April in New Orleans is another jam-packed month of fun, full of one festival after another. Pig out for a purpose at Hogs for the Cause, celebrate Easter with parades in the French Quarter, tee off at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic, and cool down with a sno-ball. Mark your calendars for two major New Orleans music and food festivals: French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest. It’s a great time to come down to NOLA and let the good times roll.
Hogs for the Cause is back this March 31-April 1, and we couldn’t be more excited to pig out for a purpose. Over 90 teams will compete in the ultimate New Orleans barbecue competition while raising funds for families with children who have pediatric brain cancer. Over 20 bands are scheduled to play three stages, including artists like St. Paul and the Broken Bones and the Devon Allman Project. Head to the New Orleans Lakefront for this family-friendly festival.
We love Wednesday at the Square for many reasons: it’s a fundraiser for the Young Leadership Council, it features great local musicians and vendors, it’s free to attend, and it’s held every hump day, like a balm for your midweek blues. The 2023 spring series kicks off on March 15 and concludes on May 17. The lineup for April shows includes Mia Borders + The Quickening (April 5), The Suffers + Trumpet Mafia (April 12), The Iceman Special + Zita (April 19), and George Porter Jr. & Runnin' Pardners + Joy Clark (April 26).
Bunny hop towards an Easter parade or egg hunt
Easter is just as fun for the adults as it is for the kids in New Orleans. Enjoy parades throughout the French Quarter on Easter Sunday (April 9) including the Chris Owens Easter Parade and the Gay Easter Parade. Stay tuned for more details. At City Park, children under 8 years of age can enjoy an egg scramble on April 1 and 2 and adults 21+ can enjoy Bunny Hops on April 8.
Known as the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world, French Quarter Fest is free and open to the public. This year, the fest returns from April 13-16 and celebrates its 40th anniversary. The music lineup includes Irma Thomas, Ani DiFranco, Samantha Fish, The Soul Rebels ft. Big Freedia, Rebirth Brass Band, Tank and the Bangas, and more! Check out our Ultimate Guide to French Quarter Fest here.
For over 40 years, the Crescent City Classic has been a springtime New Orleans tradition. As one of the oldest 10K races in the nation, it’s more of an event spanning several days than simply one race. There’s a family fun zone, a two-day health expo, and the race itself on April 8, which starts at Caesars Superdome and ends at New Orleans City Park. Register here.
Jazz Fest returns from April 28-30 and May 4-7 with an all-star lineup of performers including Dead and Company, Lizzo, Ed Sheeran, Jon Batiste, The Lumineers, Santana, and many, many more. Enjoy “Jazz Fest food” such as crawfish dishes and mango freeze, stop by one of the art vendor tents, or compile your list of post-Jazz Fest shows around the city. Check out our Ultimate Jazz Fest Guide here and start planning your trip.
Zurich Classic is an annual New Orleans golf tournament that returns from April 17-23. Just outside of the city at TPC Louisiana, men will take to the greens in this PGA Tour event. Watch as a spectator, or volunteer to get a behind-the-scenes look at the classic.
Cheer on your favorite sports team
The NOLA Gold Rugby and Pelicans basketball both have several options for home games this April. The NOLA Gold take on the Seattle Seawolves (April 2), Rugby ATL (April 15), and Toronto Arrows (April 30) at the Gold Mine on Airline this month. Catch the Pels at home in the Blender against the L.A. Clippers (April 1), Sacramento Kings (April 4), Memphis Grizzlies (April 5), and New York Knicks (April 7) as their season winds down.
This April is the perfect time to head to the theater, from Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Saenger to State Ballet of Georgia at Mahalia Jackson. Check out our spring theater guide here and plan to patronize the local theaters.
Eat lots of crawfish and fried fish
Crawfish season is still going strong in April, and New Orleans is full of seafood shops and restaurants that’ll satisfy all your cravings. Grab ‘em boiled, sauteed, baked or fried, or get them raw for a crawfish boil of your own. Then, head outdoors to City Park, Woldenberg Park, or The Fly for a feast in the glorious spring weather. Fish Fry Fridays is also underway through Easter, which means you can get plates of fried or baked fish and shrimp at more than a dozen participating restaurants.
April is just the beginning of a long sno-ball season in New Orleans. The icy treat is perfect for the springtime and summer weather. Pick your flavor - be it nectar cream, tiger’s blood, or rainbow - and enjoy the outdoors as the days get longer.
Day trip to a Louisiana festival
Hop in the car and take a day trip to the Ponchatoula Strawberry Fest (April 14-16), the Baton Rouge Blues Festival (April 22-23), or any of the great springtime festivals in communities surrounding New Orleans. Check out Louisiana Travel for trip inspiration and visit a festival this spring. See here for additional day trip ideas.