Visitors to New Orleans are often awestruck by the beauty of the city's many historic, elegant and attractive houses. However, during most of the year, all they get to see is the exterior of these homes. That's because most of these homes are privately owned and occupied and they are normally off-limits to the general public.
However, once a year, during the Annual Spring Fiesta and Historic Home Tour, some of these homes are opened up for public tours. For one week, in the early spring, visitors have an opportunity to explore the interiors of 20 privately owned homes in the French Quarter, Uptown and the Garden District. Visitors get to experience the grandeur of the past and see what a New Orleans home might have looked like a century or more ago.
A leader in cultural tourism since 1937, the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association is a non-profit organization with a simple mission: "To preserve and share the cultural heritage of New Orleans, to promote the preservation of the region's history and historic architecture, and to educate others regarding the importance of that history."
The highlight of the Spring Festival is a daylong series of events designed to entertain, educate, and allow all to revel in the cultural heritage that is uniquely New Orleans. The festival includes a parade of horse-drawn carriages through the French Quarter and the presentation of the Spring Fiesta Queen and her court at Jackson Square.
During this time, also, the city gets to display its history, charm and uniqueness through educational and entertaining presentations and events. Spring Fiesta is a time when New Orleans opens its heart and homes to visitors from all over the world, inviting them to explore its many fine homes, enchanting courtyards and elegant gardens during an azalea-filled spring. Tours of private homes, gardens and courtyards complete the remainder of the activities.
The New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association maintains headquarters in a beautiful 19th century townhouse located at 826 St. Ann Street in the historic Vieux Carré (French Quarter). This townhouse, built prior to 1844 as a Creole Cottage, was remodeled in 1851 when the second floor was added, along with the present Greek Revival adornments. This beautiful house boasts of a lovely courtyard fountain, garconniere, large double-parlors, and an elegant dining room. A breathtaking spiral staircase leads upstairs to a library and three bedrooms.