Festival Calendar

JANUARY

ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL: JANUARY 2, 2017
Each year, college football fans gather in New Orleans for the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Sugar Bowl is a member of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and has hosted several BCS national championship games previously.

FEBRUARY

MARDI GRAS: FEBRUARY 28, 2017
In New Orleans, a town famous for its French Quarter and Bourbon Street, for hot Cajun and Creole cuisine and for cool Dixieland jazz, one event surpasses them all as the city's legendary signature piece - Mardi Gras! It's a season of revelry and romance, of madness and music, of parades and parties, of comic costuming in the streets and grandiose private masquerade balls. Mardi Gras is a time when the gaudy and the gorgeous all come together for one gigantic blowout. From the regal to the ridiculous, New Orleans Mardi Gras has it all! 

MARCH

WEDNESDAYS AT THE SQUARE: MARCH -JUNE 2017
Spread a blanket out on the grass of Lafayette Square and rub elbows with the after-work crowd while seeing live performances and watching the sun set. For 12 weeks in the spring and early summer, discover what "WATS" is all about and from September to November, experience "Harvest the Music." These festivals offer free outdoor concerts from 5-8 p.m., rain or shine. 

SOUL FEST: MARCH 2017
Celebrate the wonderful legacy of African American food, music and culture that we've all come to know as soul food and soul music. More than 20,000 people flock to the Audubon Zoo to see live musical performances by local Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Gospel artists at our Capital One Stage! Arrive hungry because there's tons of food with southern flair, including fried Louisiana alligator kabobs, pork chops po-boys and sweet potato pies.  

BUKU MUSIC + ART PROJECT: MARCH 2017
A newer event to the New Orleans festival scene is the fifth annual BUKU Music + Art Project, a progressive music and arts festival featuring local and national artists such as Pretty Lights, Fetty Wap, Kid Cudi and more. Located at Mardi Gras World, the festival also offers the BUKU Graffiti Wall, indigenous art exhibits, local cuisine and a unique VIP section on a historic steamboat on the Mississippi River. Visit the website for more information on this 18+ event. 

ST. PATRICK'S DAY: MARCH 17, 2017
Irish immigrants traveled to New Orleans in droves in the 1800's and made powerful contributions to the city's culture and infrastructure. Each year during St. Patrick's Day, the city shows its appreciation by taking to the streets for a series of parades and block parties in honor of the Irish. Beads, candy, stuffed animals as well as cabbage, carrots, and onions are tossed from floats proving that parades in New Orleans are something you have to experience at least once! 

CONGO SQUARE/NEW WORLD RHYTHMS FEST: MARCH 18-19, 2017
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents the seventh annual Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival in Armstrong Park. This free event celebrates the cultural diversity of New Orleans and the melting pot of traditions that gave rise to our unique music. Featuring the music and dance of Africa, the Caribbean, the American Gulf South and beyond in this two-day, family-friendly festival. 

SPRING FIESTA AND HISTORIC HOME TOURS: MARCH 2017
Homes not usually open to the public will be part of this year's tours. Experience the grandeur of the past as you walk through these French Quarter treasures. 

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS/NEW ORLEANS LITERARY FESTIVAL: MARCH 22-28, 2017
This celebration of New Orleans literary heritage offers master classes, panels and theatrical performances. The festival honors Tennessee Williams' memory and encourages contemporary writers with a one-act play competition and a fiction/short story competition. 

SAINTS AND SINNERS LITERARY FESTIVAL: MARCH 24-26, 2017
This annual LGBT literary festival has merged with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival in 2015 to celebrate the literary arts concurrently. Saints and Sinners brings a variety of LGBT speakers and writers to the city. Saints and Sinners is a don't-miss for master classes, panel discussions, workshops, readings and performances of LGBT literary works. 

APRIL

FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL: APRIL 6-9, 2017
This is the largest free music festival in the South with a special focus on New Orleans' music and food. The festival offers 20 performance stages and more than 90 food and beverage booths set among one of the countries most historic neighborhoods. Kids' activities, home tours and other festivities fill the weekend with fun.

GAY EASTER PARADE: APRIL 16, 2017
Easter Sunday kicks off with the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade, and then later in the afternoon the city's LGBT community hosts the Gay Easter Parade. Participants in horse-drawn carriages or atop floats leisurely parade through the French Quarter, passing gay-owned bars, restaurants and shops. Paraders don their Easter finest, from gowns to bonnets, and have plenty of throws for crowds.  

NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY SHELL: APRIL 28-MAY 7, 2017
For more than 40 years, music lovers from around the globe have made the pilgrimage to the historic Fair Grounds Race Course for a lineup that reads more like a who's who of music legends than an event flyer. The music is phenomenal and the food is inspirational. An event worthy of the birthplace of jazz. 

MAY

MID-CITY BAYOU BOOGALOO: MAY 20-22, 2016
From jazz and blues to Cajun and country, three days of free live music bring more than 20,000 people to the banks of the Bayou Saint John each year. Catch performances from local Louisiana artists and take part in festival events including the Rubber Duck Derby, dance lessons and the Bicycle Pub Crawl. 

NEW ORLEANS WINE & FOOD EXPERIENCE: MAY 26-29, 2016
Toast to the finer things in life - pinots, merlots and gumbos - as more than 75 of New Orleans' best restaurants pair up with 175 of the world's finest wineries. Spirits are always high at this annual celebration of New Orleans' culinary creativity.

OYSTER FESTIVAL: MAY 26-29, 2016
The Oyster Festival educates about the benefits of the Louisiana Gulf oyster, honors and celebrates the restaurateurs and oyster farmers who have solidified the New Orleans French Quarter and celebrates with live music and, of course, oysters! 

JUNE

CAJUN & ZYDECO FESTIVAL: JUNE 18-19, 2016
The legendary Buckwheat Zydeco will make a return appearance to the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival at Louis Armstrong Park. Also performing will be the world-famous BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet featuring special guest Jo-El Sonnier. 

SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: MAY-JULY  2016
Tulane University pays tribute to the Bard each year with the staging of several plays at the Lupin Theatre on campus. Known for "working Shakespeare through the filter of New Orleans," sell-out crowds come to see the festival's noteworthy productions. This year's productions include Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and By Any Scenes Necessary: Macbeth.

FRENCH MARKET CREOLE TOMATO FESTIVAL: JUNE 11-12, 2016
A celebration of the Creole tomato, which is locally grown, this festival features cooking demonstrations by the city's premier chefs, food booths selling dishes made with Creole tomatoes and samplings, music and vendors selling the famous tomatoes.

NEW ORLEANS PRIDE FESTIVAL: JUNE 24-26, 2016
Now in its fifth year, New Orleans Pride is Southern Decadence's younger sister. The festival celebrates gay history while promoting public awareness and education. Pride weekend begins with a Kick Off Party and continues with a parade on Saturday and keynote speaker Ryan Sallans on Sunday. New Orleans Pride is known for its community outreach, including anti-bullying and suicide prevention initiatives. 

JULY

ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL: JUNE 30-JULY 3, 2016
"Party with a purpose" at this star-studded celebration of African American music and culture in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Jazz up your July with performances by the world's biggest hip-hop, R&B and soul artists, with Usher, Mary J. Blige, Common and Indie.Arie headlining. 

GO FOURTH ON THE RIVER: JULY 4, 2016
The annual Independence Day celebration along the historic New Orleans Riverfront features live local music and other all-day family activities, culminating with the one-of-a-kind Dueling Barges Fireworks Extravaganza over the Mississippi River.

SAN FERMIN IN NUEVA ORLEANS (RUNNING OF THE BULLS): JULY 7-10, 2016
San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) is an annual festival in New Orleans featuring an Encierro (bull run). The event replicates and pays homage to the world famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, better known as "The Running of the Bulls", only our bulls are none other than members of the Big Easy Rollergirls and select participants from other rollerderby leagues across the country! 

TALES OF THE COCKTAIL: JULY 20-24, 2016
Have a highball, y'all. Sip and sup at this four-day-long mixer in the city that invented the cocktail. Enjoy lectures, book signings, dinner pairings, cooking and mixing demonstrations, and more at this annual event. 

AUGUST

SATCHMO SUMMERFEST: AUGUST 5-7, 2016
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong is one of New Orleans' favorite native sons (and there are many to pick from). Each year, this weekend-long festival celebrates his life, legacy and music. The festivities include a seminar series, jazz exhibits, a jazz mass and second-line parade, fantastic food and a host of star-studded performers. 

WHITNEY WHITE LINEN NIGHT: AUGUST 6, 2016
Drape yourself in cool, white linen and join 16,000 art aficionados in the Arts District for the artiest night of the summer. Stroll through the galleries, sip wine and hear some of the city's most exciting bands.  

DIRTY LINEN NIGHT: AUGUST 13, 2016
Not to be outdone by White Linen Night, Royal Street merchants decided to stage a gallery walk of their own in the French Quarter. Pick up some amazing art and antiques at an event that's become very popular in its own right.  

COOLINARY NEW ORLEANS: AUGUST 1-31, 2016
This is the ultimate celebration of dining in America's most delicious city. Eat at participating restaurants and savor special prix fixe, three-course lunches and dinners at special sizzling summer prices. 

SEPTEMBER

SOUTHERN DECADENCE: AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 5, 2016
The largest gay event in New Orleans takes over the French Quarter every Labor Day weekend, bringing with it parades, contests and more. The corners of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets are the hub of activity, with the Bourbon Pub as festival headquarters. While there are DJ's performing at bars throughout the Quarter, most of the revelry happens in the street, culminating in the Southern Decadence Walking Parade on Sunday. 

LOUISIANA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL: SEPTEMBER 2-4, 2016
The Louisiana Seafood Festival celebrates our extraordinary local cuisine. Starting with everything fresh from the water, our famous chefscook up shrimp, oysters, crawfish, crab and alligator.  

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. 

ART FOR ARTS' SAKE: OCTOBER 4, 2016
Every fall, gallery owners in the Arts District and on Magazine Street throw open their doors in celebration of the arts and culture of New Orleans. Join 30,000 other art lovers at this giant, chic street party. 

26TH ANNUAL NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL: OCTOBER 12-21, 2016
Louisiana is the third-largest film destination in America, behind only Hollywood and New York City. This annual celebration of the art form features premieres, film screenings, workshops and more. You never know which of your favorite celebrities you'll see second-lining down the red carpet. 

CRESCENT CITY BLUES & BBQ: OCTOBER 14-16, 2016
Two things synonymous with the South: blues and barbecue. Find the best combination of both at the free festival presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Inc. in Lafayette Square Park. Get a spot next to the stage to see the headliners up close. 

OAK STREET PO-BOY FESTIVAL: OCTOBER 23, 2016
Just don't call it a "hoagie." This festival is dedicated to celebratingthe authentic spirit of one of New Orleans' most delicious and famous sandwiches. Taste po-boys from restaurants such as G.W. Fins, Bourbon House, Emeril's Delmonico and many more. The festival also includes panel discussions on topics like po-boy history and French bread-baking traditions, three stages with live music, arts and crafts, and a children's section with games and prizes.  

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 29 years, Halloween New Orleans has raised over $4.6 million for the project.

VOODOO MUSIC EXPERIENCE: OCTOBER 28-30, 2016
Only the coolest take to the stage at this Halloween-themed festival in City Park, known for its blending of high-profile national artists such as Marilyn Manson, 50 Cent, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M. and 311, with local Louisiana musicians including The Original Meters, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, and Dr. John. 

NOVEMBER

FAUX/REAL: TBA NOVEMBER 2016
Formerly New Orleans Fringe Festival, faux/real delves into the wild, weird, fresh and original, allowing avant-garde artists a place and timeto be seen. Audiences are at once entranced, entertained, dazzled and sometimes challenged by groundbreaking and genre-bending acts.  

WORDS AND MUSIC: NOVEMBER 9-13, 2016
Join well-known authors, editors, agents and entertainers in celebrating William Faulkner, who honed his craft in a Pirate's Alley apartment in the French Quarter.  

TREME CREOLE GUMBO FESTIVAL: NOVEMBER 12-13, 2016
The Treme Creole Gumbo Festival celebrates the melting-pot culture of New Orleans - with brass bands, New Orleans jazz and a huge selection of the best gumbo in town. 

DECEMBER

CELEBRATION IN THE OAKS: NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2016
A month-long holiday light exhibit with magic aglow at every turn, this event features festive displays of nearly two million lights decorating 100-year-old oak trees. It's a New Orleans family tradition featuring nightly entertainment, photos with Santa, dancing lights, a laser show, a full cafe and amusement rides. 

CHRISTMAS NEW ORLEANS STYLE: DECEMBER 2016
Riverfront bonfires, the brilliantly lit Celebration in the Oaks, the Cathedral Concert Series and free cooking demos from esteemed chefs - the Christmas and holiday season gets a whole lot more interesting in New Orleans. Visitors and locals alike enjoy an authentic New Orleans twist on the holidays each year. Plus, many hotels offer "Papa Noel" rates, some of the best lodging deals of the year. 

NEW YEAR'S EVE: DECEMBER 31, 2016
New Orleans counts down to the new year in Jackson Square during one of the nation's largest street parties. Gather in the French Quarter for live music, the fleur di lis drop (New Orleans version of the ball) and a fireworks display to usher in the new year!