Break out of the Tulane ‘bubble’ with weekend festivals

September 13, 2012 8:30 AM

Johanna Gretschel

Tulane freshmen, beware: The many amenities of the university area may make you blind to things happening in the larger world around you. Ease of access to restaurants, cafes and shops can keep you stuck inside the “Tulane bubble.” Festivals this weekend provide a good excuse to break away from the familiar grind and explore the city’s culture. Trust us, New Orleans is so much more than Maple Street.

French Quarter Festival

Tulane students don’t have to travel too far from campus to broaden their local experiences. Each spring, for instance, the French Quarter Festival takes place only five miles from Gibson Hall. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber)

Recruit a friend with a car to check out the Salaville Cajun Heritage Festival in Westwego, La. Running Sept. 14–16, the Westwego Farmers and Fisheries Market event features a parade, fireworks and live music. For just $5, experience the rural, Cajun side of Louisiana.

If your interests run closer to rhinestones, sparkles and the art of striptease, check out the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, where 70 international performers will compete for the title of “Queen of Burlesque,” Sept. 13–15. Tickets range from $22 to $50; shows are 8 p.m. at Harrah’s Casino and 11 p.m. at the House of Blues.

Just down a few blocks from campus, the Prytania Theatre hosts the inaugural New Orleans Irish Film Festival,  Sept. 14–16. Get your green on early: the Friday kickoff event features a gala celebration and screening of the 1952 Oscar-winning film, The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne.

Foodies, rejoice! The Southern Food and Beverage Museum hosts Hungry in the South Weekend, a symposium running Sept. 13–16 featuring guest lectures, new exhibits, soirees and Film Feast, a nightly food-focused documentary screening. Highlights include Friday’s world premiere of The Man Who Ate New Orleans.  Afterward, satisfy your appetite with We Live to Eat: Louisiana Seafood Restaurant Week, which offers swanky meals for a steal. Participating restaurants will offer $20 two-course lunches and $35 three-course dinners through Sept. 16.

You usually can’t eat like this unless your parents are in town; get out of Bruff while you can! Louisiana offers a smorgasbord of festivals throughout the year, and many of them are only a short ride outside uptown New Orleans.

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