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Music and cultural festivals sweep the nation in April

Beyonce made a surprise appearance at Coachella 2014 and danced with her sister Solange.
Beyonce made a surprise appearance at Coachella 2014 and danced with her sister Solange.
Photo by Christopher Polk

April is a great month for various festivals and events throughout the country and worldwide. Although the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. has officially concluded, visitors to the nation’s capital can still view the beautiful cherry blossom trees, which were a gift from the Japanese in 1912 as an enduring sign of friendship between the people of Japan and the United States, as they are in full bloom.

Below is a roundup of various events and festivals for lovers of music, food and fun.

NOLA Jazz Fest
NOLA Jazz Fest Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

NOLA Jazz Fest

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: April 25-May 4, New Orleans, Louisiana.

This star-studded festival actually hosts its events from April 25-27 and May 1-4, 2014. Dating back to 1970, Mahalia Jackson, often called the greatest gospel singer, returned to her hometown to appear at the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April of 1970 and it has grown ever since that time.

The event will have numerous stages and performances featuring both local and world-renowned artists including: Bruce Srpingsteen & The E Street Band, Christina Aguilera, Santana, Arcade Fire, Eric Clapton, Foster the People, Robin Thicke, Trey Songz, Phish, Chaka Khan, Lyle Lovett, Public Enemy, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, among others. This is, of course, in addition to the famed New Orleans cuisine that will be prominent at the event.

Single day tickets are $55 when purchased in advance. Fair Grounds Race Course, 10 minutes from French quarter. Various hotels are offering special room rates. Visit http://www.nojazzfest.com/ for more information.

Coachella
Coachella Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Coachella

Coachella

Coachella: April 18-20, Coachella Valley, California.

Formally known as Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which began in 1999, the second weekend of this famed music festival is this coming weekend and will conclude on Sunday. During the first weekend (last weekend), surprise performances included Beyonce dancing with her sister Solange, and a Jay Z performance.

The lineup includes Outkast reunion, Arcade Fire, Skrillex, Pharrell Williams, Nas, Foster the People, Calvin Harris. Coachella Valley is just a short 30-minute jaunt from the heart of Palm Springs. Tickets are probably sold out but may be able to score some through seller sites. Or, if those pricey passes are just not in your budget, you can watch live online on one of three different YouTube channels. Visit www.coachella.com for more information.

Fiesta San Antonio
Fiesta San Antonio Copyright © by the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission

Fiesta San Antonio

Fiesta San Antonio: April 10-27, San Antonio, Texas.

The Fiesta San Antonio tradition began in 1891 and has taken place every year except for 1918 during WW1 and 1942-1945. According to the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, each April, more than 3 million people participate in this 11-day, rich San Antonio tradition of over 100 events and 3 parades honoring the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto, as well as the diverse culture of San Antonio.

One of the parades, the 66th Annual Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade, will take place on Saturday, April 26. There will be live music throughout the Fiesta, along with food and fun. Visit http://www.fiesta-sa.org/ for more information.

Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival Image Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival: Today, April 16-27, Tribeca, New York.

This lower Manhattan Festival starts today with a bang. Opening night at the Beacon Theatre is featuring film Time is Illmatic, a music documentary about New York rapper Nas. Capping off the evening, after the world premiere of the film, Nas will perform his legendary Illmatic in its entirety in front of the sold-out crowd. The event is sponsored by Hennessy V.S and Beats Music, and the documentary is directed by artist One9.

Tickets are still available for film screenings and events. Please visit http://tribecafilm.com/festival for more details.

Vidalia Onion Festival
Vidalia Onion Festival Photo by Hope S. Philbrick

Vidalia Onion Festival

Vidalia Onion Festival: April 24-27, Vidalia, Georgia.

The Vidalia Onion is the official state vegetable of Georgia and each spring, food lovers from across the nation anticipate the harvest of the famous Vidalia Onion. The Vidalia community celebrates the occasion with a 4-day festival that has been featured on The Food Network and recognized as one of the Five Don’t-Miss Festivals Across the U.S. by MSNBC, according to the Festival's webpage.

The 3rd Annual Golden Onion is a competition where 10 Georgia chefs compete to showcase the Vidalia Onion. And music artist Uncle Cracker will be performing on April 26. Please visit http://www.vidaliaonionfestival.com/ for more information.