Foreign and local culture celebrated at area weekend events

Don Ames
May 24, 2019 - 10:00 am

© Dan Milham Photography


If you're staying in town this holiday weekend, you an still get a taste of travel.

The 46th annual New Orleans Greek Festival is like a trip to the Greek Islands.

In fact, this year's festival features the island of Chios, the only place in the world that mastic grows.

"It's a wonderful spice. It has a piney woods taste. We use it in baked goods, we have a liqueur that you can drink on the rocks, and we're serving it as a cocktail, call Chios Breeze," says Gayle Psilos, Co-Chair of Greek Fest. 

She says new food items this year include moussaka, and a lamb plate. And, there are the favorites...

"Lamb and baklava sundaes have become so popular, that it's amazing. And the goat burgers! We run out of goat burgers really quickly," says Psilos. 

Of course, there are the wonderful Greek pastries.

"People love the pastries. They've come to  know them and it's just a natural...when they come in, they migrate to the pastries booths and then they start hitting the food booths after they get their sweets. We have over 20 kinds of different pastries that are handmade and we bake feverishly this week. So, we've been here day and night."

There's live music, Hellenic dancing and ouzo, of course. Wear a toga on Sunday and get in free. 

23-26 - New Orleans Greek Festival (Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 1200 Robert E. Lee Blvd. on Bayou St. John) - The celebration of Greek food and culture includes Greek food, a Greek grocery, wine, pastries, Helenic dancing, live Greek music, cooking demonstrations, a 5k run and children's activities. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. $8 Friday-Sunday, free for children 12 and younger.


Harrah's 20th Anniversary Free Concert
Times: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: 8 Canal St.
The celebration will feature Big Sam's Funky Nation, Little Freddie King, TBC Brass Band, Tin Men and DJ Rob Nice. All ages are welcome! Festival style food and drinks will be available for purchase and we'll have tons of commemorative freebies to show our love for the city of NOLA. Arrive early for some extra special swag! Bring your chairs and don't forget your dancing shoes.

Treme/7th Ward Arts and Cultural Festival
Times: 12:00pm - 7:00pm 
Location: 800 and 900 Blks of N. Claiborne
Great local food and performances by Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers, Shannon Powell, Neisha Ruffins, Babydolls Sisterhood, Treme Brass Band and many more.

Grand Isle Speckled Trout Rodeo (Bridge Side Marina 1618 Highway 1, Grand Isle) - The Memorial Day weekend fishing tournament includes competition for the Louisiana State Speckled Trout Master Angler title as well as awards for redfish, flounder, sheepshead, ling, mangrove snapper, drum and white trout. There also are youth divisions. There's also a dance Saturday. Times vary. $20.

52nd Annual Jambalaya Festival
Location: 120 S Irma Blvd. in Gonzales
The festival features World Champion Jambalaya served daily, live music and entertainment, carnival rides, cooking contests, a variety of food and so much fun it takes three days to get it all in.

Bayou Country Superfest returns to LSU's Tiger Stadium this weekend for its 10th edition.
The two-day country music festival will be headlined by Kenny Chesney on Saturday, May 25, and Jason Aldean on Sunday, May 26, and will feature performances by Florida Georgia Line, Dan + Shay, Cassadee Pope, Kane Brown, Brett Young, Chase Rice and Parish County Line.

Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival (North Boulevard Town Square, 200 North Blvd., Baton Rouge) - Blues, soul, funk, gospel, rhythm and blues, reggae and rock bands perform and there are soul food cooking competitions highlighting dishes from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. There's also a marketplace. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Free. VIP tickets $25-$100.

Krotz Springs Sportsmen's Heritage Festival (Nall Park, 562 Front St., Krotz Springs) - The festival is focused on promoting the preservation of the woodlands, wetlands and Atchafalaya River. There's a "Fur, Feathers, or Fins" wild game cook-off; carnival rides and games; Cajun, swamp pop and zydeco music; and food and art vendors. 5:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday. Free.

5/23-June 2
Cajun Heartland State Fair (444 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette) — The 11-day fair attracts about 175,000 visitors, who come for the amusement rides, carnival games, a battle of the bands contest, live music, food and activities. Hours TBA. $5, free for children 12 and younger.

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