New Orleans Events

New Orleans EventsNew Orleans offers many exciting events throughout the year. From Mardi Gras to Jazz Fest, plus several food and music festivals, there are plenty of opportunities to let the good times roll in The Big Easy.

Festival Flings
After the excitement of Mardi Gras dies down, visitors to New Orleans still have plenty of chances to revel. There are several exciting festivals held in New Orleans each spring. Look out for food-themed festivals, like the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, and the French Market Creole Tomato Festival. Many festivals in New Orleans are held outside in warm weather, so be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and cool water to make the most of your day.

You can also look forward to hearing plenty of live music in New Orleans. The most popular music festival is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This two-week long extravaganza features local, national, and international musicians, plus dozens of delicious food stands and artisan vendors. The event has grown in popularity since its humble beginnings in 1970 and now draws up to 450,000 revelers annually. For a slightly more low-key fest, try the French Quarter Festival, which fills the historic streets of the French Quarter with stages, food stands, and street performers for one busy spring weekend each year. A newer festival, the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, is held on the banks of Bayou St. John near New Orleans City Park. There's nothing quite like floating down the bayou in a rented canoe listening to the sweet sounds of New Orleans jazz on a sunny spring afternoon! The Boogaloo, like several of the other annual festivals, also features plenty of local crafts, gifts, and tasty treats for sale.

Second Lines and Sunshine
Throughout the year, you can catch a number of "second line" parades in New Orleans. These festive events take their name from an old tradition of funeral marches. According to tradition, the family of the deceased would hire a band and march behind the musicians to celebrate the life of the person they have just lost. Then, neighbors and friends would join in the parade, creating a "second line" of celebrants. Today, you'll find these parades all across the city. Many of them are open to the public and attract a huge number of dancers, musicians, and spectators looking to have a unique, memorable time in New Orleans.

Though New Orleans has long been a draw for the bacchanalian festivities of Mardi Gras, you can find exciting events happening all year-round.