Spring is pretty much here, although officially it doesn’t start officially until March 20. Here are some ways to spring forward right now. 

Running for it

I am starting to get ready for the Crescent City Classic’s “Run for It” charity program, held each year on the day before Easter Sunday (this year, April 8). Post-Carnival is a great time to get outside and start moving to get in shape before festival season (more stamina for dancing and festing!) and before the humidity and heat return in force. The “Run for It” program lets runners, joggers, walkers and strutters raise funds for 23 local charities including Youth Run NOLA, No White Flags/Team Gleason and Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Louisiana, just to name a few. 

Full disclosure: this year I am running for Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) as they work to raise money to construct a new facility and provide safe haven for homeless cats and dogs. Some of my ARNO teammates are also making super cute team t-shirts, so bonus! (If you’d like to donate, click here, and thanks!)

Get your race outfit in order, sign up for the Crescent City Classic or “Run for It” program, and I will see you at the finish line!

Wine Time

Wine Fête is coming up on March 10 at the Hermann-Grima House in the French Quarter. The party will feature live music, food, cocktails and, of course, plenty of wine and bubbles. Proceeds from the event will benefit the organization’s museum and educational programs.  

Book worms

New Orleans Book Festival is coming up, March 9-11 on Tulane’s Uptown campus. This is the festival’s second year and promises to be even bigger with author lectures, live music, cooking demos, and plenty of opportunities to interact with other local book worms and writers. All events are free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so be sure to get there early. Speakers this year include some big names such as  former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder with moderator CBS “Saturday Morning” co-host Michelle Miller; Bill Gates with moderator writer and historian Walter Isaacson; Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks along with New York Times best-selling author Michael Lewis; Imani Perry and Natasha Tretheway; chefs Alon Shaya, Susan Spicer and Kevin Belton; Walter Mosely; Sarah Broom; Richard Ford… the amazing list goes on and on with amazing conversations. Check out the schedule and get more information from the festival website, plus FAQs and more.

Film fan

Looking for something completely different to do? The New Orleans Film Society has teamed up with the Historic New Orleans Collection for a special viewing of the 1923 silent film classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” on March 1. The evening will include special cocktails provided by Happy Raptor Distillery, comedic commentary by some special hosts, plus a pre-show viewing of “Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition. Learn more and register to attend at https://my.hnoc.org/11816

Tiptoe through the tulips

If you’re looking for a great way to reset and fill up your well with goodness, head out ASAP to New Orleans City Park where the tulips are currently at peak bloom. While you can find them scattered throughout the park (be sure to take a stroll over by the Pavilion of the Two Sisters or the City Park Avenue entrance) the blooms are particularly spectacular around the Big Lake near New Orleans Museum of Art. Plan a nearby picnic, create an Instagram moment, or just enjoy their fleeting beauty while they last.