Catch a Ed Sheeran or any of these local favorites in concert
You want terror? You want terror? Well, Ed Sheeran himself is going to be crooning in the Superdome on Halloween night, and if that Suffolk accent and that scruffy ginger beard and that tender guitar don’t leave you trembling in fear, I’m just not sure what will. If you’d like to keep your lady to yourself, you might also consider Galactic at Tipitina’s, Quintron and Miss Pussycat at One Eyed Jack’s, or Goatwhore at Southport Music Hall just over the Jefferson Parish line, all on Halloween night.
Cost: Ticket prices vary.
South Louisiana is, at heart, a deeply Roman Catholic place, and even in all of our ridiculous revelry, we tend to follow the church cycles of feast and fast. Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, is paired with All Saint’s Day, sometimes called La Toussaint around here, from the French. On this day families head out to their family tombs in the famous above-ground cemeteries to spruce the place up. Weeds get pulled, new flowers get planted in the pots, prayers are said, and sometimes bands even play. Nearly all of the local Catholic cemeteries offer Catholic masses at some point during the day. All are welcome to watch, but remember that you cannot take communion in a Catholic ritual if you aren’t a baptized or converted Catholic (if you’d like a blessing, simply join in line with everyone else during communion time but cross your arms over your chest when you get to the front -- the priest will gladly bestow one).
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are an international sisterhood of LGBTQ+ (and allied) street performers and performance artists and general rabble-rousers who raise money for charities and call attention to issues of sexuality and gender-based intolerance. They do their own All Saints Day thing in New Orleans, starting at Mags 940 bar, making a stop to honor the departed saints at the New Orleans AIDS Memorial in Washington Square Park, and then meandering through the French Quarter. Participants are encouraged to bring a memento of a person they’ve lost for the mobile altar (a photo or trinket is ideal) and to costume as they feel called. Like all proper New Orleans-style remembrances of those lost, it’s one where sadness and joy twist their way together and it’s worth seeing.
So the “Day of the Dead” is a bit of a misnomer -- in most Latin American countries, this All-Hallows/All-Saints-adjacent celebration lasts from October 31st to November 2nd, give or take, which allows for a bit of wiggle room, and this inaugural festival, held by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, will be held on the Saturday after Halloween out at the Baby Cakes field, allowing families to keep the holiday celebrations going a bit longer. There’ll be all kinds of family events on offer: music, food, shopping, and all sorts of entertainment, as well as a costume contest and an ofrenda (an offerings altar), where the greater community is encouraged to bring mementos of those who have passed.