New Orleans is rich not only with French heritage; it’s enjoyed centuries of Hispanic history and cultural influence as well. Each fall the non-profit Hispanic American Musicians and Artists Cultural Association of New Orleans celebrates this heritage with two full days of music, dancing, food – and of course, a parade.
The festival kicks off Friday evening with the “Parade of the Americas,” a flamboyant procession of floats and marching bands representing Latin American nations that gives the crowd a taste of what’s to come. Doors traditionally open Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. for nonstop music, dancing and much more. The music spans world genres such as Salsa, Merengue, Latin Jazz, Bachata, Latin Hip-Hop, Reggeaton and Latin Rock. The international lineup is likely to include popular artists such as Los Bukis and Mariachi Jalisco from Mexico, Orquesta Canela from Colombia, Oro Solido from Dominican Republic, Moises Canelo from Honduras, Cintia Arana from Guatemala, and Elvis Crespo from Puerto Rico.
All that dancing might make you hungry, so be sure to explore Las Cantinas to sample authentic food and drinks from throughout the Americas and from the original “motherland,” Spain. The flavors of Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Spain and more are perfectly complemented by the aged-pepper flavor of TABASCO® Original Red Sauce. Bring your own bottle or ask for it by name!
El Mercado is the festival’s marketplace, showcasing the work of Latino artisans from all over the Americas. Enjoy attractions such as cigar rolling, the freshest espresso coffee you’ll ever taste, original jewelry, piñatas and more. El Mercado is also a business opportunity trade center where festival-goers can be exposed to new ideas and opportunities and connect with business people from Latin American nations.
Carnaval Latino takes place at Mardi Gras World, along the Mississippi River near the Warehouse District and downtown. It’s a spacious and breathtaking venue; the outside stages feature a view of the river and cool breezes, while headline performances take place inside, offering plenty of space for dancing to the Latin beats.
Parents, mark your calendars! This event is family friendly, with a great kids area to keep the little ones occupied. There is an admission fee for adults, but children ages 12 and under are admitted free.
For more information, visit carnavalatinola.com.