Are you ready for NOLA’s free spring festivals?

April 8, 2013 9:00 AM

Johanna Gretschel

Crawfish, sunscreen, crop tops and brass bands can only mean one thing — it’s beginning to feel a lot like festival season in New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (April 26-May 5) is nationally recognized for a reason, but don’t miss out on some smaller (and free!) festivals around town that’ll have you cranking out the Cajun two-step like a local just in time for the big show.

Scene from French Quarter Fest.

The French Quarter Fest, April 11-14, is just one of several free spring events bringing music, food and fun to New Orleans. (Photo by Sally Asher)

Hitting its 30th anniversary this year is French Quarter Festival (April 11-14), a free-admission festival that has started to rival Jazz Fest with 400 hours of top local music over four days and 20 stages throughout the Vieux Carre.

The Young Leadership Council sponsors Wednesday at the Square, a free weekly concert series in the CBD’s Lafayette Square, just off the streetcar line. The Revivalists on April 17 are a must-see.

Garden Party, hosted by the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park, features free music on the second Sunday each month from March through June. The next party starts at 5 p.m. on April 14, with The Iguanas and Los Po-Boy-Citos.

Head out to Mid-City’s Bayou St. John for the New Orleans Earth Day Festival and Green Business Expo (April 21). Tulane alumni Flowtribe are one of the featured acts.

Bayou Boogaloo (May 17-19) coincides with graduation weekend. Bring the folks over to Bayou St. John in Mid-City to give them a flavor of how you’ve lived for the past four years.

And don’t forget Tulane University’s own contribution to NOLA festival season — Crawfest (April 20). Happy festing and feasting, and good luck getting that crawfish smell off your fingers.

Johanna Gretschel received a bachelor’s degree with an English major from Tulane in 2012, and she is in the master’s degree program.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu