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Everything Y'all Should Do in New Orleans This Fall

Published On 09/01/2016 Published On 09/01/2016
September
Jazz in the Park
Jazz in the Park | Leon Ritter / Shutterstock.com

September

Thursday - Thursday
Sep 8-Nov 3
Armstrong Park
Since New Orleans blessed the world with the invention of jazz (the first truly American art form), it’s only fitting that the city should celebrate it. Check out free performances every Thursday -- as always, this year’s lineup is a great one, featuring everyone from The Soul Rebels to Russell Batiste, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, and John Papa Gros.
October
Oak Street Po-Boy Fest
Oak Street Po-Boy Fest | Flickr/Zander White/OakStreet Nola

October

Friday - Sunday
Oct 7-16
Various locations
October’s Hell Yes Fest features a week’s worth of great local and national comics at various venues around the city. This year you can catch everyone from the people behind the “Guys We F****d” podcast all the way to Neil Hamburger, The Eric Andre Show, and Sarah Silverman.
Wednesday - Thursday
Oct 12-20
Various locations
From the country’s first movie theater -- Vitascope Hall on Canal St. -- to Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer and today’s atmosphere of NOLA being “Hollywood South,” movies have always had a special place in this city’s heart. Whether you dig comedy, drama, docs, or experimental film, you’ll find all of them here, with a proper focus on indie film and filmmakers, especially those with a focus on Louisiana.
Friday - Sunday
Oct 14-16
Lafayette Square
We can’t let cities like Memphis have all the fun when it comes to slow-smoked meats and hot live blues, now can we? The blues game in New Orleans is strong, as are its BBQ offerings, and you can enjoy both -- together! -- at this annual event that’s free to the public, leaving you plenty of wallet space for ribs, Cajun sausages, and cochon de lait to go with your hot guitar licks.
Saturday
Oct 22
Marigny to the Warehouse District
Because there’s so much going on every All Hallow’s Eve in NOLA, the official Halloween Parade -- with float artwork by Kern Studios that would rival Carnival -- always happens the Saturday before the actual holiday... which is fine with us, because that means more opportunities to costume! (Like there weren’t enough already in this town.)
Friday - Sunday
Oct 28-30
City Park Festival Grounds
Around Halloween comes the biggest weekend for rock fans and metalheads in NOLA with the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, once a modest little fest, now a shredding behemoth. Some huge acts are headlining this year, from Tool to Arcade Fire and The Weeknd, but don’t be too shy to check out some of the less-famous acts on their way up, so you can tell everyone that “You saw them on a side stage at Voodoo years ago.”
Sunday
Oct 23
Oak St. between Carrollton and the Riverbend
Though the fest typically happens around Thanksgiving, it’s a bit earlier this year, meaning the weather should be spectacular for filling your gullet with every kind of po-boy in creation, plus live music on multiple stages all day. Last year’s winners included everything from roasted lamb shoulder to catfish meuniere, kung pao pork, and something called a “Baby Maker.”
Friday - Sunday
Oct 28-30
The Foundation Room, The Parish, The Voodoo Garden
Dubbed “The Ultimate Weekend of Vampire Culture” (no, really), the Endless Night Vampire Ball is the ne plus ultra of bloodsucking culture. Every year, this goth-tastic fest seems to get more elaborate, as do the costumes. The agenda includes a vampire court, vampire salon, the titular ball, and a VIP masque event and “diamond banquet” on Sunday.
Monday
Oct 31
Molly’s at the Market, French Quarter
Jim Monaghan’s annual parade is where people really get freaky on Halloween in NOLA. The costume contest alone, held at the Erin Rose bar, is worth your time and attention. But don’t enter if you’re not planning to come correct, because New Orleanians do NOT mess around when it comes to costuming, and Halloween is the second biggest day for it all year.
November
Treme Creole Gumbo Festival
Treme Creole Gumbo Festival | Flickr/derek bridges

November

Thursday - Sunday
Nov 3-13
Various locations
The Faux/Real Festival (formerly Fringe Fest) is a citywide showcase for local independent talent that might not find a wide audience elsewhere. And by talent, that includes everything under the umbrella of theater, dance, literature, food, and drink.
Friday
Nov 4
Champions Square
Along with chefs Donald Link, Stephen Stryjewski and John Currence, chef Emeril Lagasse made a magical mix of alliterative treats to describe this festival, where 60 of the nation's best chefs and their crews crowd Champions Square adjacent to the Superdome offering samples of all three of these magnificent substances. Of course, there’s a stellar music lineup to boot.
Saturday
Nov 5
Armstrong Park
The original Caribbean festival of New Orleans returns once more with all the foods and rhythms you love, highlighting soca music and dances of the region. The free parade rolls down Canal St through the Quarter, with masqueraders dancing to the beat of steel drums, at the end of which you’ll find plenty of tasty Caribbean treats.
Monday
Nov 7
Mickey Markey Park
Also known as a “chayote,” the mirliton is a squash-like gourd beloved by the people of south Louisiana, mostly because we like to cram it full of seafood stuffing (yum). Not only is it family-friendly and free, but this festival celebrates all day with great music -- holla, Kermit Ruffins! -- food, and art at a time when the weather here is usually spectacular.
Wednesday - Sunday
Nov 9-13
Hotel Monteleone
If you’re an avid enthusiast of the literary arts, then you’ll no doubt love the lineup of events and authors, which includes everything from readings to workshops and panel discussions, as well as music.
Saturday - Sunday
Nov 12-13
Armstrong Park
Should you be on the hunt for the finest gumbo offerings around, be they roux-based, file-based, or even (gasp!) vegetarian, hit this festival in the Treme. In addition to the fine eats, this is the city’s premier showcase for brass bands and will include hot acts like Rebirth Brass Band, New Breed Brass Band, Soul Brass Band, and plenty more.
Thursday
Nov 24
Spend Thanksgiving day at the track
Spend Thanksgiving day at the track
Fairgrounds Race Course
Head over to the Fairgrounds on opening day, which coincidentally also happens to be Thanksgiving. Dress to the nines (no white linen or seersucker, for shame!), especially when it comes to suits and hats.
Tuesday
Nov 29
Start your winter with a glow at the Waldorf Wonderland Lobby Lighting
Start your winter with a glow at the Waldorf Wonderland Lobby Lighting
While it may never be a white Christmas in NOLA, that doesn’t mean this town can’t get into the holiday spirit in style. And the best way to do precisely that is to check out the annual kindling of the holiday lights in the Roosevelt’s block-long French Quarter lobby, a tradition dating back to the 1930s featuring 44 birch trees festooned with 22,000 lights.