For thousands of years, people have been celebrating the arrival of spring with festivals and celebrations. In a city that celebrates everything from tomatoes to Jazz, of course there’s an entire organization to celebrate spring – the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association. Founded in 1937, the non-profit’s mission is, “To preserve and share the cultural heritage of New Orleans, to promote the preservation of the region’s history and historic architecture, and to educate others regarding the importance of that history.”
The annual weekend-long Spring Fiesta focuses around a walking tour of private homes and gardens in the French Quarter as well as a parade and the presentation of the Spring Fiesta Queen and her hoop-skirted court. We were lucky enough to catch the parade led by the Treme Brass Band and the Queen’s court. Horse-drawn carriages carried people wearing their “Sunday best” and passing out fresh flowers to welcome the season and its bounty. I didn’t try to get any flowers this year but I do love that you can catch enough blooms for a fresh spring bouquet in about 15 delightful minutes.
A few carriages in, I spotted Willy Picket, the man who drove our “Candyland” family carriage in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. It always makes a parade more fun when you find friendly faces.