Deanie’s shares tips on how to do festival season right & French Quarter employees share their New Orleans festival favorites in "Ask A Local"
As spring time approaches and the weather starts to warm up, the festivals in New Orleans are non-stop! Each weekend, locals and visitors head out to the weekends’ festivities, which usually consist of live music, delicious Louisiana fare and art.Some of the most anticipated Nola festivals are the French Quarter Festival (took place April 9-12 2015) and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 23-May 5 2015). Deanie’s Seafood even celebrates festival season with its own fest, Pinch A Palooza Festival & Crawfish Eating Contest, held in Bucktown each year (The sixth-annual Pinch A Palooza took place April 19, 2015.)
With so many festivals and events during the spring, it’s impossible to make it to them all, and often we have to make choices. We like to think the locals know best, so we asked our French Quarter employees what their favorite festival season events are, and here’s what they shared:
Lance S. has worked as a server at Deanie’s for two years. He doesn’t miss Jazz Fest and his favorite part about the festival is the Louisiana food. Lance also likes to travel to Ponchatoula each year for the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival.
See Deanie’s tips for a stress free festival season in New Orleans, below.
Patrick P. looks forward to Voodoo Festival in the fall and also Jazz & Heritage Festival. His favorite part about Jazz Fest is the diversity of the music from pop to classic to jazz and blues. Patrick also enjoys traveling out of state to Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala., and Austin City Limits in Austin, Texas. He has been a server at Deanie's for almost two years.
Chelsea D. has worked at Deanie’s in the French Quarter for three years as a server. Her favorite fest is French Quarter Festival. When she attends Jazz Fest, she looks forward most to the food and art.
Francisco C., a server at Deanie’s for five years, doesn’t miss French Quarter Festival. His favorite thing about festival season is all of the great food that you can only find in New Orleans.
Be sure to check out some of the locals favorite festivals this festival season! If you are a newcomer to festivals in New Orleans, the heat or parking options can often feel overwhelming. Check out our tips below to properly prepare for festing:
Always be ready for rain: The springtime weather in South Louisiana is quite unpredictable, so pack your poncho and shrimp boots in your backpack and be prepared to enjoy yourself--rain or shine!
Don’t forget sun protection: New Orleans heat can be brutal but it’s nothing that will stop you from enjoying the festivities with the proper protection. Apply sun screen before heading to the festival, and apply often throughout the day to be safe, drink plenty of water, and bring sunglasses and a hat.
Lawn chairs are welcome! Most festivals don’t mind if you bring your own seating. Often there aren’t a lot of places to sit inside the fest, and standing all day can get tiring. Bring a blanket to spread out or your lawn chairs.
Don’t be afraid to park a few blocks away. Parking is usually limited and fills up quickly near festival grounds, so wear your comfortable walking shoes, bring a “go cup,” and enjoy the walk! Pedicabs are often available nearby as well, and public transportation operations are expanded during most festivals.
Plan ahead. Just as there are many festivals to enjoy, there are usually several bands and events throughout the day. It’s best to have a plan of attack for those things you really don’t want to miss. Check the schedule ahead of time and map out stages so you can fit in the must-do’s, but be open to unexpected detours and surprises along the way, and laissez les bon temps roulez!
Bring cash, and plenty of it. You don’t want to waste your time standing in line at the ATM when you can be listening to some great music and enjoying the people-watching. Even though a lot of festivals in town are free, the proceeds from food and beverage sales are what keep them that way. Most won’t allow outside food and drinks, so expect to spend a fair amount if you’re planning on eating or imbibing, typically between $7 and $11 for a food item, between $4 and $8 for beer or cocktail, and $2 or $3 for soda or bottled water. And if you want to support our local artisans and artists, bring along a credit card and shop for some incredible New Orleans-inspired jewelry, art and CDs so you can remember your experience!
We hope you all have a wonderful festival season! Don’t forget to visit us at either Deanie’s location when you tire out and want to sit down and continue enjoying fresh Louisiana seafood! Click below for restaurant hours.