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French Quarter Fest dos and don’ts

April 06, 2016 8:45 AM
In true New Orleans tradition, a second-line led by the New Wave Brass Band will herald the 33rd annual French Quarter Festival. The procession will start at the 100 block of Bourbon Street on Thursday (April 7) at 10 a.m. (Photo by Sally Asher)



From Thursday (April 7) through Sunday (April 10), the 2016 French Quarter Festival will pack the historic New Orleans neighborhood with visitors anticipating the country’s largest free music event. Featuring approximately 1,700 local musicians performing on 23 stages stretching from Woldenberg Park to Jackson Square, the fest showcases the city’s spirited sound.

Here are a few tips to help your French Quarter Fest weekend hit a high note.

The dos:

Here are a few tips to help your French Quarter Fest weekend hit a high note.

Do bring your appetite.

Home to the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch,” the fest boasts over 60 food vendors. Patrons can pick up a slow-roasted duck po’boy from Jacques-Imo’s Cafe while strolling through Jackson Square, or split an order of jerk chicken tacos from The Rum House station near Jax Brewery.

Do wear comfortable kicks.

You’re bound to be on your feet all weekend catching performances from local legends like Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, as well as new favorites, like Tank and the Bangas. Sporting ultra-comfy shoes is a necessity.

Do download the free app.

Have the festival’s details (including artist info, an event map and food lineup) at your fingertips with the free iPhone and Android app.

The don’ts:

Don’t bother parking.

Finding the fest is easy. Finding parking is a different story. If you plan to take advantage of the beautiful weather, a bike valet service will be offered at Woldenberg Park’s Canal Street entrance on Friday (April 8) and Saturday (April 9). If you’re considering catching a ride with Uber, first-time users can use the promo code FQFEST16 to get their first ride free.

Don’t miss this tribute to Allen Toussaint.

The House of Blues New Orleans (225 Decatur Street) will host a tribute concert on Friday (April 8) at 8 p.m. in honor of the illustrious late pianist. With proceeds benefiting Toussaint’s foundation, attendees will enjoy performances by The Allen Toussaint Band featuring special guests like Big Sam (of Big Sam’s Funky Nation), Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Robin Barnes.