This weekend, on your way home from Jazz Fest, take a moment to relax and reflect at one of the many hidden gems found around New Orleans: Alcée Fortier Park. This small but charming Mid-City park lies within walking distance of the New Orleans Fair Grounds and Bayou St. John, at the intersection of Esplanade Avenue, Mystery Street and Grand Route St. John.
This small neighborhood park plays host to a few different events throughout the year, typically organized by the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association. Fortier Fest is an annual fundraiser for the park which brings together local musicians, including Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington and Allen Toussaint, and community residents to raise funds for park maintenance and beautification. Each summer, locals celebrate the French holiday Bastille Day in typical New Orleans fashion, with a block party in this neighborhood on the Saturday closest to July 14.
This delightful neighborhood park is tucked away in a part of Esplanade Ridge containing many favorite local restaurants and businesses, including Café Degas, Nonna Mia Cafe & Pizzeria, Swirl Wine Bar & Market, Terranova Brothers Superette, Lola’s and Fair Grinds Coffee House. The tiny park gets its name from philanthropist and noted Tulane language professor and historian Alcée Fortier, who owned much of the surrounding area during the 19th century.
Founded in 1926, this charming park is now maintained through volunteer effort. Its colorful Adirondack chairs, perfectly manicured pathways and public chess tables make it a fantastic spot for enjoying spring weather. We recommend picking up some wine or coffee across the street, or a picnic lunch from Terranova’s or Canseco’s Market and bringing it to the park to enjoy.