NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) – Mardi Gras is over, but hopefully, folks haven’t put up their parade ladders just yet. This weekend kicks off parades on both sides of the Lake in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. We also mark the start of spring festival season in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.
One of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club parade, celebrates 76 years of rolling in the Irish Channel on Saturday, March 11.
This year’s parade features 30 floats, marchers, dance groups and performers. Parade-goers can also expect traditional throws such as cabbage, beads and flowers. The parade rolls around 1 p.m. following noon Mass at St. Mary’s Assumption Church.
The parade route starts at Magazine Street and Jackson Avenue, heads lake bound on Jackson Avenue, heads towards Uptown on St. Charles Avenue, river bound on Louisiana Avenue, heads towards downtown on Magazine Street and finishes after turning river bound on Jackson Avenue.
The Covington Celtic Club celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in Covington with a parade at noon on Saturday, March 11.
Members will march through the historic downtown district, passing out paper flowers in exchange for a kiss and other Irish throws. Parade-goers will also see bagpipers, dancers and wolfhounds and other marching groups.
Festivities conclude with a block party at the corner of New Hampshire and Rutland Streets. The event is free, and there will be food and drinks available for purchase.
The parade begins promptly at noon in front of Columbia Street Tap Room, and travels south on Columbia, turning left onto Gibson, right (south) on Lee Lane, the parade crosses Boston Street and turns right onto Rutland Street, passes in front of the English Tea Room, and ends in front of Jewel’s Cigar & Briar Shop for the block party until 5 p.m.
The Metairie Road St. Patrick’s Day parade returns with a big change this year when it rolls on Sunday, March 12.
The parade captain says potatoes, lemons, and limes are banned from its floats and trucks this year.
Captain Dan Civello said it was the krewe’s decision and says it’s strictly a safety issue. He says they’ve asked crew riders in the past to refrain from tossing these items, but he says some riders have ignored that request and things have gotten out of hand.
Of course, cabbages are still allowed as long as they’re handed out and not thrown. And you’ll still see traditional throws like carrots and moon pies. No produce of any kind will be allowed on the second tier of any unit.
The parade will roll at noon, starting near Rummel High School and turning onto Metairie Road.
The Olde Towne Slidell Merchants Association hosts its 49th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, March 12.
More than 50 floats, walking groups, bikes, horses, cars, trucks, dance groups and school bands will appear in this year’s parade. Plus, throws will include beads, stuffed animals and traditional produce items.
The group departs City Hall, traveling to Fremaux Avenue where it will turn left, and then left again on Front Street, veering onto Carey Street. The parade then turns right at the intersection of Carey and Pontchartrain, then right again on Front and Robert Streets, crossing Carey before taking its final left, onto First Street and back to City Hall. The parade rolls at 1 p.m.
The New Orleans Book Festival is a three-day celebration of literature and culture at Tulane University from Thursday, March 9 to Saturday, March 11.
This year’s event features more than 130 renowned and rising artists participating in panel discussions, author discussions, moderated conversations and book signings.
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates headlines the festival’s opening night. Eric Holder, the first African American U.S. Attorney General, will also be a keynote speaker. The event also includes cooking presentations and tastings from local chefs on Friday and a Family Day for local kids on Saturday.
FOX 8 Morning Edition anchor Kelsey Davis serves as emcee for the Family Day event. The event is free and open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. See the full schedule of events at the website.
Movie fans can attend an Academy Awards Watching Party at the historic Prytania Theatre’s Uptown location at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 12.
Organizers encourage festive attire, as the evening begins with a red carpet arrival. Organizers say they’re also planning trivia contests and giveaways throughout the night. Phil Melancon and Friends will provide live entertainment during the evening.
Plus, fashion shows will be staged during commercial breaks, and a costume contest will be judged by Yvonne LaFleur.
Tickets are $30 via the Prytania Theatre’s website.
Grammy Award-winning rapper, singer and songwriter, Future, announced additional dates for his Future & Friends Tour entitled “One Big Party.” The show stops in New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center on Thursday, March 9.
“I’m excited about coming to New Orleans and finally connecting with all my fans in the city. I want to give them an unforgettable experience tonight,” Future said in a statement.
The concert also features opening acts Mariah the Scientist, G Herbo, Don Toliver and Dess Dior. Tickets start at $77 via Ticketmaster.
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St. Patrick's Day parades, New Orleans Book Festival among things … – NOLA Weekend