New Orleans is one of those cities that has something new to offer every time you visit. Courtesy of the city's CVB, here are a few upcoming events and notable developments you should know about...
Arts & Events
The historic Fair Grounds Race Course has attracted music lovers for more than 40 years, and the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, running April 25-27 and May 1-4, will have some prime talent on the stage: Fans can listen to legends like Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Phish, Santana, Allen Toussaint and more, along with food from top restaurants and caterers and a crafts market.
The 31st Annual French Quarter Festival, April 10-13, is the largest free music festival in the South with a special focus on New Orleans’ music and food. The festival offers 20 performance stages and more than 90 food and beverage booths. (Good for families: Kids’ activities and tours will also be available.)
As we reported last week, the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk will reopen on May 22 with some top retailers, including Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Coach and Kenneth Cole.
The People United for Armstrong Park is hosting the fifth season of Jazz in the Park each Thursday, April 17-June 5. Congo Square will host an arts and crafts village, a second line, and the chance to see local musicians perform in Armstrong Park. Good to know: Food trucks will be on hand for some local culinary options.
The National World War II Museum has announced plans to unveil a new, permanent gallery, “The Monument Men,” in the upcoming Liberation Pavilion, scheduled to open in 2016. The gallery will showcase the story of men and women who saved cultural treasures from Nazi destruction and focus on the challenges of returning these works to their rightful owners.
East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans announced its 2014-2015 season at the historic Saenger Theatre, which will include Chicago - The Musical (October 7-12, 2014), The Phantom of the Opera (November 5-16, 2014), Dirty Dancing (December 16-21, 2014), Mamma Mia! (January 13-18, 2015), Annie (February 3-8, 2015), Once (March 17-22, 2015) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (April 14-19, 2015).
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans completed renovations of its Maison Orleans wing (the hotel’s exclusive club level) in addition to the Ritz-Carlton Suite (the hotel’s Presidential Suite). This makeover came shortly after the 2011 renovation of the hotel’s 415 Deluxe guest rooms and 36 Executive and Junior Suites.
The historic Pontchartrain Hotel has re-opened as the luxury hotel it was previously. Originally built in 1927, the historic Garden District hotel has 82 suites with top views of the city's most scenic streets.
As we reported a few months back, The Saint Hotel (pictured left) renovated five luxury suites on its second story. The two, 1,800-square-foot master suites, named for the opposing Archangels Michael and Lucifer, are the top picks.
Alaska Airlines will begin scheduled service from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to Seattle, Washington as of June 12. The new daily service will depart Seattle at 10:15 a.m. and arrive in New Orleans at 5 p.m. The carrier will depart New Orleans at 5:55 p.m. and arrive in Seattle at 8:50 p.m.
Vacation Express, meanwhile, will kick off non-stop seasonal flights between New Orleans and Montego Bay, Jamaica, starting on May 17. The non-stop service to Cancun, Mexico will resume for the summer of 2014 with twice-weekly flights.
But there's even bigger news for the city's airport, with plans in the works to build a new terminal on the north side of the current airport property, adding more than 40 gates to the complex.
Carnival Cruise Lines also announced its largest and newest line of ships will sail from the Port of New Orleans beginning this year. The Carnival Dream, the cruise line’s newest and largest class of ship, will begin servicing out of New Orleans in April 2014. The Carnival Elation will continue to sail year-round out of the Port of New Orleans. Carnival is the only cruise line to operate two year-round ships from New Orleans and will carry more than 400,000 guests annually from the Port.