June is national Caribbean Heritage Month, and New Orleans will prove it knows how to pay homage to its Caribbean roots this month at the NOLA Caribbean Experience, a jam-packed four days of music, food and parading, from Thursday, June 20 to Sunday, June 23.
The celebration’s main event is the third annual NOLA Caribbean Festival at Central City BBQ (1201 S. Rampart St.) from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 22 and Sunday June 23. The fest will feature Caribbean cuisine, music, dance and culture. International artists, bands and DJs will perform on one of three stages.
Children can enjoy a Kids Corner at the festival which includes African drum lessons and an indoor dance stage featuring salsa and Afrobeat.
More than 50 New Orleans chefs and bartenders will host.
Many Caribbean islands also celebrate Carnival season leading up to Lent, sharing New Orleans’ love for loud costumes. With the Colour Me Krazy Carnival Parade, the city’s parading is not over just yet. The parade will include a Caribbean Carnival masquerade costume bands, dancers, DJ trucks and a “paint versus powder experience.”
Adult packages for the parade are $75 and include food, drink, t-shirt, paint, powder and festival entry. Children admission packages are $40. The parade begins on Canal Street Saturday, June 22 at 4 p.m. and ends at the festival grounds.
General admission tickets cost $10 a day or $15 for a two-day festival pass. VIP tickets are $40 or $70 for a two-day pass. Advanced tickets are available online.
Concerts from Caribbean and New Orleans artists and DJs will be popping up around town. On Thursday, a collaboration between Haitian band Koneksyon, Haitian DJ Mundo and New Orleans’ own K.O.B. Brass Band will take place at The Howlin Wolf (907 S. Peters St.) Thursday, June 20 at 9 p.m.
Food events include a Rum Punch Brunch at The Revolution (1840 Thalia St.) Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m. hosted by international Soca artist Tara Lynne. The festivities come to a close late Sunday, June 23 with a Weekend Wrap Up at Deja Vieux Food Park from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. with a performance by Hawaiian Reggae band Inna Vision.