What’s on in New Orleans

Mardi Gras photo

Mardi Gras

21 February 2023

Throughout the city, especially Bourbon Street

Mardi Gras, the world-renowned festival with a reputation for being the most scandalous and sensational annual event on the world's festival calendar, has been celebrated in New Or…

Mardi Gras

21 February 2023

Throughout the city, especially Bourbon Street

Mardi Gras, the world-renowned festival with a reputation for being the most scandalous and sensational annual event on the world's festival calendar, has been celebrated in New Orleans in its present form since 1856. The origins of the carnival trace back to Roman times, but the date is based on the Christian calendar.

Traditionally, Mardi Gras day falls on 'Fat Tuesday', the day before Ash Wednesday, usually occurring during late February or early March each year. The history and traditions of the New Orleans Mardi Gras are confusing and complicated.

But what it all means to revelling visitors is a series of ever-more exciting spectacular street parades through the French Quarter, starting about 10 days before Fat Tuesday and building up to the big day culminating in a major street party.

Website www.mardigrasneworleans.com

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival photo

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

28 Apr — 7 May 2023

The central event is held at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course, but celebrations take place around the entire city.

In late April, just before the onset of summer heat and humidity, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival takes place at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course. Numerous stage…

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

28 Apr — 7 May 2023

The central event is held at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course, but celebrations take place around the entire city.

In late April, just before the onset of summer heat and humidity, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival takes place at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course. Numerous stages simultaneously present a vast cross-section of musical performances by top artists.

Genres range from traditional New Orleans jazz, gospel, and country, to rap, hip hop, and Creole zydeco. In addition to the hundreds of performances and many musicians, the festival includes numerous food stalls and loads of arts and crafts displays, making it a true celebration of the city's culture and heritage.

Website www.nojazzfest.com

St Patrick's Day photo

St Patrick's Day

17 March 2023

French Quarter

No sooner has New Orleans recovered from the revelry of Mardi Gras than it starts all over again. St Patrick's Day is the perfect reason for another round of drinks, parades and pa…

St Patrick's Day

17 March 2023

French Quarter

No sooner has New Orleans recovered from the revelry of Mardi Gras than it starts all over again. St Patrick's Day is the perfect reason for another round of drinks, parades and parties, which cascade through the downtown area, centred on famous Bourbon Street.

Traditionally, it's a day for the locals to gather on the streets and pavements with picnic baskets and umbrellas. Groups dance down the street in green costumes, dispensing flowers, beads, and kisses to the spectators.

Live bands trundle by on the backs of floats and trucks, providing a festive soundtrack to the celebrations. Meanwhile, onlookers call out to the floats to throw something at them, with the most popular items usually being cabbages, carrots, onions, and the odd potato.

Website www.stpatricksdayneworleans.com

Gay Easter Parade photo

Gay Easter Parade

TBC 2023

Streets of the French Quarter

Parties and parades are the order of the day during Easter in New Orleans. This time, it's when the city's gay community turns out to celebrate under the auspices of the Easter Gra…

Gay Easter Parade

TBC 2023

Streets of the French Quarter

Parties and parades are the order of the day during Easter in New Orleans. This time, it's when the city's gay community turns out to celebrate under the auspices of the Easter Grand Marshals. Thousands of spectators line the streets of the French Quarter, watching passing floats, carriages, walking groups, bands, and motorcycles.

The parade aspires to showcase the fashion and creativity of the local LGBT community, with gentlemen traditionally dressing in summer suits or tuxedos and ladies donning their best Easter suits or dresses, complete with Easter hats. Nudity isn't permitted. But apart from that, anything goes with the costumes and conviviality.

Website www.gayeasterparade.com

French Quarter Festival photo

French Quarter Festival

13 — 16 April 2023

New Orleans French Quarter, especially Jackson Square and the River Front

Priding itself on being the largest free music festival in the southern states, the annual French Quarter Festival is a showcase for local musicians and a chance to savour New Orle…

French Quarter Festival

13 — 16 April 2023

New Orleans French Quarter, especially Jackson Square and the River Front

Priding itself on being the largest free music festival in the southern states, the annual French Quarter Festival is a showcase for local musicians and a chance to savour New Orleans' gourmet flavours. On the music front, 21 stages and over 800 musicians operate in the historic Vieux Carre district with a diverse programme ranging from brass bands to gospel and traditional jazz.

On the food front, over 65 popular local restaurants are invited to contribute to the 'world's largest jazz brunch', which features a smorgasbord of New Orleans specialities. These include jambalaya, gumbo, and bread pudding. Other special events around the festival include fireworks over the Mississippi, art exhibitions, courtyard tours, music workshops, and parades.

Website www.fqfi.org

Satchmo Summerfest photo

Satchmo Summerfest

TBC 2022

Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue, French Quarter

New Orleans turns out in style to celebrate Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong, the city's most beloved son. Occurring every year in the week of the star's birthday, the line-up of free eve…

Satchmo Summerfest

TBC 2022

Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue, French Quarter

New Orleans turns out in style to celebrate Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong, the city's most beloved son. Occurring every year in the week of the star's birthday, the line-up of free events honouring the man who promoted jazz around the world includes an outdoor music festival and local food. There are activities for children, art exhibitions and a jazz mass, as well as a parade, club and seminars. Happily, most of the events are free to enjoy.

Website www.satchmosummerfest.org/