Editor’s Picks for April

Motorsports Park regularly hosts Kart racing, too
April 3, 2013
Andrew Calise Freeman
April 8, 2013
Motorsports Park regularly hosts Kart racing, too
April 3, 2013
Andrew Calise Freeman
April 8, 2013

Half a century of Family Fun in Larose

April 5-7

A small local gathering named the Holy Rosary fair was staged in Larose.

Fifty years later, now under the Family Fun Fest name, the event spans three days, having carved a niche as one of the region’s most renowned annual events, competition, live music and popular cuisine.

“We’re proud of the way it’s grown, and that we’ve been able to keep it a free and unique festival for the people of south Lafourche promoting our heritage, community and culture,” said Jasmine Ayo, executive director of the Larose Regional Park and Civic Center, site of the festival.

The festival celebrates its milestone in grand style. Chef John Besh gives a two-hour cooking demonstration and presentation beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, and Olympic-level bobsledder Mark Leblanc gives a presentation at noon on Saturday.

The half-century lagniappe accompanies the festival’s traditional events, such as field day competitions on Saturday, arts and crafts, pay-one-price carnival rides, the Amazing Cajun Car Race and the acclaimed pirogue races along Bayou Lafourche.

Dance and cheerleading troupes give demonstrations, and cake decorators compete in designing the festival’s 50th birthday cake, with the judging scheduled for Saturday.

Gary T., Signal 19, Chee Weez with Brandon Foret, Waylon Thibodeaux, Ruff N Ready, Velvet Sky, Southern Cross, Amanda Shaw, Don Rich and Ryan Foret provide live music throughout the weekend.

Of dozens of dishes served at the festival, more than 30 are made with Louisiana seafood, including shrimp boulettes, crawfish fettuccine, shrimp fajitas, gumbo and crab patties.

“The festival is the interweaving of our community history through Holy Rosary School, Holy Rosary Church and the Bayou Civic Club, Inc., (Larose Civic Center) as WE all operate and contribute for the betterment of the place where WE live,” said Ted Savoie, involved with the festival in its early year as the Holy Rosary fair, in a release.

Admission, as always, is free. For more information visit www.larosefamilyfunfest.com or call (985) 693-7355.

French Quarter Fest is 30

April 11-14

Touted as the “largest free festival in the South,” and the top annual prequel to Jazz Fest, the French Quarter Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary from April 11-14.

Festival organizers pledge that this year more than 1,300 local musicians on more than 20 stages are set to perform more than 400 hours of music, covering the spectrum of New Orleans music: traditional and contemporary jazz, Cajun, zydeco, world, brass, blues, rock and pop.

The four-day festival features a number of quality performers, including Irma Thomas, George Porter Jr., the Preservation Hall-Stars, Papa Grows Funk, Kermit Ruffins, Bonerama, Andrew Duhon, Kristin Diable, Terrance Simien, Ronnie Kole, Eric Lindell and Beausoleil, among dozens more.

The festival has also resuscitated “Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music,” in attempt to promote the area’s cultural heritage and introduced a film series focusing on creativity fostered in the region.

For more information, visit www.fqfi.org or call (504) 522-5730.

Festival International

April 24-28

Running concurrently with the Jazz and Heritage Festival’s first week, Festival International de Louisiane is nothing to scoff at. And admission is free.

Packaged as a culling-and-presentation of the variety of heritages that make up Acadiana’s culture, the Lafayette-based festival possesses a commanding musical arsenal.

Trombone Shorty, Marc Broussard, Feufollet, Brushy One String, ImagineIAM and Delhi 2 Dublin are among the scheduled performers on the five-day festival’s six stages.

Additionally, the festival promotes the sale of craft beer and gourmet food and a variety of arts, including clay, dance, ink, print and jewelry, based in both local and international customs.

At The Blue Moon Saloon, in coordination with the festival, musicians such as Roddie Romero, Marc Broussard and Lost Bayou Ramblers host a musical series celebrating music as a bridge of cultures.

For more information, visit www.festivalinternational.com or call (337) 232-8086.

Chef John Besh helps the Bayou Civic Club celebrate the Family Fun Festival’s 50th anniversary. Besh gives a two-hour presentation and cooking demonstrate at 1 p.m., April 7.