New Orleans is the type of city where, whether blood-related or not, every one realizes they are part of a greater family united by music, food and love for each other.
Scholars have traced reunion traditions back to the importance African peoples place on extended families and to the need for blacks to maintain ties with relatives in the face of slavery’s divisiveness. In the modern age, the success of Alex Haley’s Roots helped give new energy to the tradition of reunions. Because individual family members increasingly move to different cities to pursue careers and because Hurricane Katrina blew many tight-knit New Orleans clans far and wide, the desire to hold family reunions back in a city that truly feels like home is more important than ever.
Rediscover the places that you gathered with family members when you were younger; if you’re not originally from New Orleans, create new traditions in a city that welcomes visitors with open arms. Fill your cravings for that great New Orleans comfort food - home cooked or purchased from your favorite local restaurant, you know it will taste better back in New Orleans.
The many beautiful open spaces of New Orleans are perfect for family BBQs and picnics: Audubon Park, City Park, the Fly, Congo Square, and Woldenberg Park, to name a few. Certain spots have open pavilions, picnic tables, grilling areas, and other facilities. Each family seems to have its favorite area to set up.
New Orleans has many events that work to unite people from all aspects of life, not just families. From Jazz Fest to Essence Fest, and everything in between, visitors often run into old college buddies, high school classmates, sorority sisters, former co-workers, and on and on. New Orleans celebrates life, culture, and heritage on a daily basis through food, music, and artwork - providing the perfect opportunity and atmosphere for families and friends to celebrate each other as well.