Registration for these events closed on October 26.

Special Events

Welcome Reception at The National WWII Museum

Tuesday November 27, 5:30–8:30pm

NAI invites you for an evening of hors d’oeuvres, a second-line brass-band parade, and a private museum tour as we open our 2018 conference with a welcome reception at The National WWII Museum.

Join us as we kick-off the evening New Orleans style with a second-line parade! Meet us at the Marriott and join in the fun as we march through the French Quarter behind the “Sound of Crescent City,” a New Orleans brass band, and end at the WWII Museum for a reception and special private tour of the Campaigns of Courage and the Louisiana Memorial Pavilions! 

The WWII Museum will be closed to the public so that you may mingle with colleagues as you experience the immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories taking you inside the story of the war that changed the world. The reception will start with hors d’oeuvres and drinks in the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion—a re-created 1940s train station that is the perfect introduction to the museum experience, inviting you to follow in the footsteps of new recruits on their way to war. Continue to The Arsenal of Democracy: The Herman and George R. Brown Salute to the Home Front exhibit on the second floor. After you’ve experienced the war from the home front step into the Campaigns of Courage Pavilion which features exhibits that tell the story of the war from the bitter setbacks in the first desert battles in North Africa, to the struggle at Germany’s doorstep. Walk through the galleries in the Road to Berlin exhibit with recreated environments and battlefields where Allied forces fought—taking you inside the story of how the war was won.

4:30pm: Second-line parade line up outside of the Marriott (Please note: the parade is included with the welcome reception however to participate you must sign up for separately. To meet regulations the second line is maxed at 300 participates).
4:45pm: Parade begins 
5:15–8:30pm: A bus will be provided at the Marriott for those with mobility issues. For those not participating in the second-line parade, the WWII is an easy 20 min walk from the Marriott. 

What to Wear: Your favorite New Orleans–style hat! Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes. 
Price: $25 (includes second-line parade, appetizers and housemade pastries, and entry to the museum; cash bar available).
Guest Tickets: $65


November 28

Calling all Nature Lovers! 

Enjoy hot dogs, s’mores, a planetarium show, and a night hike

Join us for an evening at the newly reopened Audubon Louisiana Nature Center for a night that starts off with a weenie roast, then takes you on a journey into space with the popular The Universe in our Backyard planetarium show and ends with a guided night “hike” on the nature trails as you learn about native plants and Louisiana’s unique ecosystems. And perhaps see what inhabitants live in the park and come out at night time!

Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Cost: $54
Maximum Number of Participants: 29
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and walking shoes
Accessible: Yes, though some areas of the nature center may be hard to maneuver
Meals: Campfire treats
Transportation: Provided
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America’s Most Haunted City: A Tour of the French Quarter

Venture into the realm of the unknown by touring “America’s most haunted city.” Experience the French Quarter after dark through the enthralling storytelling of the city’s most informed raconteurs. Based in fact, all tales are accurately conveyed, providing superb history lessons that transition into some of the most chilling narratives ever told. As frightening as it is enticing, this tour visits the sites of some of the city’s most legendary hauntings, such as the Ghost in Pirates Alley, the Lalaurie Mansion, the Witch of the French Opera, the Ghost of the Quadroon Mistress, Pere Dagobert of St. Louis Cathedral, Tujague’s Restaurant, the site of several legendary hauntings, including Julian Eltinge, the cross-dressing ghost and the spectre of General P.G.T Beauregard.

Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Cost: $22
Maximum Number of Participants: 90
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Yes, this is a guided walking tour of the city; some city streets may be hard to maneuver
Transportation: Guided walking tour

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Food, Fun, & Folklore: With every dish comes a story

Rich in folklore and traditions, New Orleans is known for its food, and with every dish comes a story. Sit back and enjoy an evening learning about the origins of Creole and Cajun food traditions as a skilled chef prepares a classic meal for you. This is a private group for our attendees only where you will learn how to make chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, chicken and smoked sausage jambalaya, bananas foster, and original pralines while you hear about the vibrant history of interpreting New Orleans cuisine—over a nice cold amber beer! 

Time: 7:00–9:00pm 
Cost: $45
Maximum Number of Participants: 68
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing, comfortable walking shoes
Accessible: Yes, a short walk to the site is required; some city streets may be hard to maneuver
Meals: Dinner included
Transportation: Participants will walk from hotel (approx. 10 minutes)
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Scandalous Cocktail Hour Tour

New Orleans is birthplace of the cocktail and home to the nation’s most shocking and riveting history. Join us for an exploration of the city’s storied watering holes such as Pat O’Brien’s, the Carousel Bar, Jean Lafitte Blacksmith Shop, and others to discover where, why, and how legendary libations from the Sazerac to the Roffignac and the Grasshopper were first concocted. One drink is included; others are available for purchase along the route.

Time 7:00–9:30pm
Cost: $28 
Maximum Number of Participants: 48
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing, comfortable walking shoes
Accessible: Yes, this is a guided walking tour of the city; some city streets may be hard to maneuver 
Meals: No food, one drink is included
Transportation: Participants will walk from hotel
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Explore the Musical Heritage of the Cajuns and Creoles - CANCELLED

First Cousins Screening & Dance Lessons

Join us for a special screening of the film First Cousins followed by a unique opportunity for Q&A with the director, Dr. Moriah Istre, as well as dance lessons featuring Creole zydeco, Louisiana waltz, Cajun two-step, and more!

First Cousins explores the musical heritage of Cajuns and Creoles, south Louisiana’s French-speaking people who have shared tunes, swapped instruments, and danced in each other’s arms for generations. In private moments and in packed dance halls, some of the region’s most beloved musicians reveal the passion they share for making music and carrying on family traditions.

With roots reaching all the way back to Africa, Europe, and French Canada over the past three centuries, the solid trunk of Louisiana’s Creole and Cajun music has flourished into a family tree with inextricably intertwined branches. A little too distant for siblings, these communities and their music are surely related enough to be considered first cousins.

All proceeds contribute to the preservation and promotion of the multicultural heritage of south Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole communities.

Time: 7:00–9:30pm
Location: Marriott Hotel
Cost: $20
Maximum Number of Participants: 100
Suggested Gear: Dancing shoes
Accessible: Yes
Transportation: Event is located in the Marriott Hotel
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Laissez les bons temps rouler avec de la biére

Let the good times roll with beer!

The Crescent City has a long connection with beer and a 175-year brewing history. Where better to explore what has been called the greatest invention in the history of mankind than the historic French Quarter? We’ll delve into the fascinating and thirst-quenching history of brewing in the Big Easy. New Orleans is firmly established as the Brewing Capital of the South. Tastemaster, brewer, and NAI member Ira Bletz will be the guide by our side as we look at the history, lore, and mythology of beer and brew craft. Learn (and taste) the difference between lagers, pilsners, ales, and stouts. Ira will describe the brewing process, share colorful folk tales, and point out how beer is responsible for modern civilization. He will also explain how beer, like interpretation, will shape and improve our future and could possibly save the world.

If you have not had the opportunity to attend one of Ira’s interpretive beer events before, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to be part of NAI history. This popular program fills up fast, so register soon! Food and 10 beer tasters are included.

Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Cost: $65
Maximum Number of Participants: 50
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Yes, a short walk to the site is required; some city streets may be hard to maneuver
Meals: Appetizers and 10 beer tasters included
Transportation: Participants will walk from hotel
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Percussion Jam Session

Creating music together using the global language of percussion

From the church bells of Europe to the singing drums of West Africa, percussion instruments have been used as a way to communicate, to celebrate, and to bring communities together. In this fun evening event, we’ll create music with each other using the global language of percussion.

Bring your own drums, shakers, or other instruments, or come ready to tap your feet and clap your hands. As we play together, we’ll introduce ways to foster inclusion, understand your audience, and tell stories through this powerful, primal non-verbal communication tool.

Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Location: Marriott Hotel
Cost: Free for conference attendees 
Maximum Number of Participants: 100 
Suggested Gear: Drums, shakers, or other instruments (if you have them)
Accessible: Yes 
Transportation: Event is located in the Marriott Hotel

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Voodoo Tour

The Voodoo Tour will begin in Jackson Square with a guided walking tour of historical French Quarter buildings, including the home of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, the Old Ursuline Convent, the home of Madame LaLaurie, and some of the hidden burial grounds that were the first cemeteries in New Orleans. Along the tour your guide will discuss voodoo history and practices in New Orleans, the legacy of Marie Laveau, family stories, carnival street traditions, Creole history and culture; with key references to New Orleans history, music, celebrations, cuisine, and architecture.

The tour will end at the Laveau Family Shrine with a view of real voodoo altars where you will experience some components of voodoo rituals. Each guest will receive a Gris Gris Bag (voodoo charm for good luck) blessed by Voodoo Queen Kalindah Laveaux.
Time: 7:00–9:00pm
Cost: $40
Maximum Number of Participants: 35
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: No
Transportation: Participants will walk from hotel

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NAI 5K Fun Run

Thursday, 7:00am–[depends how fast you run!]
Cost: $25 (includes T-shirt)

Get some exercise, meet new runner/walker friends, and most importantly, add a race T-shirt to your collection! Walk, run, jog, or sign up just for the shirt and skip the run altogether. This is your chance to be part of NAI’s second 5K Fun Run! Proceeds support NAI scholarships through the Journey Home campaign.

NAI Professional Awards Banquet 

Friday, November 30
Acadia Ballroom, Marriott Hotel

Join us for a night of drinks, food, fun, and live entertainment featuring popular NOLA singer Miss Sophie Lee as we celebrate the best in interpretation. Help us celebrate the accomplishments of our colleagues as we honor the 2018 NAI Fellow, Master Interpretive Manager, Master Front-Line Interpreter, Outstanding New Interpreter, Outstanding Senior/Retired Interpreter, and Outstanding Interpretive Volunteer awards.

Price: $15 (Unfortunately, due to no-shows and wasted dinners in past years, we require a small charge to attend. Included in this small fee is a $80-dollar plated dinner and entertainment.)
Guest Price: $60

Menu Choices

  • Herb roasted chicken breast stuffed with spinach, prosciutto, oven-dried tomato and mozzarella on pappardelle pasta with lemon thyme cream and broccolini
  • Blackened Gulf catch, squash creole with Gulf shrimp, tomato, okra and Cajun rice pilaf 
  • Roasted Mediterranean vegetable tart with marinara sauce and fresh parmesan (vegetarian)
  • Indian vegetable chili with lemon-Basmati rice (vegan/gluten free)

Meals are served with a salad and dessert—your choice of New Orleans’ traditional bananas foster or bread pudding with bourbon sauce.


2018 NAI National Conference
New Orleans, Louisiana

November 27 – December 1


New Orleans Marriott
555 Canal Street
Book a room in NAI's room block.

Single/Double $149 (plus taxes)
Triple – add $25
Quad – add $50

Interested in Sponsorships or Advertising?

Contact NAI Events Manager Michele Farmer at or 970-484-8283 x805.

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