If you’re like us, you’re ready to shake off the sweater and boots and slip into something a little more fun. Head over to Baton Rouge this spring and join us as we let our hair down, let the door hit winter on its way out, and get into a more “festive” frame of mind. Check out these 11 spring festivals that are simply too fun to be missed.
Krewe of Southdowns Mardi Gras Parade
If there’s a good time to be had, you can bet Louisiana’s going to be involved. You can’t mention Mardi Gras without automatically thinking of that great state, which is why Baton Rouge’s Krewe of Southdowns Mardi Gras Parade is a must-do. This year the krewe will celebrate with their Magical Mystery Tour to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Head to Glasgow Avenue on February 24, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., and enjoy the good times as they roll.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Even the Cajuns are a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. (Because, let’s be honest, Cajun … Irish … it’s a match made in heaven. They have potatoes, and we have Tabasco sauce, two things that need each other in all of their iterations.) What we’re trying to say is the 32nd Annual Wearin of the Green Parade that starts at 10:00 a.m. on March 18, 2017 is family-friendly festival fun that you won’t want to miss.
Baton Rouge Blues Festival
If you’re going to have the blues, then these are the blues you want. The Baton Rouge Blues Festival from April 8-9, 2017 is a jam-packed weekend of the best talent in the business. In addition to live acts all weekend long, there is a backstage at the blues fest interview series and a backstage at the blues fest film series.
Live After 5
Hosted by the Downtown Business Association in Repentance Park, the Live After 5 (#LA5) is Baton Rouge’s most successful, longest-running outdoor concert series. The free spring series features eight shows from 5-8 p.m. on varying dates. Check out the Live After 5 website for details on the Spring 2017 dates and lineup.
Sunday in the Park
Swing by the Riverfront Plaza Levee Stage for this free outdoor concert series held in downtown Baton Rouge. It’s a family-friendly community event that brings the community together and shows off local culture and sprit. Check out the Sunday in the Park website for upcoming spring lineup details.
Eating for a worthy cause? We say lead the way. Proceeds from the gourmet crawfish tasting festival held in April of each year benefit local children’s nutrition programs in the greater Baton Rouge area. Several restaurants like Alexander’s Highland Market, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Galatoire’s Bistro, Ruffino’s, and others participate and bring delicious dishes featuring crawfish to the festive table. Crawfête is a crawfish feast fest not to be missed.
3rd Street Song Writer’s Festival
Do you love music, talented people, and fun? If so, mark your calendar for April 21-23 for the 3rd Street Song Writer’s Festival. Local, national, and regional songwriters convene in downtown Baton Rouge along with an industry panel of National pros representing publishing companies, PROs, and songwriter organizations. So far, this year’s lineup includes CJ Solar, Nicole Johnson, Brent Anderson, Barry Hebert, and others. Whether you’re playing or just hanging out, the talent is epic and a must-do for music lovers.
Louisiana Earth Day Festival
Anyone who knows anything about Louisiana knows that our local environment is one of our most important and beloved resources, so Earth Day is kind of a big deal. The Louisiana Earth Day Festival kicks off at noon on Sunday, April 17 in downtown Baton Rouge and features delicious food, lively music, and fun hands-on activities.
Ebb and Flow Festival
The Ebb and Flow festival that takes place April 1 and 2 is an arts fest that celebrates the region’s connection to the mighty Mississippi River. Hosted by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, the festival is a creative way to celebrate the happy marriage of the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge’s culture, economy, and ecology.
Zapps International Beer Fest
If you’re familiar with Zapp’s potato chips, which are made in Louisiana, we probably had you at Zapps, but if not, then take it from us that the Zapp’s International Beer Festival is as awesome as the eponymous chip. The event takes place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Rural Life Museum on April 1. Sample and savor the flavors of Louisiana as well as over 200 foreign and domestic brews for the benefit of the LSU Rural Life Museum (as if you needed a cause to attend).
Hot Art, Cool Nights
If you’re into local artists, then the Hot Art, Cool Nights Mid-City Merchants Art Festival is your jam. This fest held in early May hosts artists and musicians along with music and art lovers (what a perfect pairing!). Local businesses and artists put their creations of various mediums including fine art, sculpture, jewelry, design, photography, and more on display for your shopping pleasure.
Bonus: The Audubon Pilgrimage
Okay, so it’s not quite a festival, but as a bonus, we wanted to tell you about this event just outside of Baton Rouge in St. Francisville. If you love history and the Audubon Zoo, then you won’t want to miss the 46th Annual Audubon Pilgrimage that takes place March 17, 18 and 19. The celebration of southern springtime features tours of historic homes and gardens, authentic 1820s costumes, night festivities and cemetery tales, and living history demonstrations. The events are related to artist and naturalist John James Audubon’s stay at the Oakley Plantation where he painted many of his famous bird studies and where he tutored the Pirrie family’s beautiful daughter, Eliza.
So, whether you’re into music, history, nature, art, food, or some combination therein, Baton Rouge is the place for you to be this spring to celebrate your passion. If you’re not here, know that there are people having fun without you, and that’s just sad. So, now you have to come. Hope to see you soon in Baton Rouge.