NOLA-ing: Gretna Fest

While Voodoo and Jazz Fest gets most of the national press of our local festivals.  Yet, Gretna Heritage Festival has been a solid music festival for years.  They often get bands that draw great crowds but wouldn’t necessarily be top tier at the other two festivals.

This year’s lineup is headed by KISS, Huey Lewis & the News, and the B-52s.  However, there are some other great bands on the bill including Pat Benatar, Our Lady Peace, the Plain White T’s, Marc Broussard, Rockin Dopsie Jr, and Amanda Shaw. If Mrs. Nola Nerd feels up to it we will go on Saturday to see Our Lady Peace and KISS.  Sunday wouldn’t be bad either with Pat Benatar and The B-52s.

This is one of the more affordable festivals in town. Advanced single-day tickets are $20 and weekend passes are $47.50.

Of course, being a southern Louisiana festival, there will be great food and drink.  Rouses will sponsor a Craft Beer area with 10 different brews. Some of the food offerings include chargrilled oysters, fried soft shell shrimp, chicken and waffle sandwich, boudin, crawfish bread, cracklins, fried Snickers, and rabbit po-boys.

Plus there will be rides for the kids. There will be a German beer hall (since it is practically October), an Italian Village, and an arts and craft section.

Hopefully, we will see you there!

NOLA-ing: Bayou Boogaloo This Weekend

The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Festival is this weekend along the banks of Bayou St. John.  There will music to be heard, food to be consumed, and art to be purchased.  The art side will have over 60 arts and crafts vendors. The menu looks fantastic.  In fact, if you are an outsider, please realize that most Louisiana festivals do have better food than most major cities have at their best restaurants. There will also be a marketplace for local businesses to set up shop. Plus, there will be tons of activities for the whole family.

The music lineup is lead by Cupid, John Cleary, and Cracker.  Of course, there will be tons of local artists for you enjoy as well.

We have never been to Bayou Boogaloo. We will try to make it this year.  If we can’t, leave us a comment on how your experience was there!

Reading: Free Comic Book Day!

Every year, your local participating comic shop hosts Free Comic Book Day!  That’s right, you can go to your local comic book shop and get free comics.

The New Orleans area has some great comic book stores three which we frequent often.  Our comic shop is BSI Comics in Metairie.  However, we highly recommend More Fun Comics and Crescent City Comics as we often shop there when we are in that area.  Heroes Corner in Metairie is also fantastic.  Kenner also has a great shop across from Wal-Mart whose name escapes me at the moment.

Each comic book store has their own little party.  BSI will have author Blake Petit and actor Jason Carter from Babylon 5.  Crescent City will be having a sidewalk party including a lemonade stand since it’s also lemonade stand day.  The 501st usually appears at more than one shop. A quick facebook or google search will let you know what your local store is planning.

Remember, though, that the old adage of nothing is actually for free.  Your comic book shop  has to pay for those comics.  The point of Free Comic Book Day is to get bodies in the stores.  If people enter the store, then they might be inspired to buy something. So PLEASE buy something if you go.  Comic book stores often have great trade paperbacks (I highly recommend Vision or Darth Vader), toys, and other collectibles.  Pick a comic and start a pull folder in which the shop pulls comics for you and stores them for when you can make it.  The only thing about a pull folder is that the store is placing their trust in you that you will pick up your comics on a very regular basis. If not, they are losing money.

Free Comic Book Day is for readers.  Not for just comic readers.  There is some great literature being produced in the medium, so don’t let the medium stop you.  As a teacher, I can not recommend comics enough for young kids and for children who don’t like reading.  Also, don’t be discouraged by the Simpsons comic book shop persona.  We visit comic book stores in every town we visit, and we are always welcomed and given recommendations.  The stores I’ve listed above all are run by wonderful people who love talking to comics with expert collectors and novices alike.  In most cases, I think they like the novices more because (a) they are potential new customers and (b) they are possible new people to talk comics with!

So go get some free comics and pay for some as well!

See you at the comic shop!




Star Wars-ing: May the Fourth Activities in NOLA

If you want a hot dog in New Orleans, you have two choices.  First, is Lucky Dog.  This is a sidewalk vendor that makes perfect dogs for those needed nourishment after making the most of the day and/or night in the Quarter.  The other is Dat Dog which makes gourmet dogs of all different varieties.

This year for May the Fourth, Dat Dog is teaming up with Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus (IKOC) for Shoeboxus. Shoeboxux is “the ultimate satirical ‘May the Fourth Be With You’ mini parade.” This parade will begin and end at Dat Dog’s Marigny location at 601 Frenchman Street.

Wookiee Shrine (10) (2).JPG

There will be Food & Drink Specials from 6 pm to midnight including:

  • $1 off certain special IKOCtails including Jedi and Sith-themed cocktails
  • $1 from every Wookie Wiener (made up of andouille sausage, andouille sauce, sauerkraut, grilled onions, and chipotle mayo) will go to the STOMP Troopers.  The STOMP Troopers is a program that aims to find ways for children with autism to take part in the Chewbacchus parade and other cultural events in New Orleans.

The parade will line up at 6 pm and roll at 7 pm.  Everyone is invited.

The Audobon Aquarium of the Americas will also be celebrating May the Fourth Be With You.  A list of events include:

  • Star Wars Divers in the Great Maya Reef Tunnel from May 2-7.
  • The 501st will be greeting customer from May4-7
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be shown at the Entergy Giant Screen Theater from May 4-7 at 5 pm.  It is $6.95 for adults and $5.95 for children and senior over 65. If you are an Audubon Member, the price is 4.95.

May the Fourth Be With You.

NOLA-ing: Your Choice – French Quarter or Strawberry…Or both

Each week we are going to take a look at things to do in New Orleans and, frankly, Southeast Louisiana.  This isn’t a comprehensive list of things to do, Best of New Orleans and other sources, do that better.  We are going to list the things that if time and money were not a factor we would do.

This weekend, like every first full weekend in April is dominated by two of the better festivals in the area.  What is great about the first one, is that it will lead you to explore the French Quarter with its numerous stages spread throughout the Quarter.  The second lets you explore small town Louisiana with some of the best antiquing in the area.

French Quarter Fest – FQF is the largest free music festival in the United States.  It literally takes place all over the quarter.  The music is free, but because you can’t have a festival without food, there is a ton of food vendors as well.  Locals know that Thursday and Friday are your best bets as the crowds really descend on Saturday and Thursday. April 6-9.

Strawberry Festival –  Take I-10 east and then turn north on I-55 and you will find the Strawberry Festival. This festival takes over the town of Ponchatoula and has tons of offerings of signature fruit in all the different ways you can imagine plus some.  It also has plenty of other great food to offer as well. April 7-9.


Nola-ing: Events for March 30 to April 5

We have so busy being a nerd couple, we have forgotten to be The Nola Nerd Couple.  We haven’t forgotten about our favorite city. We have been attending concerts (which you can hear about on our music podcast page).  We have been running in New Orleans whether it be a regular race or the Best Damn Race 5K.

We are going to start writing about our adventures in the city more, I promise.  Right now, however, opportunity costs have to be made with Star Wars Celebration coming up.  So not only will we post our adventures, but things we would love to do in the city if time and money were no object.  Of course, we just don’t have the time to publish a list of all events (too many other sites do that), just the ones we would love to do. And no, we won’t just limit it to the city limits of New Orleans.  Plenty of great things go on both inside and outside of the city limits.

March 30: The WWII Museum will put on “Biloxi Blues,” the award-winning comedy by Neil Simon. This show runs through April 22, 2017. You can buy tickets for the show only or you can purchase dinner and a show.

March 31: Hogs for the Cause kicks off this weekend.  This is our favorite festival, We have been to Hogs numerous times and it never disappoints. Friday night has great music with a few food offerings, but it’s Saturday that you need to go hungry. We actually were not going to go this year. With Star Wars Celebration coming up we had to make some opportunity cost decisions and Hogs was cut.  However, Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple entered a contest with 106.1 The Underground here in New Orleans.  On Monday, 106.1 The Underground called her and informed her she won tickets to Hogs for the Cause.  Not only did she win tickets but she won Boss Hog tickets.  This is the VIP package.  It looks like we are going to Hogs!

April 1:  This is one of those days that we just can’t do everything without sponsorship. First, there is the Hale Boggs Bridge Run.  We didn’t sign up for this because we did the Best Damn Race last weekend, but nearly all of our friends are.   Then, Hogs for the Cause continues into its second day…the one with all the food. We did, however, sign up for Painting with a Twist’s “Star Wars: Rogue One” event.  I mean, if there was ever a painting with a twist for us, this is the one.   Plus,  the Freret Street Festival will take place this day as well.

April 2:  We will be going to the New Orleans Opera Association’s Presentation of Faust at the Mahalia Jackson Theater.  We have made two of the operas this season (MacBeth and Sweeney Todd), and it was money well spent.  We are looking forward to this one as well. We highly recommend our local readers consider getting season tickets next year, its 75th anniversary season. 

April 3: It has been so long since I’ve seen Radiohead in concert, that they were actually the opening band at the time for R.E.M in Baton Rouge.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has never seen them.

April 4: The World War II Museum will have a panel discussion entitled “Fueling Extremism in a Wired World.”  The panel will be moderated by Robert Citino. A timely topic to be sure, but one that we can learn about by studying the past. An RSVP is required.

April 5:  The 18th Annual Bill Russell Lecture: A Tribute to John Robichaux will be at the Williams Research Center at 6:30 in The Historic New Orleans Collection. John Robichaux’s Orchestra evolved from playing European hits of the day to ragtime at the turn of the 20th century.

Listening: Distant Worlds, Music from Final Fantasy Comes to New Orleans

Distant Worlds, the music from Final Fantasy, will be performed at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans.  This performance will be held on March 31, 2017.

This is the first time the music from Final Fantasy comes to New Orleans.  The concert will feature Nobuo Uematsu’s music from the video game series.  The orchestra will be conducted by Arnie Roth with HD video from the games being played at the same time.

The concert includes the performance of:
  • FINAL FANTASY XV: Apocalypsis Noctis
  • FINAL FANTASY VI: Character Theme Medley
  • FINAL FANTASY VII: Opening Bombing Mission
  • FINAL FANTASY VIII: Liberi Fatali
  • FINAL FANTASY X: Zanarkand

Having been to the Legends of Zelda version of this, this should be a fantastic event.  For younger fans of Final Fantasy, it will expose them to the wonders of live orchestra music. For older fans, it will bring back floods of memories of the hours spending time playing the games.