Easter weekend features parades, parties and a race that's a party

Don Ames
April 19, 2019 - 6:20 am



New Orleans takes to the streets this weekend. 

There are a number of Easter parades, as well as the city's premier running event. 

The biggest crowd of folks on the streets this weekend will be those taking part in the Crescent City Classic Saturday. Hilary Landry, the foundation’s charity director, says some 25,000 runners and walkers will trek six miles through some of New Orleans' most attractive neighborhoods. 

The race serves as a platform for fund raising for local non-profits in the New Orleans metro area. This year, 24 non-profits are participating as charity partners. And Landry says  it's been quite effective. 

"Last year we exceeded a million dollars. It was really overwhelming from where this program started five or six years ago when we had, maybe, five or six charities."

But, it's also a lot of fun. Fitness Foundation President, Tim Levy says only about 5,000 participants are serious runners.

"The rest of them are there for the good time. Lent has just ended, and after all the fasting we've done through Lent after Mardi Gras it's time to get into festival season."

The party-goers outnumber the runners by about five to one.

"People who are out here just to take a 6.2 mile stroll, to do it with a group of friends, pull a wagon with an ice chest in it and have a picnic throughout some of the prettiest neighborhoods in the city.,  

Registration is open through Friday night at 8 p.m.


The parades hit the streets Sunday. 

The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade kicks off the Easter Sunday’s lineup of parades. It starts from Antoine’s Restaurant at 9:30 a.m. and arrives at St. Louis Cathedral at 11 a.m. for the Mass. Fancy-dressed men and women leisurely drive across the French Quarter in old convertibles and mule-drawn carriages, handing out Easter treats to the kids. After the mass, participants make their way to Jackson Square to show off their Easter attire and all the finery before returning to the starting point at Antoine’s. The owners of the best Easter bonnets and baskets and overall festive attire get awards.


The Chris Owens French Quarter Parade follows at 1 o'clock. The iconic New Orleans entertainer has led an Easter parade through the Quarter for over 35 years. There's a pre-party hat contest, and the costumes may remind you of Mardi Gras. Royal and Bourbon streets are filled with floats, the Krewes, and other colorful groups. 


In the afternoon, witness another prominent procession. The Gay Easter Parade is organized by the city’s LGBT community. It's a family-friendly event, passing by gay bars, restaurants and retail shops in the French Quarter. You may see horse-drawn carriages and floats as well as bikers in leather and Easter bonnets.


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