What’s New in New Orleans – March 2017

What’s New in New Orleans Hospitality Industry March 2017
  • The Louisiana Children’s Museum has announced the plans for a $45.5 million, 8.5-acre campus in New Orleans City Park.
    • Construction for the campus is slated to begin in late 2017 with a 2018 opening, and will feature interactive galleries focused on Louisiana’s natural environment, the evolution of the Mississippi River, the relationship building between parents and children and the state’s music, and much more.
    • The Children’s Museum has welcomed families, children, caregivers and school groups to their Warehouse District location for the last 30 years.
  • The New Orleans Museum of Art will honor beloved chef, civil rights activist and art collector, Leah Chase, through New at NOMA: Recent Acquisitions in Modern and Contemporary Art, on view from March 10th–October 1st, 2017.
    • This exhibition will feature a series of new works created by emerging and underrepresented contemporary artists gathered to honor Chase’s lifelong commitment to arts, the culture of the South, political activism and Leah Chase’s 90th birthday.  
  • The annual Wednesday at the Square 12-week Spring concert series will begin March 15th and continue through May 24th, benefitting the Young Leadership Council.
    • Wednesday at the Square’s music lineup features Irma Thomas, Marc Broussard, Jon Cleary, Flow Tribe and many more, as well as local restaurant and drink vendors and an artist village.
    • Entry is free and open to the public.
  • Crawfish season in New Orleans has begun, with the addition of boiled crawfish to many local restaurants’ menus, as well as special crawfish events occurring weekly throughout the city.
    • The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans has launched their Crawfish Boil in the Courtyard experience, featuring a family style crawfish boil with live music, beer, champagne and the chef teaching guests how to peel hot, boiled crawfish.
    • Crawfish Boil in the Courtyard will take place from Noon–2:00 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, March 4th, 11th and 18th, April 1st and 29th, May 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th
  • The Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses (HGGHH) will hold its annual fundraiser, Amazing Grapes, on March 10th at 7:30 p.m. benefitting HGGHH museums and education programs.
    • The fundraiser will host a wine tasting from Bizou Wines, a buffet from Broussard’s Restaurant and auctions featuring unique wines, vacation packages and art.
The month of March marks the kickoff of festival season in New Orleans:
  • Audubon Zoo will host its annual Soul Fest March 4th-5th, a family-friendly festival celebrating jazz, gospel and rhythm and blues artists in New Orleans. Festival goers can also purchase authentic soul food prepared by local restaurants and caterers. 

  • Buku Music + Art Project, an annual two-day music and arts festival, returns to Mardi Gras World along the Mississippi River on March 10th–11th for its 5th year. The festival boasts an impressive lineup of EDM, hip-hop and various subgenres of indie rock artists featuring headliners Travis Scott, Zeds Dead, Young Thug, Tycho and many more.

  • The 10th annual Congo Square Rhythms Festival will bring brass bands, Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans funk and African dance to Louis Armstrong Park March 18th–19th for a celebration of the African diaspora and the melting pot of traditions that makes New Orleans’ culture so unique.

  • The Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival returns to the French Quarter March 22nd–26th for five days of events honoring New Orleans literary history. Festival attendees can experience master classes, panels, theatrical events, tours and the crowd-favorite “Stella” shouting contest.
  • The first annual New Orleans Bourbon Festival will host three days of bourbon-focused, ticketed events, including a bourbon seminar series, grand tastings, live panels and an awards brunch from March 24th-26th between the New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center and the Sugar Mill in the Warehouse District.

  • The Top Taco Fest will premier in New Orleans March 23rd at the Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza featuring nearly 50 local chefs and mixologists competing for the titles of top creative taco, top traditional taco, top creative cocktail and top traditional margarita. Top Taco Fest is a ticketed event where entry allows patrons to sample unlimited gourmet tacos and signature cocktails while voting for their favorites.

  • The second annual Brunch Fest Nola, benefitting the animals of the Louisiana SPCA, will bring local restaurants, live music and lots of adoptable pets to the Mandeville Wharf at Crescent Park on March 25th.
  • The inaugural Bloody Mary Festival – New Orleans will showcase 12 of New Orleans’ most innovative and unique bloody marys on March 26th from 12 p.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Howlin’ Wolf. The Bloody Mary Festival – New Orleans is a ticketed event, allowing attendees unlimited bloody mary tasting while voting for their favorite cocktail.

  • Hogs for the Cause will welcome 85 local and regional barbecue masters and backyard chefs to this year’s new festival location, the UNO Lakefront Arena Grounds, March 31st–April 1st. Participants will compete in seven categories, including: whole hog, ribs, pork butt/shoulder, porkpourri, sauce, fan favorite and fundraising champion. 
Recent festival announcements include: 
  • The inaugural NOLA Mac N Cheese Fest has been announced for Saturday, October 21st at Louis Armstrong Park.
    • The festival will feature 20 local restaurants as festival vendors. A portion of the proceeds will go to Roman Harper’s Hope 41 Foundation, dedicated to increasing children’s literacy and to the Tres Doux Foundation, helping children with Autism.

  • Tickets are now on sale for the 25th Anniversary of the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, a four-day ticketed event featuring more than 1,000 wines from around the globe, tastings, promenade evenings in the French Quarter, a seminar series and a gala from May 25th–28th.
    • All proceeds from NOWFE go to causes supporting culinary education, including local food banks and culinary schools, and the event has raised more than $1.2 million for local non-profit organizations over the past 25 years.
For a full list of festivals, click here.

  • The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) has announced a new all-time record for the total number of passengers served in 2016.
    • A total of 11,139,421 passengers were served last year, representing a 4.4% increase over the prior record set in 2015 when the Airport exceeded ten million passengers for the first time in its history.

  • Construction is underway on a new terminal at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, set to debut in 2018.
    • This project, recently expanded, will feature 35 gates, a 2,200-car parking garage, a central utility plant and a ground transportation staging area.
    • The new terminal is projected to have a $3.2 billion annual economic impact on tourism in New Orleans.
The airport has also added a variety of new flights:
  • British Airways will begin nonstop service from London to New Orleans on March 27th, 2017.
    • This new international nonstop flight will depart four times per week from London Heathrow to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, connecting New Orleans to over 130 destinations in Europe and beyond.

  • Choice Air launched year-round nonstop service from San Pedro Sula, Honduras to New Orleans on December 17th, 2016.
    • This new flight departs on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
  • JetBlue
    • Daily, nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from New Orleans began on September 29th, 2016.
    • JetBlue is celebrating its 15th year flying to and from New Orleans.

  • Allegiant Airlines
    • One twice-weekly departure to Tulsa International Airport began on May 26th, 2016.
    • One twice-weekly departure to Concord Regional Airport began on November 18th, 2016.
    • One twice-weekly departure to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport began in February of 2017.
    • Nonstop flights from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina to New Orleans began on February 16th, 2017.
  • Southwest Airlines
    • The airport’s largest carrier will begin seasonal service from Raleigh-Durham Airport and John Glenn Columbus International Airport on April 30th, 2017.
    • Southwest flights represent over 35% of all flights from MSY with an average of 54 flights each day to 22 non-stop destinations. With these two new flights, Southwest increases their market share in New Orleans and helps to improve total non-stop destinations from New Orleans to 60.

  • Condor will begin one new twice-weekly departure from Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans, on May 3rd, 2017 through September 27th, 2017.
    • This will be New Orleans’ second nonstop flight to Europe since the 1980s with the British Airways flight to London launching in March, and will connect passengers from more than 120 other cities in the Eastern hemisphere to New Orleans through Condor’s partner airlines.
    • Flights will depart on Wednesdays and Sundays on a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 259 seats.
    • The flight is estimated to bring nearly 10,000 people to New Orleans annually.
  • GLO Airlines
    • Three times weekly departure to Huntsville International Airport began on September 30th, 2016.

Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) include:
  • World System Builder (WSB) | March 2nd-5th  
    • The WSB G17 Convention will host the largest organization in the World Financial Group, World System Builder, dedicated to making a true difference for families and building a new industry in financial services.
    • Projected attendance: 30,000
  • Worldwide Spirit Association (WSA) | March 9th-12th
    • WSA Grand Nationals brings together competition cheerleaders from across the country to compete for a chance to attend the Cheerleading Worlds competition.
    • Projected attendance: 20,000
  • American Physical Society (APS) | March 12th-16th 
    • The APS March Meeting 2017 will welcome a large and diverse collection of physicists to experience both invited and contributed scientific sessions and presentations, helping to broaden their knowledge in all areas of physics and beyond. 
    • Projected attendance: 6,500

  • Nationwide Marketing Group | March 18th-21st
    • Nationwide is North America’s largest buying and marketing organization. The Nationwide Primetime conference will showcase the latest in the appliance, furniture, electronics, and rent to own industry through vendor product trainings, educational sessions and workshops.
    • Projected Attendance: 3,500 

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Louisville, KY, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil and China.. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 57th anniversary in 2017. For more information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com; www.facebook.com/neworleans; www.twitter.com/visitneworleans.

Media Contact
Maria White 

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