It’s not healthy to eat king cake — but it is good for you! How, you ask? Well, when you eat king cake at the annual King Cake Festival, proceeds from each and every slice benefit children and babies at Ochsner Hospital.

So, put your healthy New Year’s Resolutions aside on January 28, 2018, and head to Champions Square for this fun, free festival. We’ve got all the details below!

king-cake

King Cake is the star of the show at King Cake Festival! (Photo via Flickr user Phil Denton)

2018 King Cake Festival

What

The 5th Annual King Cake Festival is a free event open to the public. Pay per piece of king cake, and indulge in this sweet festival benefitting Ochsner Hospital, which was named the best children’s hospital for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Although entrance is free, tasting tickets are required if you’d like to sample any cakes. The fee is $10 for 10 tasting tickets, and each piece of cake costs 1 ticket.

Where

This outdoor fest takes advantage of the cool (but not too cold!) weather that New Orleans experiences during the winter months. Festival grounds are at Champions Square outside the famed Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

When

On Saturday, January 28, 2018 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Champions Square will transform into a veritable bakery!

The Food

Now, the important part! King Cake Festival is all about king cake — that seasonal, cinnamon-y treat that New Orleans serves up during Mardi Gras, which runs from January 6 until February 13 this year. King cake comes in all shapes and sizes, from the traditional, French Gallette du Rois to cakes stuffed with cream cheese and draped in purple, green, and gold frosting. There are also flavor variations like Bananas Foster, apple, chocolate, and more. This year, King Cake Festival will feature slices from lauded newcomer Bywater Bakery, classic favorite Haydel’s Bakery, Caluda’s King Cake, and many others. Check out the full list here.

The Festivities

New Orleans festivals are about more than just the food. At King Cake Festival, you can count on music from amazing local talent like Big Sam’s Funky Nation. And, if you’re worried about the extra calories, you can earn your dessert by participating in a fitness-focused Gladiator Run or an easier Fun Run.

Bonus: A Bit About the Baby

Traditionally, New Orleans king cakes come with a small baby figurine baked right inside. Whoever finds the baby in their slice gets a dose of good luck — and is on the hook to buy the next king cake for friends and family! However, during King Cake Festival, slices will likely not feature any babies due to safety concerns.

Need a place to stay during King Cake Festival? Our hotel is just a few blocks from Champion Square. We’d love to host you during our famed Mardi Gras season!