Celebration is at the heart of the New Orleans experience and it is said that New Orleans residents should have five good costumes ready to go at any given time. In New Orleans, we celebrate everything from oysters and tomatoes to music and history. Whether you have the requisite five costumes on hand or just some flip-flops and shades, grab a friend and head on out to these fall hits:
Southern Decadence Festival: August 31-September 5, 2016Southern Decadence Festival returns to New Orleans' French Quarter over Labor Day Weekend. The largest LGBT event in New Orleans, Decadence events primarily take place on the streets and are free. Weekend passes can also be purchased for admission to The Bourbon Pub and the Parade. Events include DJ sets, the Southern Decadence Parade, contests and more.
Louisiana Seafood Festival: September 2-4, 2016
This three day festival celebrates Louisiana's rich culinary heritage with an incredible lineup that includes local and national acts, a 4,000square foot pavilion with celebrity chef demonstrations, food and beverages from some of the best vendors in the state, an arts and craftsvillage and a children's tent. The event is free and open to the public, so come hungry!
New Orleans Burlesque Festival: September 15-18, 2016
A city famous for its nightlife, New Orleans celebrates its performers with the New Orleans Burlesque Festival. Burlesque was a main attraction in the French Quarter from the ‘40's through the ‘60's, and New Orleans was one of the first cities to participate in a modern-day revival of burlesque. The festival was founded in 2009, and the main event is the competition, where the best burlesque dancers in the world compete to be the Queen of Burlesque. Other events include showcases, workshops, panel discussions and parties.
Fried Chicken Festival: September 25, 2016
The inaugural Fried Chicken Festival is set to take place on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at Lafayette Square, located in the Central Business District of New Orleans. FCF is a free outdoor festival that brings food, music, family and festivities together, all in celebration of the classic southern dish. The festival will include events such as the Fried Chicken Wing Eating Contest and the Best Fried Chicken Contest, which will be judged by local and national food writers, bloggers and critics. In addition, there will be live entertainment and more than 20 restaurants providing their own unique twist on the beloved dish.
Art for Arts' Sake: October 1, 2016
Held by the Contemporary Arts Center, Art for Art's Sake is a celebration of art in New Orleans where 30,000 art lovers peruse galleries on Julia and Magazine Streets and then the Contemporary Arts Center. The event is meant to kick off the Arts season and is held the first Saturday in October.
Treme Festival: October 1-2, 2016
The Treme Festival was developed by the Historic Faubourg Treme Association to benefit the many cultural destinations found with the historic community of Treme with this year's proceeds benefitting St. Augustine Church and the Tomb of the Unknown Slave. Expect great art, music and food at this local festival, including performances by Treme Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, John Boutte, James Andrews and many more.
Hell Yes Comedy Festival: October 7-16, 2016
If you're looking for laughs in New Orleans, look no further than Hell Yes Fest. The New Movement's Hell Yes Fest will bring together a myriad of standup, sketch and improv performers from all over the country at venues throughout the city. Comedians include Giulia Rozzi, Sean Patton,Colt Cabana and many more.
Gretna Heritage Festival: October 7-9, 2016
The Gretna Heritage Festival presented by Cox spans 25 blocks and features seven stages with performances by international and local favorites. Rides, arts and crafts, children's activities and food will all be offered. Purchase tickets online.
Carnaval Latino: October 8, 2016
A celebration of the extraordinary Latin Music and our city`s Hispanic heritage and culture. Carnaval Latino will be held in the Downtown and French Quarter areas, the historic and vibrant heart of the City of New Orleans.New Orleans Film Festival: October 12-20, 2016
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the New Orleans Film Festival, where over 22,000 attendees flock to interact with filmmakers and their work. The festival prides itself as a discovery festival where overlooked films find a home. The growth of the festival is also reflected in the growth of the local film industry, or "Hollywood South," and the festival has only benefitted from it.
Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival: October 14-16, 2016
In its ninth year, the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival takes place at Lafayette Square Park. The event is free and open to the public and features a variety of blues performers from Los Lobos to Mel Waiters to Bobby Rush. The festival is produced by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, and no pets, coolers, or outside food or drink are allowed.
Oak Street Poboy Festival: October 23, 2016
Restaurants and poboy connoisseurs from around the city come out to Oak Street for this gathering of the city's best poboys alongside live music. Chefs compete for the best poboy in various categories, includingBest Shrimp, Best Specialty Seafood and Best Oyster, so come hungry!Halloween New Orleans: October 27-30, 2016
Halloween New Orleans brings a series of fundraising events to the Big Easy during Halloween weekend, including the Lazarus Ball, a dance night and the titular costume contest and parade. All of the proceeds from Halloween New Orleans benefit the Lazarus Project, a home in New Orleans for men and women with AIDS. Over the past 30 years, Halloween New Orleans has raised over $4.6 million for the project.Voodoo Music + Art Experience: October 28-30, 2016
Second only to Jazz Fest in attendance, Voodoo books top contemporary popular music acts to perform over Halloween weekend in New Orleans. The festival's motto is "Worship the Music," and the worship takes place on the Festival Grounds at City Park. However, the festival does not stop with music - interactive art displays are featured throughout the festival grounds. Festival-goers can even camp on the fairgrounds to experience the festival in its entirety. Local vendors provide food and crafts at the festival as well.Faux/Real: November 3-13, 2016
Faux/Real is an arts festival in the city of New Orleans that celebrates the creative artists of Theatre, Literature, Food, and Drink. Our mission is to curate three weeks of top-tier performances, readings, tastings, and parties in one of the most thrilling and unique cities on Planet Earth: New Orleans. New Orleans is a city of experiences-a place where the event is the thing and you have to be there to believe it.
Join well-known authors, editors, agents and entertainers in celebratingWilliam Faulkner, who honed his craft in a Pirate's Alley apartment in the French Quarter.
Treme Gumbo Festival: November 12-13, 2016
Treme, popularized by the HBO show of the same name, has long maintainedits cultural distinctness, and there is no better way to celebrate the neighborhood than with some live jazz and gumbo. Hosted by the same organization as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Treme Gumbo Fest promises a stellar lineup of gumbo, traditional and contemporary jazz and arts vendors. There's even a Vegan Gumbo contest to satiate meat-free festival-goers.