. race. $50 (through March 28), $55 (March 29-30 at Expo).

31-April 1

City Putt Easter Eggs-travaganza (New Orleans City Park, 8 Victory Drive, 504-483-9385; www.neworleanscitypark.com) — Admission includes one round of miniature golf, a drink and treats. There's also a raffle, giveaways and more. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. $10.


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