Family Gras Celebrates Ten Years of Fun, Food, and Music By: Mary Achary


Family Gras Lineup Announcement Poster



On January 6, New Orleanians begin the wonderful transition from Christmas to Mardi Gras. Many houses large and small, grand and simple, from the Garden District to Bywater to Kenner and as far north as Covington and Mandeville begin changing wreaths made of holly and mistletoe to wreaths made of purple, green, and gold ribbons some adorned with masks and beads. People descend on bakeries all over the metro area standing in long lines that are normally reserved for scoring tickets to a Journey concert eagerly anticipating that first bite of king cake while secretly hoping that someone else will get the baby inside.


While New Orleans prepares to welcome Mardi Gras revelers from all over the world, the city of Metairie prepares to welcome families to its annual Family Gras Festival.


Founded in 2007, Family Gras is a three-day festival that ushers in the first weekend of parades in Metairie. It showcases music from local and national artists, food, and fun activities for the young and young at heart. It is held on the neutral grounds across the street from Lakeside Mall at the intersection of Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Severn Avenue. Past performers who have come to celebrate Family Gras include Amanda Shaw, The Drifters, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and members of the Electric Light Orchestra. Family Gras 2016 saw Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork of The Monkees celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band with their first visit to Metairie.


This year’s lineup includes Tony Orlando, who performed at the first Family Gras in 2007, 60’s groups The Cowsills and The Association, as well as local artists Paris Avenue and Creole String Beans.

Family Gras 2017 runs from Friday, Feb. 17 – Sunday, Feb. 19. It is free and open to the public. Costumes are welcomed and encouraged.


The following parades that will pass along the Family Gras Festival Site are as follows:


                                                Krewe of Excalibur – Friday, Feb.17

Krewe of Athena – Friday, Feb.17

Krewe of Caesar – Saturday, Feb. 18

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