[Courtesy of New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association]

Experience the French Quarter's Spring Fiesta

07:00 April 01, 2024
By: Arielle Gonzales

Embarking on a Magical Journey

Established in 1947, the Spring Fiesta in the Vieux Carré, organized by the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association (NOSFA), aims to preserve and promote the architectural heritage of the French Quarter. Over the years, it has grown into a beloved event that showcases the history, culture, and culinary traditions of the entire Vieux Carré. By educating the public about the unique heritage of this neighborhood, the festival fosters a sense of pride and appreciation for its historic values.

The festival's main highlight is a grand promenade ceremony in Jackson Square, featuring live music and a presentation of the Spring Fiesta Royal Court. Visitors can explore the French Quarter and take part in the promenade, all while admiring the stunning architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Jackson Square, located in the heart of the French Quarter, is a historic park that serves as a gathering place for both locals and tourists. During the promenade, festival-goers can stroll through the square and appreciate the beautiful centuries-old buildings that surround them.

Spring Fiesta on April 6

The Spring Fiesta, apart from the promenade, also includes a carriage parade that goes through the French Quarter. This parade is a beloved tradition and features colorful and intricately decorated carriages that move along the streets while traditional New Orleans jazz music plays in the background. It is a beautiful sight to behold and an experience that engages all the senses. The parade, which will kick off from 826 St. Ann St., will roll on April 6.

[Courtesy of St. Louis Cathedral-Louisiana State Museum]

During the horse-drawn carriage parade, the beautifully dressed Queen and King, along with their attendants and lovely ladies and gentlemen in stylish spring attire, give flowers to onlookers as the parade makes its way to the cotillion gala for "A Night in Old New Orleans." Elegant spring attire is required and spring floral hats are encouraged. Members and non-members have the option to rent a mule-drawn carriage to ride in the parade, with membership tickets priced at $250 and non-membership tickets priced at $400.

The Les Beaux Chapeaux walking brigade is not only a new addition to the Spring Fiesta parade, but it also adds an extra touch of elegance and charm to the event. With a loading time of 1:30 p.m. and a commencement at 2 p.m., spectators can look forward to seeing NOSFA members dressed to the nines as they make their way through the historic French Quarter. This lively group will engage with the crowd by waving, blowing bubbles, and even giving out flowers to onlookers along the parade route. Families attending the parade can expect to see little ones donning adorable spring bonnets, stylish ensembles, and baby prams decorated with spring posies and ribbons. Tickets to take part in Les Beaux Chapeaux range from $25 to $50.

The Spring Fiesta Cotillion Gala, also taking place on April 6, is a long-standing tradition that dates back to 1938. This grand event introduces young women in a royal court setting, creating a magical evening for attendees. The gala, which takes place at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, allows the Queen and King to lead their court and subjects at a grand ball setting, showcasing the 88th Spring Fiesta Court presentation. The Queen, Maids, Demoiselles, Promenade Girls, Gallants, and Jewel Bearers are carefully selected based on their dedicated volunteer service to the organization and the community. The King, Captain, and Royal Guards are also chosen for their unwavering commitment to the organization. This enchanting evening includes a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing to the tunes of Jimmy Maxwell's Orchestra. Adult tickets for this prestigious event are priced at $150, while child tickets are available for $50, ensuring that attendees of all ages can partake in the festivities.

If you plan on attending the Spring Fiesta in the Vieux Carré, it's essential to plan ahead and check the festival's official website at springfiestanola.com. Once you arrive, take a moment to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the Vieux Carré. This historic neighborhood is a blend of French, Spanish, and American architectural styles, which makes it a unique and fascinating place to explore. As you wander the streets, make sure to take note of the intricate ironwork, colorful shutters, and beautiful balconies that adorn many of the buildings, such as the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Townhouse located at 826 St. Ann St. While exploring the rich history of the Vieux Carré and its wonders, really take the time to walk around and learn about one of the most famous and most distinctive neighborhoods in all of New Orleans.

From the promenade in Jackson Square and the carriage parade to the beautiful gala, there's something for everyone at this magical event. So mark your calendars and get ready to embark on a journey through the Vieux Carré during the Spring Fiesta. It's an unforgettable experience that captures the true spirit of New Orleans. Don't miss out.

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