There's a whole new parade and celebration season in March in New Orleans with the Italian events and the Irish St. Patrick parades and parties. There's even a long-time Irish-Italian parade combining both.
St. Joseph Day, which is March 19th, is celebrated with St. Joseph Altars of traditional and symbolic food inside churchs, school, private homes, and other locales all over the city and suburbs. Be sure to stop by one of these Catholic Italian altars for your lucky bean and bag of fig cookies and other goodies.
1. St. Joseph Marching ParadeThe New Orleans Italian American Marching Club has been holding a St. Joseph parade for over four decades on its traditional route through the French Quarter after it starts out from the site of its pre-parade party on Convention Center Blvd at Lafayette Street. In 2012, the Pre-Parade party is at 3 p.m. and the parade rolls at 6:30 p.m. on March 10, n2012.
3. Festa Italiana in RivertownThe Festa Italiana features live music, Italian food from local restaurants, rides, local crafts, displays, and genealogical experts if you are interested in your family tree or heritage. The Kenner Italian Heritage Foundation hosts the outdoor Festa in Kenner's historic Rivertown, which also hosted the Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest which was outside for the first time this year. Visit the Festa event's Facebook page for more information.
In 2012, the Festa Italiana will be held Friday, March 30th through April 1st. Adult entrance fee is $5; kids 12 years and under are free and must be accompanied by an adult.
On March 31st, the Festa Italiana will also host a "Sunset Levee Run", a two-mile run/walk, at 6 p.m. The $20 fee includes free admittance to the Festa, food & drink tickets, and a t-shirt.
4. Irish-Italian-Islenos Parade in St. BernardGoing one better than the Irish-Italian parade, St. Bernard Parish hosts a big community parade celebrating the heritage of three ethnic groups - the Irish, the Italians, and the Islenos, early settlers in St. Bernard from the Canary Islands.
Apparently the ethnic March parade schedule is getting crowded. The 2012 St Bernard parade is set for 11 a.m. on April 1st - April Fool's Day, yet another reason to celebrate.