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Holiday Home Tours, Concerts and More make New Orleans Your Place of Joy

The holiday events near our New Orleans bed and breakfast just keep rolling with 85 events listed, 50 of which are free, and many great specials still available to make your holiday a festive one.

Take a peek into quiet courtyards in the French Quarter, conveniently located near our bed and breakfast in the Garden District, and private homes in the Garden District with these holiday home tours:  The Preservation Resource Center hosts its eagerly awaited 38th annual Garden District Tours, December 14 and 15.  The Grand Victorian is proud to welcome the tour fans to our neighborhood each year.  The residents of the French Quarter open their garden gates on December 22 with the Patio Planters self-guided walking tour.

new orleans bed and breakfast holiday events

Cathedral Concerts Holiday Series

St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States, hosts free concerts until Christmas Eve, featuring New Orleans’ best in jazz, gospel and classical holiday music.  Just outside St. Louis Cathedral you’ll find a decades old tradition of Caroling in Jackson Square.  It is a truly moving holiday tradition beloved by locals and visitors held by candlelight on the Sunday before Christmas.  December 22, 7pm.

Also moving, but in a slightly different way is the annual festival and pub crawl, Running of the Santas.  An anticipated 4,000 costumed revelers will jingle their way around the business district on December 14.

new orleans bed and breakfast events

Running of the Santas pub crawl on Dec 14

Finally, add a new tradition to your holiday experience.  On Christmas Eve, take a drive along the Mississippi River west of the city to view the bonfires that light the way for Papa Noel, the Cajun Santa Claus.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our Papa Noel special at our New Orleans bed and breakfast for your last minute getaway to the city that helps you “Follow Your Joy” this holiday season!

Great music and food on Wednesdays at the Square!

Amanda Shaw

Amanda Shaw

Go for the music or go for the food, but get yourself downtown on Wednesday evenings for the annual free concert series, Wednesdays at the Square.

Lafayette Square on a lovely Wednesday Evening

Lafayette Square on a lovely Wednesday Evening


Sponsored by the Young Leadership Council, concerts are held at Lafayette Square on St. Charles Avenue every Wednesday from March 6 to May 22, 2013 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, rain or shine.

Coming Up:  Marcia Ball, Irvin Mayfield, the Meters Experience, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and more.

Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit

No pets or outside food; concession sales keep it free!

No need to look for parking downtown, the streetcar that passes in front of the Grand Victorian B&B will put you right in the heart of everything!  Mid-week rooms available so you can hear your favorite artist, or meet a new one.

All photos courtsey of YLC’s Wednesday  at the Square.


October Festivals in New Orleans

Grave at St. Louis Cemetery

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival
October 12-14
Downtown New Orleans, Central Business District
Lafayette Square (St. Charles Avenue at Poydras Street) is the home for this free blues festival.  Two stages plus food and craft booths, including some of the best barbecue in the South. Get your blues on with these performers: Keb Mo, Otis Clay, Latimore, Lil Buck Sinegal, Luther Kent and more.  Take the historic streetcar from our front door to Lafayette Square for the full New Orleans experience.

New Orleans Film Festival
October 11-18
Various venues

Voodoo Music Experience
October 26-28
City Park
You can also take the streetcar to City Park for the Voodoo Music Experience with headliners that include Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Green Day, Green Day, Marcia Ball, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Irma Thomas, Grand Victorian favorite Paul Sanchez (formerly of Cowboy Mouth), and the burlesque dancers from Fleur de Tease

Halloween in New Orleans
October 2012
Haunted Tours and Spiritual Shops

You might want to start with one of the many haunted tours through the French Quarter or some other spooky part of the city. There are haunted houses Uptown, in the Garden District and elsewhere, if you know where to go or are with someone who does. And then, of course, there are the world-famous cemeteries where the dearly departed are buried in tombs aboveground. Hundreds of stories abound in which the ghosts of these “Cities of the Dead” make their presence known, some of which have actually been documented and visually captured.

While prowling around the French Quarter there are a number of Voodoo shops you can check out to learn a little more about the history behind these centuries-old spiritual practices. You might even learn a few spells and mystical incantations. There are even shops catering specifically to vampires, believe it or not. Some of the shops plan special events for Halloween, so make sure you stop by and get in on the action. You can read about them online byclicking here.

Top 5 Places for Cocktails and Small Plates in New Orleans

We are getting ready for Tales of the Cocktail next month, the annual celebration of the birth of the cocktail right here in New Orleans. To help you get ready too, we have listed our Top 5 places to get a delicious cocktail and appetizer or small plate. All of these are in close proximity to our Garden District Bed and Breakfast.


Cure: Rated one of the Top 3 places to get a cocktail by Best of New Orleans.com, we love Cure for the scrumptious cocktails, small plates and great patio for whiling away the evening.


The Columns: A few streetcar stops down from our St. Charles stop (right at the front door of our Garden District Bed and Breakfast) is the best front porch to drift back in time, have a traditional New Orleans cocktail, and people watch. This is a great place to kick off your evening as it gets crowded later on.


Delachaise: Walk across the street from the Columns and have a really good light meal or cheese plate with great wine at this small place on the streetcar track.


Commander’s Palace: 25 cent martinis for lunch (and one and a half block walk from our Garden District bed and breakfast). Any questions?


Oak: A little further down the historic streetcar line and around the riverbend is a new bar and eatery that features small plates from the chef of Patois Restaurant. Live musicians every night make this a place to put on your must-visit list.


A little old fashioned for a hot summer's night.

A little old fashioned for those hot summer nights.

Finish your evening on the porte cochere balcony at our Garden District B&B. Check out our summer specials for an extra reason to check out the Tales of the Cocktail festival.


Three June Festivals in One New Orleans Historic Weekend

Tomatoes, Seafood and Zydeco: this festival trio (June 9-12, 2012) celebrates the early summer harvest bounty of the New Orleans region. The festivals are held at the same time and in the same location, the French Market District, 8 blocks along the Mississippi River from Jackson Square to Esplanade Avenue, a quick ride from our Garden District B&B via the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar.

Historic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar by Garden District B&B


The French Market’s Creole Tomato Festival heralds the arrival of New Orleans’ favorite summer vegetable. The New Orleans secret behind what makes a tomato a Creole is only realized through the local culture. And what makes this festival a local favorite are the life size tomatoes strolling the grounds handing out tomato shaped fans and the annual auction of the first tomatoes of the season to local chefs for charity!


Garden District B&B

The Louisiana Seafood Festival is held at the Old U.S. Mint (Esplanade Avenue) and features delicious dishes from local restaurants. It celebrates the family businesses that provides most of the shrimp, oysters, crab, crawfish and alligator to the rest of the U.S. (By the way, it’s the beginning of shrimp season too!)


Garden District bed and breakfast


The sixth annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival has three stages (also at the Old U.S. Mint), cooking demonstrations, a large crafts fair with handmade jewelry and art, and some of the best Cajun and zydeco artists in the state.

Some of the artists this year include:

 C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band

Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie

Rosie Ledet

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas

The Lost Bayou Ramblers

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots

Bruce Daigrepont

Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers


Come out and enjoy all three festivals for delicious Louisiana food, music and fun! Two-step your way down to our Garden District Bed and Breakfast to relax after feasting and frolicking along the old Mississippi River.




New Orleans Has the I’s of March

Not too long after the last bead has fallen from the trees (just kidding, they stay there year round), the streets heat up again with the beat of drums and marching feet. More celebrations and parades await the rested reveler in the city that celebrates.


The St. Patrick’s Day parades and parties feature walking groups from various clubs in the city dress in costumes of green give out flowers, beads, and kisses to lucky parade goers along the route. Floats throw beads plus the more infamous cabbages, carrots, onions…and moonpies! (You may even see a potato or two in the air!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Parasol’s Block Party 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Channel Parade – 1 p.m.

(passes directly in front of the Grand Victorian)



March 19th marks the Catholic celebration of St. Joseph’s Day where New Orleanians construct elaborate altars in honor of this saint. The tradition, commemorating the relief St. Joseph provided during a famine in Sicily, began in the late 1800’s when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans. The American Italian Marching club hosts the annual St. Joseph’s day parade in the French Quarter is a local favorite with marchers dressed in black tuxedos proceeding to parade until dark.

Saturday, March 10

Italian American Marching Club – French Quarter



St. Joseph’s Day has also been adopted as an important day for the Mardi Gras Indians, an African-American tradition unique to New Orleans. The Super Sunday Mardi Gras Indian parade on the Sunday nearest St. Joseph’s Day is the one time of year all of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes come together to show off their new suits. Original costumes are created every year and can weigh between 100 and 150 pounds.

(photo by M. Hinton)

Sunday, March 18

Super Sunday Mardi Gras Indians – 1pm



Islenos, or Canary Islanders, were recruited Spanish colonists from the Canary Islands that arrived in St. Bernard Parish between 1778 and 1783. Their annual heritage celebration occurs March 17-18 featuring traditional Spanish food and folk music.

Los Islenos Parade – Chalmette

April 1

You’ll get a front porch view of the St. Patrick’s Day parade from the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast, and you’re a streetcar away from the French Quarter and Super Sunday events. Book your weekend now


Essence Fest 2011

We didn’t think it could get any hotter in New Orleans, but Essence Fest will bring up the heat July 1-3, 2011. The annual music festival celebrates contemporary African-American music and culture and is the largest of its kind. In the past, award-winning artists include Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, Chris Rock, and Mary J. Blige have taken the stage in the New Orleans Superdome.

This year, New Orleans is excited to welcome Usher, Charlie Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Boyz II Men, and Nephew Tommy as they headline at the 2011 Essence Music Festival.

After the festival, join the Big Easy in celebrating Independence Day. The Crescent City always puts on a firework show off of the Mississippi. Get a close-up view of this spectacle on New Orleans’ Paddlewheeler Creole Queen or the Steamboat Natchez. Just a streetcar ride from all this excitement is the Grand Victorian, which can provide you and your family and friends the perfect place to stay while in New Orleans.

Three Festivals, One Weekend

There aren’t enough days in the year for everything New Orleans has to celebrate. During the weekend of June 11-12, 2011, the Big Easy will be celebrating three festivals that capture the essence of the city. Known as the Vieux To Do festivities, the weekend is comprised of the French Market‘s Creole Tomato Festival, the Cajun-Zydeco Festival, and the Louisiana Seafood Festival.


During the 25th Annual Creole Tomato Festival, visitors can enjoy cooking demonstrations with Louisiana’s staple vegetable for any savory dish, the tomato. Be “ripe and ready” to taste dozens of tomato dishes at numerous booths adjacent to New Orleans’ extensive farmer’s market. Learn about the local food during the food lectures and don’t forget to watch the Creole Tomato Parade march through the French Quarter.


While at the Creole Tomato Festival, enjoy the sweet sounds New Orleans has to offer at the Cajun-Zydeco Festival. Hosted by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, enjoy twenty bands on two stages that produce the sounds that all began in the Crescent City. From jazz to gospel, Grammy Award-winning performers including Michael Doucet and Beau Soliel will be taking the stage. Arts and Crafts vendors and food vendors will be aligned by the stages to enjoy while listening to the concerts.


Finally, the Louisiana Seafood Festival honors that the state harvests the most seafood across the nation. Join the celebration at the world’s largest crawfish boil for food and fun. There you will find cooking demonstrations, celebrity chefs, book signings, and so much more!


Just a streetcar ride from the French Quarter, the Grand Victorian is the perfect location to stay to see every aspect of New Orleans. From

the Garden District to the Tomato Festival, from the famous St. Charles Avenue mansion to the Old US Mint in the French Quarter, see all of New Orleans during the Vieux To Do weekend celebration!

French Quarter Festival 2011


Food, music, and good times is the anthem of New Orleans! The French Quarter Festivals Inc. is proud to host the 28th Annual French Quarter Festival throughout the streets of downtown New Orleans. Last year, the 2010 French Quarter Festival set unbelievable records bringing over 512,000 locals and out-of-towners to the Quarter. This year is no exception and the Quarter is getting ready for the hustle and bustle of one exciting weekend!

Food vendors include some of New Orleans greatest cuisine ranging from Plum Street Snoballs to Superior Grill to The Court of Two Sisters. Whether it’s their first year participating in the Festival or they have been part of the fun since the beginning, the restaurants cannot wait to showcase their most popular dishes. There isn’t a better way to get a taste of the city than at the French Quarter Festival.

If your mouth isn’t drooling by now, then checkout the musical line-up on the seventeen stages that span the Square. The music rings through the city ranging from jazz to foxtrot. Everyone looks forward to hearing the sounds that began at the heart of Louisiana. Grab your friends and family and bring them down to the ol’ Crescent City for the ultimate New Orleans experience. The fun begins on Thursday, April 7 and doesn’t end until the sunsets of Sunday April 10, 2011.


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