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! stpatricksdayneworleans.com
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. go4thontheriver.com
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. thevoodooexperience.com
A month-long holiday light exhibit with magic aglow at every turn, this event features festive displays of nearly 2 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. celebrationintheoaks.com
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. www.fqfi.org
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!
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