Out + About
Edible altars, five food fests and one Tough Mudder.
Despite its name and Spanish-influenced architecture, the French Quarter was known as “Little Italy” during the late 19th century, due to its large Sicilian population. Each March the city celebrates its Italian heritage by erecting St. Joseph altars in honor of the patron saint Sicilians prayed to during the Middle Ages to stave off famine. Visit one of New Orleans’ many Catholic churches on St. Joseph Day (March 19)—from St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square to St. Alphonsus in the Irish Channel—and you’ll see massive tiered tributes laden with food offerings prepared by parishioners. But altars aren’t just confined to religious spaces. You’ll also spot them at the International House Hotel (March 13-20; p. 63), the Beauregard-Keyes House (March 16-18; p. 45) and Avo (March 18; p. 28), among other locations.