It’s Festival Time & Time for Giving, Events Happening This Month

Vincent & Bella Productions, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This weekend is French Quarter Fest and, not only are there a lot of festivities happening, but there are a few other events in April that you will want to be aware of. Below are a few hand-picked experiences that I think are worth checking out!

JAMNOLA at French Quarter Fest

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the festival, JAMNOLA has commissioned local multi-disciplined visual artist Farris Armand to create the artwork for Gateway to French Quarter Festival, Gateway to #FQFest celebrating scenes of the most iconic French Quarter landmarks; Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral on one side, and the mighty Mississippi River on the other, as well as feature representations of what FQF is all about: food, music, and Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage, all by and for the community. 

The archway can be viewed at Oscar Dunn Park. A larger-than-life sculpture of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux will be joining the renowned Irma Thomas and Tarriona “Tank” Ball in The Garden of Legends located near the Abita stage. The sculpture is inspired from a photo supplied by Erica Goldring. This series of sculptures featuring local musicians and culture bearers of the past, present, and future created by NOLA installation artist Brennan Steele is quickly becoming a FQF staple exhibit with plans to add more musicians and culture bearers annually. 

“This year’s art installations solidify our continued collaboration with French Quarter Fest and honoring the music legends of New Orleans,” explains JAMNOLA Founder Jonny Liss. “We are so proud to celebrate Big Chief Monk this year.” At this year’s festival be on the lookout for JAMNOLA’s infamous life-size Crawfish character “Andre Crawdaddy,” along with his debaucherous wife “Alexis” who will be making appearances throughout the event. 

Also, just in time for FQF: JAMNOLA’s French Quarter Festival 40th Anniversary Limited-Edition Swag Bag which can be purchased as a ticket add-on, online and at JAMNOLA’s Gift Shop for $28.00 with $10 of every bag sold benefiting French Quarter Festivals Inc., the nonprofit that produces the festival. This limited-edition curation includes an official FQF Line Up Poster, Tambourine, Button, Koozie & an “It’s About New Orleans” Bumper sticker.

French Quarter Fest food special at Palm & Pine and Criollo

Located on the edge of the French Quarter, Palm & Pine, 308 N. Rampart St., is a wonderful location to stop in to enjoy a bite or a cocktail before enjoying the festivities. And if the festival keeps you out late, come enjoy a Spicy Chicken Sandwich or an Upper Quarter Pounder on Friday and Saturday for their Late Nite food and cocktail specials 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Stop in and cool off at Criollo, 241 Royal St., to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you’re looking to take a break from the festivities and enjoy some AC! Additionally, guests can enjoy two unbeatable drinks deals with $1 Martinis offered alongside Criollo’s delicious lunch on Thursday and Friday and 75 cent French 75s offered during their weekend Jazz Brunch on Saturday and Sunday!

Parkway Po Boys For Life Raises Money for the Ochsner Transplant Institute during French Quarter Fest

From Friday, April 14, through Sunday, April 16, Parkway Bakery & Tavern, 538 Hagan Ave., will be donating $1 from sales of every shrimp po’boy sold to support transplant patients and programs at the Ochsner Transplant Institute. 

Parkway is eager to give back and bring awareness to the importance of organ transplant programs, a topic that is close to the Parkway family. Justin Kennedy, Parkway’s General Manager and Head Chef, is an organ donor and actually donated his kidney to his brother, Johnny. This life-saving kidney procedure transformed Justin and Johnny Kennedy’s lives and perspective on helping others. 

Broussard’s Prix Fixe Dinner Celebrating Spring Bananas 

Broussard’s, 819 Conti St., is featuring a special Prixe Fixe dinner for $55, and available Tuesday-Saturday, 5pm-9pm When you think of the quintessential New Orleans dessert, Bananas Foster is surely the first to come to mind. Created “on the fly” using what was available in the kitchen, the tableside flambé was a fantastic way to utilize the excess bananas that were stocked at the Port of New Orleans in the 1950s. Here at Broussard’s though, we look to create a unique dining experience, and that is exactly what our Spring Menu does. View the menu here.

Observatory Eleven x Glass Half Full NOLA 

April is Earth Month! Observatory Eleven, the circular craft cocktail bar inside The Westin New Orleans, is celebrating by serving up sustainability

Throughout April, Observatory Eleven is serving Reciprocity, a certified sustainable wine by Miller Family Wines. For each glass sold, $1 will be donated to Glass Half Full Nola, a local nonprofit that turns glass waste into reusable sand for disaster relief sandbags, coastal restoration, eco-construction, art, new glass products and much more. Essentially, each glass of wine you drink helps our environment, so treat yourself (and the Earth)!

Bayou Bar Presents: A Jazz Fest Dinner – Sunday, April 30, 2023

On Sunday, April 30, Bayou Bar, 2031 St. Charles Ave. will host a Five-Course Dinner and a Show with Top New Orleans Musicians from 9 p.m. to Midnight

Following Jazz Fest on the first Sunday, foodies and music lovers can enjoy a

five-course tasting menu, curated by Chef and Owner Brian Landry, featuring

specialty cocktail and wine pairings. 

This event is $300 for table of two and $600 for

table of four (excluding tax and gratuity)

The dinner will include a special musical performance by 

musicians including the acclaimed French vocalist Cyrille Aimée; veteran Preservation Hall reedman Charlie Gabriel; Herlin Riley, a master drummer who has toured and recorded with legends like

Wynton Marsalis and Dr. John; renowned pianist and producer David

Torkanowsky; and stalwart bassist Peter Harris who is the director of Bayou

Bar’s weekly music series.

More info and tickets here.

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