Festivals in New Orleans

No city’s parties beat the festivals held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Home to more than 130 annual festivals and events, the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is one big year-round party town. Although Mardi Gras is indisputably the most famous and well-attended of them all, it is certainly not the only festival in the Crescent City.

From Cultural, musical, artistic, religious, culinary, and philanthropic, the festivals celebrated in NOLA all have one thing in common…

No city’s parties beat the festivals held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Journey through the year with this list of some of the hottest festivals and cultural events New Orleans has to offer.

Arts Festivals

Art and New Orleans go hand in hand. Almost every festival, even those not claiming to be centered around creativity, still feature art booths and galleries. Here are a few unique takes on art appreciation you can visit in the Crescent City.

Whitney White Linen Night is celebrated the first Saturday in August in the Warehouse District. In the years before air conditioning, the residents of New Orleans took to wearing the coolest color in the most cooling fabric available; thus, the white linen look. The throngs of white linen-clad patrons honor the talented local artists and galleries all along Julia Street. Food and Drink sales go to benefit the Arts District of New Orleans and the CAC.

Dirty Linen Night follows White Linen Night and moves on over to Royal Street. Participants wear their dirty linens and stroll the streets viewing art galleries and art pieces from contemporary to antique. Don’t forget to pick up a bowl of dirty rice while you sip your dirty martini, too.

Art for Art’s Sake Luna Fete is a chic street party located on Magazine and Julia Streets in October. The many colorful art galleries in the area participate in this evening event. Food vendors, cash bars, music, and entertainment fill the streets for this celebration of art for art’s sake.

Algiers Folk Art Festival is observed in November and showcases the regional folk art and talented local artists. No festival in New Orleans is complete without food, drink, and live music to turn the showing into an event. See the founder and famed self-taught artist Charles Gillam whose art is known worldwide. Highlights of Gillam’s collection include his own “Blue Greats” series. 

Music Festivals

New Orleans is the city that brought jazz to the world, so naturally, the music festivals are all the rage. Too numerous to mention, here are a few of the popular music festivals.

French Quarter Festival is held for four days each April, entertaining thousands of visitors, and locals alike. From the Riverfront to Jackson Square, festival-goers celebrate the community’s arts, culture, food, and music. With over 300 musical acts, the line-up includes music of almost every type. There is something for everyone at this grand French Quarter style celebration of music.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is the famed “Jazz Fest” held at the end of April and lavishly attended since it was first held in 1970. Multiple stages rock all types of music… and food? Well, you must see it to believe it. Festival favorites include samplings of Cajun, Creole, and other New Orleans delights. Arts and Crafts accompany food and music as the guests stroll through the party.

Freret Street Festival is nestled between Napoleon Avenue and Soniat Street on the first Saturday in April. This gathering offers fun for the entire family. Four stages blast the sounds of New Orleans as festival-goers visit the booths of over 200 local artists and chefs. 46 businesses in the area open their doors to shoppers and shows. It is a day you won’t soon forget.

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is a unique Halloween event held in City Park. With four performance areas, visitors will hear from music legends like Pearl Jam, Metallica, Kiss, and more. Each stage displays an interactive art area, and even more, art is located throughout the park. You can grab some of New Orleans authentic food and drink and stretch out on the lawn to hear a concert. And if you are interested, get your cards read too!

Food & Drink Festivals

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is one of the most extravagant events of the year. Each Spring, the event features food and wine from around the world. This 5-day festival boasts 250 wineries and 100 of the most excellent restaurants all participating in style. At the Royal Street Experience, guests enjoy a walk through one of the French Quarter’s most elaborate streets teeming with music, fine foods, and art galleries. Take in a food and wine pairing seminar while you are there! You won’t be disappointed.

Louisiana Seafood Festival is the Labor Day event to attend. Under the live oaks, City Park is filled with music, dancing, arts and crafts, and seafood, seafood, and more seafood! The cooking pavilion features celebrity chef demonstrations while the music plays.

Fried Chicken Festival is all about… fried chicken! No matter how you like your chicken fried, there is something for the mild to the spicy in everyone. This event is a family-friendly outdoor festival held in September at Woldenberg Park. If you like fried chicken, music, and fun, this is the festival for you!

Boudin, Bourbon, & Beer provides for one single day of absolute food delight. Emeril Lagasse founded this day to raise monies for his foundation, and it has proved to be a delicious hit in New Orleans. Come and experience your first bite of boudin and sample the varieties offered by the many chefs on property. And, of course, no festival would be complete without music and dancing!

Multicultural Festivals

Essence Festival is scheduled at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome over the Fourth of July weekend. This three-day extravaganza hosts music performances from artists like Puff Daddy, Mary J. Blige, and Beyonce to inspirational speakers, all gathering to have conversations about race, gender, and culture. Listen to the speeches at the Empowerment Experience and attend seminars at the Essence Expo Experience.

Oktoberfest is precisely what you think it is. Oktoberfest celebrates all things, German. Come and sample the German food, music, dancing, costumes, and culture and even drink beer from a stein. Stretched out over three weekends, you are sure not to miss this annual event.

Carnival Latino celebrates the Hispanic culture of New Orleans. Held each October, musical and dance acts perform with local talent and others from around the globe. The Krewe of Quetzal kicks off the celebration with a parade, “Desfile de Las Americas.” On Saturday, you can watch as the Hispanic community dons elaborate costumes in a fantastic street parade.

Treme/7th Ward Arts and Culture Festival begins every May and lasts for two fun-filled days of neighborhood music and food. These two days boast tours, bar crawls, a Gospel Breakfast, and even a Congo Square second line. Eat, drink, dance, and share in the rich history of these lively neighborhoods.

LGBT Festivals

Southern Decadence is the biggest gay event in the New Orleans area stretching out six days over Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy cocktails and entertainment through the weekend. You won’t want to miss the Southern Decadence Parade with its elaborate and intricate costumes and flamboyant style.

New Orleans Pride kicks off every June in the welcoming city of New Orleans. Parades run through the French Quarter and end with dining events and burlesque shows.

Mardi Gras Bourbon Street Awards draws people out in colorful and flamboyant costumes ready to show their spirit. Ensembles compete for prizes and glamour. As the most famous Drag-Queen contest in America, there is fun to be had by participants and spectators alike.

Saints and Sinners Literary Festival is an event sponsored by the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival to promote awareness for HIV/AIDS. LGBTQ writers from around the globe come to show their work and compete for prizes. The event focuses on boosting emerging LGBTQ writers and providing them with a chance to interact with other writers and gain exposure.

Other Festivals

Festivals for a good cause are another reason to love the people of New Orleans. The Crescent City turns out in force to support the causes they believe in.

Hogs for the Cause is the nation’s primary pediatric brain cancer fundraiser. BBQ chefs from all over the country gather to show off their BBQ skills and raise money for the children. Held in late March, this 2-day event draws infamous musicians and chefs. You won’t go wrong coming out to support this worthwhile event.

Earth Fest is presented by the Audubon Nature Institute and is a spring festival held on the first of March. Here, guests will learn more about preserving the environment. Exhibitors come from far and wide to teach visitors about the various non-profits and businesses embracing care for the planet. Held at the Zoo, you are sure to have a great day learning how to care for the earth.

Red Dress Run is presented by the New Orleans Hash House Harriers and starts at Crescent Park. Participants dress up in red dresses and adornments to walk or run with a drink in their hand. This charity event is sure to be a good time, ending the event with a lively celebration.

Festigals is an all-girl event empowering woman of all backgrounds. The charity raises funds for various issues related to women! And of course, food and drink are available to keep the VIP ladies fueled for their shopping day and friendship.

A Festival Conclusion: 

If you weren’t in the mood for a party before reading this article, you sure are now. There are so many lively and diverse festivals in New Orleans; it is impossible to choose just one. The spirit of New Orleans comes alive in these brilliant street parties and events. There is something for everyone!

More festivals like the Buku Music & Arts Project, the NOLA Downtown Music & Arts Festival, and Satchmo Summerfest feature the best food, art, and music New Orleans has to offer.

With so many to choose from, you can’t schedule just one trip!

Come out to NOLA and Fest with the Best the Crescent City has to offer!

The post Festivals in New Orleans appeared first on Bayou Swamp Tours.


Popular posts from this blog

Wildlife of the Louisiana Swamp Lands Series: Reptiles

Bayou Swamp Tours