Events

Your Comprehensive 2016 Guide to the Best Fests in New Orleans

Published On 02/18/2016 Published On 02/18/2016
St. Patrick's Day Parade | Flickr/skooksie

Date

Event

Location

Mar 5 Sat

Spring Fiesta Fancy tours of historic homes in the French Quarter, Garden District, and Uptown. Not exactly a rager, but if you dig architecture, it’s a real corker. Saturday-Sunday only.

Multiple locations

Spring Fiesta Multiple locations Fancy tours of historic homes in the French Quarter, Garden District, and Uptown. Not exactly a rager, but if you dig architecture, it’s a real corker. Saturday-Sunday only.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 11 Fri

Buku Music and Art Project If you like EDM, this is the place to get all up in that. Come supplied with glow sticks and water.

Central Business District/Irish Channel riverfront

Buku Music and Art Project Central Business District/Irish Channel riverfront If you like EDM, this is the place to get all up in that. Come supplied with glow sticks and water.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 11 Fri

St. Patrick’s Day Parade This parade naturally takes place in a neighborhood dubbed “The Irish Channel,” and you’ll be advised to watch out for flying cabbages, potatoes, and onions, because those are likely going to come careening at your head.

Irish Channel

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Irish Channel This parade naturally takes place in a neighborhood dubbed “The Irish Channel,” and you’ll be advised to watch out for flying cabbages, potatoes, and onions, because those are likely going to come careening at your head.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 19 Sat

Congo Square New Worlds Rhythms Festival You can’t deny the importance of African culture to the City of New Orleans, and this celebration honors this aspect of the city’s heritage with motion, sound, and really good food, to boot.

French Quarter/7th Ward/Treme

Congo Square New Worlds Rhythms Festival French Quarter/7th Ward/Treme You can’t deny the importance of African culture to the City of New Orleans, and this celebration honors this aspect of the city’s heritage with motion, sound, and really good food, to boot.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 20 Sun

Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday St. Joseph’s Day is a hallowed tradition in New Orleans, and the best place to see the beautifully decked-out Indians, who work all year on their glorious costumes.

Central City

Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday Central City St. Joseph’s Day is a hallowed tradition in New Orleans, and the best place to see the beautifully decked-out Indians, who work all year on their glorious costumes.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 27 Sun

Easter Parades New Orleanians don’t need much of a reason to wear costumes, but the combination of fluffy bunnies and Shriners in little cars is a special temptation.

French Quarter

Easter Parades French Quarter New Orleanians don’t need much of a reason to wear costumes, but the combination of fluffy bunnies and Shriners in little cars is a special temptation.

Date

Event

Location

Mar 30-Apr 3

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival This is worth attending if you enjoy the written word, but really for the “Stella!” shouting contest right in Jackson Square.

French Quarter

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival French Quarter This is worth attending if you enjoy the written word, but really for the “Stella!” shouting contest right in Jackson Square.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Wednesday at the Square Concert Series A free outdoor concert series every week for three months, complete with art vendors, great food, and more fun. Yes, please.

Central Business District

Wednesday at the Square Concert Series Central Business District A free outdoor concert series every week for three months, complete with art vendors, great food, and more fun. Yes, please.

French Quarter Fest | Flickr/skooksie

Date

Event

Location

Apr 1 Fri

Hogs for the Cause The biggest BBQ festival, contest, and concert in the area, and you don’t even have to feel guilty for pigging out, because it all benefits sick kids. Win/win.

“City Pork,” Mid-City

Hogs for the Cause “City Pork,” Mid-City The biggest BBQ festival, contest, and concert in the area, and you don’t even have to feel guilty for pigging out, because it all benefits sick kids. Win/win.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 2 Sat

Freret Street Fest There was a time when this stretch of Uptown real estate was... sketchy to say the least. No longer: celebrate the renewal of the Freret corridor with over 150 artists, food vendors, and three stages of live music.

Uptown

Freret Street Fest Uptown There was a time when this stretch of Uptown real estate was... sketchy to say the least. No longer: celebrate the renewal of the Freret corridor with over 150 artists, food vendors, and three stages of live music.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 2 Sat

Foodfest A relatively new NOLA fest, Food Fest gets serious points for bringing talented chefs from around the nation to participate in the local culinary scene.

French Quarter

Foodfest French Quarter A relatively new NOLA fest, Food Fest gets serious points for bringing talented chefs from around the nation to participate in the local culinary scene.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 3 Sun

Brunch Fest NOLA If you want to help out animals while eating enough brunch to satiate a walrus, then Brunch Fest is directly up your alley. This free-admission fest features live music from Messy Cookers Jazz Band, Shades of Praise and Gospel Choir, among others, as well as brunch foods, breakfast cocktails, brunch-inspired costumes, and even a Bloody Mary Contest, all to benefit the Louisiana SPCA.

City Park

Brunch Fest NOLA City Park If you want to help out animals while eating enough brunch to satiate a walrus, then Brunch Fest is directly up your alley. This free-admission fest features live music from Messy Cookers Jazz Band, Shades of Praise and Gospel Choir, among others, as well as brunch foods, breakfast cocktails, brunch-inspired costumes, and even a Bloody Mary Contest, all to benefit the Louisiana SPCA.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 7 Thu

French Quarter Festival FQF is put on by the same folks as Jazz Fest, but it’s free to the public, which makes it the best free music and food festival in NOLA.

French Quarter

French Quarter Festival French Quarter FQF is put on by the same folks as Jazz Fest, but it’s free to the public, which makes it the best free music and food festival in NOLA.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 14-Jun 2

Jazz in the Park Concert Series You like free music? Of course you do. This Thursday concert series is a fun one, and this year it includes everyone from Raw Oyster Cult to Glenn David Andrews, and of course Rockin’ Dopsie.

Armstrong Park

Jazz in the Park Concert Series Armstrong Park You like free music? Of course you do. This Thursday concert series is a fun one, and this year it includes everyone from Raw Oyster Cult to Glenn David Andrews, and of course Rockin’ Dopsie.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 22-May 1

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Oh yeah, this is the big one, the granddaddy of NOLA festivals. Expensive, sure, but so worth it. Especially this year... Stevie freaking Wonder, ya heard?! (Weekends only.)

Mid-City

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Mid-City Oh yeah, this is the big one, the granddaddy of NOLA festivals. Expensive, sure, but so worth it. Especially this year... Stevie freaking Wonder, ya heard?! (Weekends only.)

Bayou Boogaloo | Flickr/alanosaur

Date

Event

Location

May 6 Fri

Whitney Zoo-To-Do Nothing like attending a black tie event with a bunch of party animals, especially when they’re, you know... actual animals. This benefit for the beloved Audubon Zoo tends to attract a well-heeled, animal-loving set.

Audubon Zoo

Whitney Zoo-To-Do Audubon Zoo Nothing like attending a black tie event with a bunch of party animals, especially when they’re, you know... actual animals. This benefit for the beloved Audubon Zoo tends to attract a well-heeled, animal-loving set.

Date

Event

Location

May 20 Fri

Bayou Boogaloo You haven’t experienced the glories of Bayou St. John until you’ve done it while drinking and listening to music while you float around in a canoe.

Mid-City

Bayou Boogaloo Mid-City You haven’t experienced the glories of Bayou St. John until you’ve done it while drinking and listening to music while you float around in a canoe.

Date

Event

Location

May 26 Thu

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience NOWFE has made a big name for itself in recent years as a nationally notable food and drink fest, which is saying something in a city like NOLA.

French Quarter, Various

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience French Quarter, Various NOWFE has made a big name for itself in recent years as a nationally notable food and drink fest, which is saying something in a city like NOLA.

Date

Event

Location

May 27 Fri

Greek Fest In all honesty, this is one of the best festivals in New Orleans history, mostly because of the spit-roasted lamb, wine, dancing, and copious baklava. Opa!

Fillmore

Greek Fest Fillmore In all honesty, this is one of the best festivals in New Orleans history, mostly because of the spit-roasted lamb, wine, dancing, and copious baklava. Opa!

Oyster Festival | Flickr/TreasureLA

Date

Event

Location

Jun 4 Sat

New Orleans Oyster Festival How could NOLA not celebrate its favorite bivalve with a festival? With dozens of dozens (see what we did there), you can’t go wrong, even if June isn’t especially known as “oyster season.”

French Quarter

New Orleans Oyster Festival French Quarter How could NOLA not celebrate its favorite bivalve with a festival? With dozens of dozens (see what we did there), you can’t go wrong, even if June isn’t especially known as “oyster season.”

Date

Event

Location

Jun 17 Fri

New Orleans Pride Festival New Orleans has always has a strong, vibrant LGBT presence, and this fest is a testament to just that.

French Quarter

New Orleans Pride Festival French Quarter New Orleans has always has a strong, vibrant LGBT presence, and this fest is a testament to just that.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 18 Sat

Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival Ayiiiii!! Throw on your boots, grab that washboard, and get ready for some serious two-stepping at this celebration of all things Cajun.

Armstrong Park/Treme

Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival Armstrong Park/Treme Ayiiiii!! Throw on your boots, grab that washboard, and get ready for some serious two-stepping at this celebration of all things Cajun.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 30-Jul 3

ESSENCE Festival People drive, fly, and probably walk to NOLA from all over the country for this music festival celebrating rap, R&B, and hip hop. I mean, what else would you expect from the city that essentially invented bounce?

French Quarter/Various

ESSENCE Festival French Quarter/Various People drive, fly, and probably walk to NOLA from all over the country for this music festival celebrating rap, R&B, and hip hop. I mean, what else would you expect from the city that essentially invented bounce?

Date

Event

Location

TBA

French Market Creole Tomato Festival It’s all about the poisonous love apple (read: tomato) at this fest, which is a beautiful thing -- especially a perfectly ripe, in-season tomato. Mmm.

French Quarter

French Market Creole Tomato Festival French Quarter It’s all about the poisonous love apple (read: tomato) at this fest, which is a beautiful thing -- especially a perfectly ripe, in-season tomato. Mmm.

Tales of the Cocktail | Hotel Monteleone

Date

Event

Location

Jul 4 Mon

Independence Day French Quarter Fireworks Nothing says “'Murca!” like explosions, and there will be plenty down by the river, as custom dictates.

French Quarter

Independence Day French Quarter Fireworks French Quarter Nothing says “'Murca!” like explosions, and there will be plenty down by the river, as custom dictates.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 8 Fri

San Fermin en Nueva Orleans Yes, we have a “running of the bulls” in NOLA, only the bulls are actually roller derby girls who will kick. your. ass. Obviously, it’s a terrific time.

Central Business District

San Fermin en Nueva Orleans Central Business District Yes, we have a “running of the bulls” in NOLA, only the bulls are actually roller derby girls who will kick. your. ass. Obviously, it’s a terrific time.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Bastille Day Fete With its rich French history, you know that people in New Orleans never miss an opportunity to drink wine, eat cheese, and enjoy our French heritage with abandon.

TBD

Bastille Day Fete TBD With its rich French history, you know that people in New Orleans never miss an opportunity to drink wine, eat cheese, and enjoy our French heritage with abandon.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 19 Tue

Tales of the Cocktail What began as a modest gathering of mixology minds looking to hone their craft has become, in no subtle way, the most prominent gathering of bartenders and booze brands in the nation (if not the world). It's a hooch-soaked weekend of tastings, seminars, and of course parties, all based at the famous Hotel Monteleone. Even if you're not in the industry, it's something worth seeing.

French Quarter/Various

Tales of the Cocktail French Quarter/Various What began as a modest gathering of mixology minds looking to hone their craft has become, in no subtle way, the most prominent gathering of bartenders and booze brands in the nation (if not the world). It's a hooch-soaked weekend of tastings, seminars, and of course parties, all based at the famous Hotel Monteleone. Even if you're not in the industry, it's something worth seeing.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 28 Thu

Festigals This one is literally all about the ladies, a celebration of female pride in the Big Easy created by women for women. Expect fabulous dining, dancing, drinking, arts, culture, and seminars from successful women from all walks of life.

Various locations

Festigals Various locations This one is literally all about the ladies, a celebration of female pride in the Big Easy created by women for women. Expect fabulous dining, dancing, drinking, arts, culture, and seminars from successful women from all walks of life.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

French Film Festival Do you enjoy black-and-white films about cigarette smoking and existential ennui? Great -- this is the fest for you. OK, even if you just dig Francophile cinema (both past and present, and even tenuously connected to French culture), you should check this out.

Prytania Theater

French Film Festival Prytania Theater Do you enjoy black-and-white films about cigarette smoking and existential ennui? Great -- this is the fest for you. OK, even if you just dig Francophile cinema (both past and present, and even tenuously connected to French culture), you should check this out.

Southern Decadence | Flickr/John Hobbs

Date

Event

Location

Aug 1 Mon

COOLinary New Orleans It’s less of an actual festival than the greatest dining deal in town, with hundreds of local restaurants serving special menus on the cheap during the (generally terrible) month of August. If you have to be here then, this should ease the pain a bit.

City-wide

COOLinary New Orleans City-wide It’s less of an actual festival than the greatest dining deal in town, with hundreds of local restaurants serving special menus on the cheap during the (generally terrible) month of August. If you have to be here then, this should ease the pain a bit.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 4 Thu

Satchmo SummerFest This town would be a sad shadow of itself if it wasn’t for the influence of beloved local musical hero Louis Armstrong. We even named the freaking airport after him. And now, there’s a killer festival to celebrate his talent, artistry, and contributions to NOLA. This isn’t one to miss.

French Quarter/Various

Satchmo SummerFest French Quarter/Various This town would be a sad shadow of itself if it wasn’t for the influence of beloved local musical hero Louis Armstrong. We even named the freaking airport after him. And now, there’s a killer festival to celebrate his talent, artistry, and contributions to NOLA. This isn’t one to miss.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 6 Sat

Whitney White Linen Night New Orleanians don’t need much prompting to enjoy the more artistic things in life, but this event, which opens up galleries all throughout the arts district downtown, is surely a reason to don a crisp white ensemble and get your party on.

Central Business District

Whitney White Linen Night Central Business District New Orleanians don’t need much prompting to enjoy the more artistic things in life, but this event, which opens up galleries all throughout the arts district downtown, is surely a reason to don a crisp white ensemble and get your party on.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 13 Sat

Red Dress Run This, friends, is reason alone to keep in shape until August. Bust out that little red dress (and of course your best red wig and other accessories) and enjoy this charity run, which boasts one of the best after-parties in town.

Downtown

Red Dress Run Downtown This, friends, is reason alone to keep in shape until August. Bust out that little red dress (and of course your best red wig and other accessories) and enjoy this charity run, which boasts one of the best after-parties in town.

Date

Event

Location

Aug 13 Sat

Dirty Linen Night Not to be outdone by White Linen Night, this fest started as a way to bring the same artistic enthusiasm to Royal St galleries, and it has a decidedly looser feel. Which -- of course -- we absolutely love.

French Quarter

Dirty Linen Night French Quarter Not to be outdone by White Linen Night, this fest started as a way to bring the same artistic enthusiasm to Royal St galleries, and it has a decidedly looser feel. Which -- of course -- we absolutely love.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

New Orleans Sushi Festival An entire college sports arena filled with Japanese culture, crafts, and of course dozens of local restaurants offering fare from the Land of the Rising Sun? Sign. Us. Up.

UNO Lakefront Arena

New Orleans Sushi Festival UNO Lakefront Arena An entire college sports arena filled with Japanese culture, crafts, and of course dozens of local restaurants offering fare from the Land of the Rising Sun? Sign. Us. Up.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival This end-of-summer fest is a great way to pretend that summers in NOLA actually end in August (it’s really like early November). Still, always a great show!

Warehouse District/Central Business District

NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival Warehouse District/Central Business District This end-of-summer fest is a great way to pretend that summers in NOLA actually end in August (it’s really like early November). Still, always a great show!

Date

Event

Location

Aug 31-Sep 5

Southern Decadence Time to bust out those rainbow flags! Every Labor Day Weekend in NOLA, the LGBT community has a massive downtown fest, and the city gets super sparkly and fun.

French Quarter/Various

Southern Decadence French Quarter/Various Time to bust out those rainbow flags! Every Labor Day Weekend in NOLA, the LGBT community has a massive downtown fest, and the city gets super sparkly and fun.

Flickr/Casey Bisson

Date

Event

Location

Sep 2 Fri

Louisiana Seafood Festival As if you needed a reason to celebrate the embarrassment of riches that is the seafood scene in South Louisiana, this festival just wants to put a big ol’ exclamation point on the fact that we’re blessed with America’s best shrimp, crawfish, oysters... you name it. Plus there’s no admission charge and tons of great live music. Sold American.

French Quarter

Louisiana Seafood Festival French Quarter As if you needed a reason to celebrate the embarrassment of riches that is the seafood scene in South Louisiana, this festival just wants to put a big ol’ exclamation point on the fact that we’re blessed with America’s best shrimp, crawfish, oysters... you name it. Plus there’s no admission charge and tons of great live music. Sold American.

Date

Event

Location

Sep 12 Mon

We Live to Eat Restaurant Week This September cousin to COOLinary NOLA is another great time to unleash your inner foodie on the city, with all kinds of ridiculous dining deals from dozens of local eateries.

City-wide

We Live to Eat Restaurant Week City-wide This September cousin to COOLinary NOLA is another great time to unleash your inner foodie on the city, with all kinds of ridiculous dining deals from dozens of local eateries.

Date

Event

Location

Sep 15 Thu

New Orleans Burlesque Festival New Orleans has been rocking a serious burlesque scene since the “Storyville” days of yore, and that hasn’t changed a peep, especially when it comes to this cheeky fest (OK, we’ll stop now).

Various Venues

New Orleans Burlesque Festival Various Venues New Orleans has been rocking a serious burlesque scene since the “Storyville” days of yore, and that hasn’t changed a peep, especially when it comes to this cheeky fest (OK, we’ll stop now).

Date

Event

Location

Sep 24 Sat

NOLA on Tap New Orleans might have taken a while to up its craft beer game, but up she goes, as is evidenced by this killer brew festival, which is the largest free-admission beer festival in the region, serving over 400 national, local, and home-brewed beers. Plus, they’re setting up games, bands, and contests -- and the whole thing raises funds for the Louisiana SPCA. Drink beer for charity, y’all!

City Park

NOLA on Tap City Park New Orleans might have taken a while to up its craft beer game, but up she goes, as is evidenced by this killer brew festival, which is the largest free-admission beer festival in the region, serving over 400 national, local, and home-brewed beers. Plus, they’re setting up games, bands, and contests -- and the whole thing raises funds for the Louisiana SPCA. Drink beer for charity, y’all!

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience | Flickr/Leighrowan

Date

Event

Location

Oct 1 Sat

Art for Arts' Sake Galleries from Julia St to the Warehouse District and Magazine St open up for this one-evening extravaganza. Totally worth checking out.

Various Locations

Art for Arts' Sake Various Locations Galleries from Julia St to the Warehouse District and Magazine St open up for this one-evening extravaganza. Totally worth checking out.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Tremé Fall Fest The neighborhood known as Tremé is an important center of the city’s Creole and African-American community, and is the historic home of many important jazz musicians, including Kermit Ruffins and Alphonse Picou. This relatively new festival seeks to ensure that the area’s culture is duly celebrated -- with music and food, of course.

Tremé

Tremé Fall Fest Tremé The neighborhood known as Tremé is an important center of the city’s Creole and African-American community, and is the historic home of many important jazz musicians, including Kermit Ruffins and Alphonse Picou. This relatively new festival seeks to ensure that the area’s culture is duly celebrated -- with music and food, of course.

Date

Event

Location

Oct 10 Mon

Carnival Latino Viva Nueva Orleans! Sure, everyone knows that NOLA has a deep connection to the French, but we also have Spain to thank for much of our culture, art, and architecture. There’ll salsa and merengue dancing -- and naturally a parade -- as well as plenty of opportunities to nibble delicious Spanish-influenced cuisine (mmm, chicharrones). Carnival Latino makes sure that nobody forgets the influence of Espana on New Orleans.

TBD

Carnival Latino TBD Viva Nueva Orleans! Sure, everyone knows that NOLA has a deep connection to the French, but we also have Spain to thank for much of our culture, art, and architecture. There’ll salsa and merengue dancing -- and naturally a parade -- as well as plenty of opportunities to nibble delicious Spanish-influenced cuisine (mmm, chicharrones). Carnival Latino makes sure that nobody forgets the influence of Espana on New Orleans.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Oktoberfest Given the extremely strong French and Spanish influence on the region’s cuisines and traditions, few people realize that the Germans have contributed significantly to South Louisiana culture as well. So as everywhere else in the world celebrating Oktoberfest, NOLA of course throws its (green, feathered) hat into the ring with abandon.

Deutches Haus NOLA

Oktoberfest Deutches Haus NOLA Given the extremely strong French and Spanish influence on the region’s cuisines and traditions, few people realize that the Germans have contributed significantly to South Louisiana culture as well. So as everywhere else in the world celebrating Oktoberfest, NOLA of course throws its (green, feathered) hat into the ring with abandon.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

New Orleans Film Festival They don’t call the Big Easy “Hollywood South” for nothing. We make a whole lot of movies down here, and in fact, NOLA was the first American city to pioneer movie houses, so of course we celebrate that rich cinematic history with a local film festival.

Citywide

New Orleans Film Festival Citywide They don’t call the Big Easy “Hollywood South” for nothing. We make a whole lot of movies down here, and in fact, NOLA was the first American city to pioneer movie houses, so of course we celebrate that rich cinematic history with a local film festival.

Date

Event

Location

Oct 14 Fri

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival What could possibly make eating barbecue any better? Doing so outside on a beautiful day with hot, live, blues blasting.

Central Business District

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Central Business District What could possibly make eating barbecue any better? Doing so outside on a beautiful day with hot, live, blues blasting.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Words and Music Festival So you have that great novel burning a hole in your head, just itching to get out? Perhaps the next A Confederacy of Dunces? Head to WMF to meet with prominent authors, get some tips from publishing professionals, and help you take that next step. For inspiration, it's located at the Faulkner House in Pirate's Alley, which now of course houses a gorgeous indie bookstore. Also, there's music. Because it's New Orleans.

Faulkner House

Words and Music Festival Faulkner House So you have that great novel burning a hole in your head, just itching to get out? Perhaps the next A Confederacy of Dunces? Head to WMF to meet with prominent authors, get some tips from publishing professionals, and help you take that next step. For inspiration, it's located at the Faulkner House in Pirate's Alley, which now of course houses a gorgeous indie bookstore. Also, there's music. Because it's New Orleans.

Date

Event

Location

Oct 28 Fri

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience Outside of Jazz Fest, Voodoo is probably the biggest showing of national (and international) acts to pass through the Crescent City. So, you know, it’s kind of a big deal. But an important note from the organizers about bringing flags, as is traditional: “Plastic poles are all that are allowed. If you show up with some Braveheart sticks and you’re not William Wallace, you’re going to have to bring them back to your car.”

Various venues

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience Various venues Outside of Jazz Fest, Voodoo is probably the biggest showing of national (and international) acts to pass through the Crescent City. So, you know, it’s kind of a big deal. But an important note from the organizers about bringing flags, as is traditional: “Plastic poles are all that are allowed. If you show up with some Braveheart sticks and you’re not William Wallace, you’re going to have to bring them back to your car.”

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade Well, this is just a no-brainer, isn’t it? In a city that loves to costume like no other place in the country, you know for sure that Halloween is an especially colorful time.

Downtown

Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade Downtown Well, this is just a no-brainer, isn’t it? In a city that loves to costume like no other place in the country, you know for sure that Halloween is an especially colorful time.

Po-Boy Festival | Flickr/oakstreetmainstreet

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Mirliton Festival Known to some as a “chayote,” this humble local gourd is a staple ‘round these parts, and has been for generations. Hence the festival. As my father used to tease me, “Wake up, wake up, you big cochon, it’s time to pick dee mirliton!”

Bywater

Mirliton Festival Bywater Known to some as a “chayote,” this humble local gourd is a staple ‘round these parts, and has been for generations. Hence the festival. As my father used to tease me, “Wake up, wake up, you big cochon, it’s time to pick dee mirliton!”

Date

Event

Location

Nov 4 Fri

Faux/Real Festival Theater, literature, food, and drink. What more do you want? Are you not entertained?

Various locations

Faux/Real Festival Various locations Theater, literature, food, and drink. What more do you want? Are you not entertained?

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Boudin, Bourbon & Beer Leave it up to a city like NOLA to have a festival solely devoted to three of the most wondrous and wonderful substances to pass through human lips. It is a magical combo, and of course celebrated for charity. We don’t want to be too selfish, right?

TBD

Boudin, Bourbon & Beer TBD Leave it up to a city like NOLA to have a festival solely devoted to three of the most wondrous and wonderful substances to pass through human lips. It is a magical combo, and of course celebrated for charity. We don’t want to be too selfish, right?

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival By November, it’s starting to get a little chilly in NOLA (meaning the mercury drops below about 60F), so what better time for a good bowl of gumbo?

Treme

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival Treme By November, it’s starting to get a little chilly in NOLA (meaning the mercury drops below about 60F), so what better time for a good bowl of gumbo?

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival It took little more than a couple of years for this upstart fest, in support of local businesses on the Oak St corridor, to become one of the city’s most popular events. It’s pretty spectacular, even when compared to other hallowed New Orleans food and drink festivals, which is saying a lot. Go early, and go hungry. There will be lines.

Uptown/Riverbend

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival Uptown/Riverbend It took little more than a couple of years for this upstart fest, in support of local businesses on the Oak St corridor, to become one of the city’s most popular events. It’s pretty spectacular, even when compared to other hallowed New Orleans food and drink festivals, which is saying a lot. Go early, and go hungry. There will be lines.

Flickr/pakgwei

Date

Event

Location

Dec 1 Thu

Christmas New Orleans Style From hotel deals to arts markets and Reveillon Dinners, NOLA is just the best place to be during the holidays. Don’t miss out this December, if you’re lucky enough to be here.

City-wide

Christmas New Orleans Style City-wide From hotel deals to arts markets and Reveillon Dinners, NOLA is just the best place to be during the holidays. Don’t miss out this December, if you’re lucky enough to be here.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee For as much as we enjoy touting the sophistication of our populace, New Orleans is still, in fact, part of the state of Louisiana. Which means we like setting things on fire, naturally. Whether or not you dance around them, these traditional Xmas bonfires on the banks of the Mississippi are an impressive sight behold.

The Levee

Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Levee The Levee For as much as we enjoy touting the sophistication of our populace, New Orleans is still, in fact, part of the state of Louisiana. Which means we like setting things on fire, naturally. Whether or not you dance around them, these traditional Xmas bonfires on the banks of the Mississippi are an impressive sight behold.

Date

Event

Location

Dec 31 Sat

New Year’s Eve Head to the French Quarter on NYE to watch the ball drop -- well, not exactly over a place that’s infinitely warmer than Times Square: Jax Brewery. Bonus: drinking outside is both a legal and cherished local tradition. Take that, NYC!

French Quarter

New Year’s Eve French Quarter Head to the French Quarter on NYE to watch the ball drop -- well, not exactly over a place that’s infinitely warmer than Times Square: Jax Brewery. Bonus: drinking outside is both a legal and cherished local tradition. Take that, NYC!