Perfect weather is forecasted this weekend for the Acadia Music Fest! This festival, celebrating the art, food, culture, and most importantly MUSIC of the Cajun people takes place this Saturday, October 28th in Thibodaux and runs from 10am-11pm. Thibodaux is a small city in Lafourche Parish located on the banks of Bayou Lafourche, about 1.5 hours away from downtown New Orleans. It is in this area of Southern Louisiana, commonly referred to as Cajun Country where Cajun music has developed since the arrival of Acadian people to Louisiana from Nova Scotia in 1764. Historically, cajun music has been characterized by primarily string instruments, the earliest of which was the violin (or fiddle). The Germans introduced the accordian into the mix in the late 1800s. Today, modern influence from rock, R&B, and blues have blended into the traditional folk-like music to give cajun music a new sound and a new respect. Experience the sounds of Acadia LIVE this weekend at the festival.
This first weekend in August is all about the arts!
The culinary arts are highlighted all month long in restaurants across the city. With August’s Coolinary events, you can try all of the best dishes in NOLA in a budget friendly way with special prix-fixe menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner. View all 85 participating restaurants here.
August 4th – 6th, we honor the life and legacy of Louis Satchmo Armstrong at the Satchmo Summerfest, complete with 3 stages of non-stop music, dance lessons, a jazz mass, and a special Satchmo Salute second-line parade on Sunday, August 6th! See the full music lineup here.
White Linen Night
Saturday night (August 5th) is the annual block party for the arts hosted by the Contemporary Arts Center. White linen garments are worn by attendees to beat the heat! Come out and enjoy the visual arts in the galleries lining Julia St. and scattered through the CBD aka The Arts District.
New Orleans is of course home to the Saints football team, but did you know that it is also the home of the (potentially) first New Orleanian to be declared a saint by the Catholic church? Henriette Delille was a woman of the 1800s, born to a Frenchman and a free woman of color. She grew up trained in the art of placage, a social practice of the time in French and Spanish colonies where white men entered into a contractual agreement with women of color, thereby circumventing the laws of the time prohibiting interracial marriage. Naturally, Henriette was expected to inherit her mother’s role in society. But she rejected the system which (not surprisingly) favored the wealthy men, and took advantage of many women with little or no options in life. Instead, the venerable Henriette Delille devoted her life to helping others. At age 24, she had a religious awakening. Because she was a third generation product of interracial marriage, she could have passed for white in many circles, and most of her relatives did just that. But she chose to identify as black which precluded her from joining any of the established religious organizations. Unwaivering in her mission, she founded her own organization, a multicultural order of nuns now known as The Sisters of the Holy Family who have maintained the mission of their founder for 175 years – to nurse the sick, care for the poor, and instruct the ignorant. In 1989, the sisters formally opened a case with the Vatican to canonize their founder. Two of her alleged miracles must be validated by the Vatican before Henriette Delille can officially be named a New Orleans saint. To learn more about the life of this amazing woman, visit the exhibition at the museum at the old Ursulines convent at the corner of Chartres and Ursulines in the Historic French Quarter.
The annual New Orleans Greek Festival is this Memorial Day weekend on the banks of Bayou St. John and it is one of the most popular festivals we have (and we have A LOT of festivals!). The Greeks have had a presence in New Orleans for over 250 years and their culture has been celebrated in this yearly festival for the past 44 years! Michael Dracos, a wealthy merchant from Athens settled in New Orleans in the mid 1700’s and married a Native American woman. Their daughter married another Greek immigrant in 1799 and they are sited as the FIRST married couple of Greek origin in the United States! New Orleans was also the birthplace of the first Eastern Orthodox Church built in the Western Hemisphere. Like all immigrants, the Greeks brought with them the culture, values, food, and religion from their homeland. For most immigrants who fled the turmoil of their homelands, the ability to practice their religion was of the utmost important and it helped them establish communities in the new world. In 1864, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral was founded and although the original structure is no longer standing, the Holy Trinity Cathedral remains today at its new location on Robert E Lee Boulevard at the end of the Bayou! If you are interested in learning more about the history of this church and people, we recommend taking a tour of the Cathedral, which will be offered several times a day during the festival this weekend.
The Battle of New Orleans anniversary event is taking place this weekend, January 6th through 8th on the Chalmette Battlefield, only a short drive or river boat ride from downtown New Orleans. The event will feature costumed historians recounting tales from life in 1815, tactile demonstrations of crafts and firearms, as well as period music, talks, and lectures. Americans once took great pride in the victory at the Battle of New Orleans as it was the last great battle against the British in the War of 1812. January 8th used to be regarded as a national holiday, much like the fourth of July is celebrated today. Learn what makes this Chalmette national historic landmark so special this weekend at the commemoration event!
This single story brick home has been a stop on our City and Katrina Tour and our Post Katrina Tour for years and we are not the only ones that think it’s an educational piece of history! An organization called Levees.org just got approval from the New Orleans city council to turn this house into a historic monument, a replica of what hundreds of houses near the levee breaches looked like after The Storm. When the floodwaters subsided after our beloved city was inundated with water due to multiple levee failures, what was left of the city, its neighborhoods, and its homes was tragic to say the least. Naturally, the people of New Orleans worked tirelessly to rid the city of debris and return their homes and their neighborhoods to their Pre-Katrina state. Now, 11 years later, this structure is one of few that remains vacant, nearly untouched since the storm. Most homes affected by the flooding were either washed away, demolished, or renovated. Since New Orleans has done a commendable job recovering from the tragedy, the city council agrees that preserving a piece of disaster history can be a good thing. It is something that really hasn’t been done before, but we are a place where our past is integral to our present and can’t be forgotten.