This Friday marks the grand opening of The Music Box: Roving Village Residencies. First and foremost an aural experience, this second coming of the Bywater Music Box project of 2011 presents a whimsical, fairytale spectacle of makeshift musical houses in City Park wherein musicians host concerts. City Park is also the finish line for the Crescent City Classic 10K on Saturday. Elsewhere in the city, Freret Street hosts a festival highlighting neighborhood food and music. Three parades and a bevy of brunches are also happening this weekend, all to celebrate Easter.
1. The Music Box: Roving Village Residencies – New Orleans Airlift and The Helis Foundation present this immersive installation at the Old East Golf Course in City Park, starting Friday, April 3 and running through May 10. Though public viewing hours are free, a limited number of tickets are available for concerts; purchase tickets online for $15.
2. Crescent City Classic 10K – The Easter weekend tradition includes a two-day health and fitness expo on Thursday and Friday at the Hyatt Regency; interested runners can register in person at the expo for $45. The race itself, on Saturday, culminates in a tree-lined stretch down Esplanade Avenue. The RaceFest after-party ($5) rewards runners and spectators with food and entertainment.
3. Freret Street Festival – Three music stages and plenty of vendors keep festival-goers entertained at this hyper-local celebration. Organizers will block off Freret Street from Napoleon Avenue to Jefferson Avenue; perks like complimentary bike valet and free attendance makes it an enticing weekend option.
4. Gay Easter Parade – The annual parade winds through the French Quarter starting at 4:30 p.m. and culminates in a highly competitive Easter bonnet contest at Good Friends Bar. Proceeds benefit Food for Friends, a nonprofit meal delivery service for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. For more information, call (504) 566-7191.
5. Other Easter Festivities – Two other parades in the French Quarter take place on Easter Sunday, April 5, at 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. Plenty of Easter brunches across the city cater to the end of Lenten – all three Emeril’s restaurants will offer extended brunch until 3 p.m. plus kid-friendly menu options; Borgne has a new spring brew with hints of fragrant Louisiana rice.