Good places to picnic in New Orleans

Lazy summer/fall days call for a picnic with friends, especially at dusk when things cool off a little bit. Plus, this is a budget-friendly form of entertainment.

You can go all out for a picnic, but a poboy or a bucket of chicken are easy options for quick meal with a gorgeous view. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, NewinNOLA.com)

You can go all out for a picnic, but poboys and chips are good options for quick meal with a gorgeous view. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, NewinNOLA.com)

We keep a blanket in our trunk so we’re ready to go at a moment’s notice. And no need for a fancy spread if you are picnicking on a whim. A bucket of Popeye’s or a poboy is equally as festive as a basket full of homemade goodies, in our opinion.

GoNOLA offered up suggestions for picnic destinations in New Orleans. Here are some of our favorite places to picnic in the city. Have another suggestion? Tell us in the comments.

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Running with the Bulls in New Orleans: Advice for first timers

Planning to run with the (roller) bulls in New Orleans? Prepare yourself for a wildly fun morning. This year’s event is Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 8 a.m. sharp. Seriously, don’t be late or you are going to miss the event. This NOLA event actually starts on time.

Event summary for San Fermin in Nueva Orleans:

Hundreds of roller derby women (bulls) chase thousands of runners through a short course in the CBD and Warehouse District. The bulls have wiffle bats and spank runners during the race. The event raises money for the Animal Rescue New Orleans and the Louisiana Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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We ran with the bulls last year and had a blast. We’ll be there again Saturday with our Meetup friends. We’d love for you to join us.

Advice if you are a first-time runner this year:

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Happy 4th of July (meetup info)

Happy 4th of July, y’all! Hope you are making the most of this three-day weekend. Want to watch fireworks tonight? Our Meetup friends are having a watch party tonight in the French Quarter. The group is meeting at 8:45 p.m. Click here for more info.

Happy 4th of July, y'all! How about this tasty snoball from Hansen's?! Yum. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

Happy 4th of July, y’all! How about this tasty snoball from Hansen’s?! Yum. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

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#newinNOLA tip – praline is pronounced “prawleen”

Happy National Praline Day! Have you tried one of these delicious sugary treats yet? There are plenty of storebought options in the French Quarter, especially near the French Market. If you ask nicely, most will give you a sample.

#newinNOLA tip – we say “prawleen” not “prayleen” in New Orleans.

More praline tips:

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Meetup group for new people in New Orleans

Our friend, Satyajit Dixit, has started a Meetup group that’s perfect for meeting other newbies. Meetup is an online community that helps people “meetup” in real life. Some groups are general interest, while others are grouped around specific interests.

Meet Sat (he’s the guy in the middle). He organizes the “Exploring New Orleans” Meetup group.

Satyajit "Sat" Dixit, pictured in the middle, organizes a wonderful New Orleans Meetup group. (image via Meetup)

Satyajit “Sat” Dixit, pictured in the middle, organizes a wonderful New Orleans Meetup group. (image via Meetup)

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Thanks to our 3,000 Instagram followers!

Woohooo! Three thousand –  3,000!!!! – of you have signed on for this @NewinNOLA journey on Instagram. We couldn’t be more honored that you’d share your time with us.

Thank you for making us feel welcome in New Orleans. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned about the city. Thank you for going on this adventure with us. Thank you for asking questions and suggesting better ways to do things. Y’all rock!

We're on Instagram (@newinnola)

We’re on Instagram (@newinnola)

In addition to right here on NewinNOLA.com, you can follow us on:

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Photos from Creole Tomato Festival in New Orleans

The French Market held its 28th annual Creole Tomato Festival last weekend in New Orleans. We tried the famous tomatoes, watched a Creole tomato-eating contest and ate some yummy tomato dishes.

Check out our food photos here.

Creole Tomato Festival at the French Market (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Creole Tomato Festival at the French Market (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Creole Tomato Festival in New Orleans – schedule, tips

The Creole Tomato Festival kicks off today (June 7) at the French Market and goes through Sunday night. This is the perfect time to get free samples of the famous creole tomato.

The entrance to the French Market has been transformed for the Creole Tomato Festival. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

The entrance to the French Market has been transformed for the Creole Tomato Festival. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

The festival has food vendors, cooking demonstrations and a tomato eating contest. We’re heading out Sunday so we can see the contest at 1. Interesting demo Saturday – creole tomato cupcakes at 4 p.m.

The French Market said each cooking demo has  2-oz samples for the first 100 people. The tomato sample station is at Dumaine Street. The fest also has cute tomato-shaped paper fans it’s giving away at the festival. The people in tomato costumes (photo opp!) have the fans and will give you one if you ask.

Remember, bring cash if you want to buy anything. Plus, if you spend $30 this weekend, you get a free bag of creole tomatoes. Via FrenchMarket.org:

creole tomato offer

What you need to know about the fest:

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Our food pictures from the 2014 New Orleans Oyster Festival

We filled our belly June 1 at the New Orleans Oyster Fest (first-timer tips). The food-centric fest was held in downtown New Orleans at Woldenberg Park. Fav part – free admission.

The day started with an oyster-eating contest in the rain was rounded out with sunshine and food.

Check out our Storify post for food pix from the fest.

In a Half Shelf blog also has a spectacular photos and tips. Check them out.

New Orleans Oyster Festival 2014 (schedule, tips, map)

The 2014 New Orleans Oyster Festival is this weekend (May 31 and June 1). The food is the same both days, but the music is different.

Want to see the oyster shucking contest? That’s Saturday at noon. Interested in the oyster eating contest? That’s Sunday at 11:45 a.m.

We’re tagging along with a Meetup group going Sunday at 11 a.m. Join us 🙂

The Oyster Fest serves up all sorts of bivalve goodness. Here are some of eats in 2013. (photos by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

The Oyster Fest serves up all sorts of bivalve goodness. Here are some of eats in 2013. (photos by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

The fest is at Woldenberg Park, which is next to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (map). We like this festival because it is free admission and there’s parking around the French Quarter. When we take a car, we usually park in the garage above Saks Fifth Avenue. Tip – if you get in before 9 a.m. at most garages, parking is $10 for the entire day.

You can also take a bus or streetcar and not fool with parking at all. It takes a little longer than driving, but it’s cheaper than parking and you don’t have to worry about a designated driver.

We went to the fest last year and had a really good time. See our pix.

Tips we learned about the New Orleans Oyster Festival:

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