Bayou St. John
This waterway used to be a dirty tract populated by alligators and submerged vehicles. It’s a lot cleaner now, though -- and while swimming is discouraged, floating on a raft, paddleboarding or simply lounging by the water are optimal ways to take in the scene at the Bayou Boogaloo festival, where musicians perform on multiple stages.
Cost: $10 at the door or $20 for a three-day pass
Hellenic Cultural Center
There’s a 5K race, crafts, live music and a climbing wall -- but the real star of this long-running festival is the Greek food. Pomegranate iced tea, gyros, feta fries, baklava sundaes, dolma, goat burgers -- if you don’t bring your appetite, you’re doing it wrong. And if you don’t bring your appetite or your togo, you’re even more wrong.
Cost: $5 to $8 depending on the day
Pride might not be New Orleans’ oldest LGBTQ celebration (that honor goes to Southern Decadence, which takes place during the Labor Day weekend), but it is the largest LGBTQ parade in the South. In addition to the parade, expect block parties, all-night dance-a-thons, and rainbows, rainbows everywhere.
Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
It may not come as a surprise that a city with a vibrant strip club scene is also host to a thriving pole dance community. Advanced and aspiring aerialists can expect workshops, seminars, presentations, and an exhibition hall devoted to all thin or $95 for ages 5 to 17.