NOLA Events

January

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Held in early January – January 1, 2018
Location: Superdome
504-828-2440
New Orleans’ oldest annual sporting event, originating in 1935

February

Mardi Gras
Carnival Season officially begins January 6 every year. Parades roll two weeks before Mardi Gras Day, which can fall as early as Feb. 5 or as late as March 9. In 2018, Fat Tuesday is on February 13, 2018
Location: A variety of locations throughout New Orleans
New Orleans’ Mardi Gras is the world’s most famous street party… and with good reason! The annual celebration of excess overtakes the French Quarter and crowds the streets with wildly costumed revelers!

March

Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Marathon
March 3-4, 2018
Location: Citywide
The Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon & 1/2 Marathon benefiting Feed The Children takes participants along a majestic journey throughout the city. Rockin’ bands and spirited cheer squads line the streets of historic neighborhoods, including St. Charles Avenue and the French Quarter. After racing this fast and flat course below sea level, y’all deserve the best post race experience to celebrate your accomplishment! This year’s Finish Line Celebration will feature flavorful, local cuisine typical of the Big Easy!
BUKU Music and Art Project
Held in March – March 9-10, 2018
Location: Mardi Gras World
The BUKU Music + Art Project is a two-day music and arts festival held annually at Mardi Gras World. BUKU seeks to serve as a platform for the intersection of pop culture and the New Orleans underground arts community, and combines international musicians with local food vendors, local visual artists, and various surprise pop-up street performers throughout the site. BUKU’s musical tastes are a relatively even mix of electronic dance music (EDM), hip-hop and indie-rock.
St. Patrick’s Day Weekend
Held on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend – March 17, 2018
Location: Downtown & Lower Garden District
See the city go Green for this annual event!
Tennessee Williams Literary Festival
Held in late March-early April – March 21-25, 2018
Location: Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré
504-581-1144
The festival is an annual five-day celebration held in late March, which showcases national and regional scholars, writers, and performing artists. Programs include panel discussions, theatrical performances, a one-act play competition, lectures, literary walking tours, musical performances, and a book fair.

April

French Quarter Festival
Held in mid-April – April 12-15, 2018
Location: French Quarter
You can’t get more New Orleans than this showcase for hundreds of local musicians on 14 stages throughout the historic Vieux Carré. There’s jazz, from Dixieland to contemporary and brass bands, classical, Cajun and Zydeco, rhythm and blues, gospel and everything else in between. One can sample classic New Orleans cuisine from nearly 60 food and drink booths, tour private patios, enjoy fireworks over the Mississippi River, participate in children’s activities, join in a second-line parade, attend art exhibits & music workshops and lots more.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Held in late April – early April 27-19 & May 3-6, 2018
Location: Fair Grounds Race Course
504-943-2200
Jazz Fest celebrates a passion for a style of music wild yet disciplined, chaotic yet ordered…a musical gumbo of tastes authentically New Orleanian in the number and variety of its ingredients. The 10-day cultural and musical festival has grown into the nation’s premier music showcase, welcoming over 500,000 visitors to the Big Easy every year.
Zurich Golf Classic of New Orleans
Held in late April – April 26-19, 2018
Location: English Turn
504-342-3000
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament is Louisiana’s premier golf tournament and the PGA TOUR’s annual stop in New Orleans. This world-class event features golf’s biggest names combined with the city’s greatest food and music – right on the course! This is the PGA TOUR New Orleans style.

May

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Fest
Held in mid-May – May 18-20, 2018
Location: Bayou St. John
Admission is Free
The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo is a free, three-day, family-friendly music and arts festival located on the historic banks of New Orleans’ Bayou Saint John.
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience
Held in late-May – May 25-27, 2018
Location: French Quarter
New Orleans is a place of pilgrimage for foodies and wine enthusiasts throughout the year, but never more so than during the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience… this non-stop celebration of the joys of the grape and the sublime ecstasies of fine food. The Wine & Food Experience constitutes five basic events – Vintner Dinners, The Royal Street Experience, Seminars, Grand Tastings, and Brunch. Each of these is an event unto itself, and all are eagerly anticipated.

June

New Orleans Oyster Festival
June 2-3, 2018
Location: Woldenberg Riverfront Park
Admission is Free
The New Orleans Oyster Festival is a free two-day, family-friendly event celebrating the restaurateurs and oyster farmers who have solidified the New Orleans French Quarter’s position as the “Oyster Capital of America,” and help raise funds for “Coastal Restoration.” Fantastic music and fantastic oyster dishes aplenty!
Louisiana Cajun & Zydeco Festival
Held in early June
Location: Louis Armstrong Park
Admission is Free
The Louisiana Cajun & Zydeco Festival, produced by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, presents the greatest collection of Cajun and zydeco artists for any festival in the city and perhaps the state. Over twenty groups playing on three stages over two days and admission is free.
French Market Creole Tomato Festival
Held in mid-June
Location: French Quarter
Admission is Free
The annual French Market Creole Tomato Festival celebrates one of southeastern Louisiana’s most iconic and beloved produce items. Besides bountiful fresh Creole tomatoes for sale, there are cooking demonstrations, food booths, live music, children’s activities, and even a recently added Creole Tomato eating contest.
FestiGals
Held in June
Location: French Quarter
FestiGals is a weekend festival dedicated to celebrating women! Fashion, food, friendship and fun, FestiGals is the original girlfriend getaway for women to recharge and reconnect with a relaxing, festive and authentic New Orleans experience. Whether you’re in the mood to shop, eat, drink, and explore local culture and history or just relax and be pampered, FestiGals has you covered.

July

Go 4th on the River
Held on July 4
Location: Woldenberg Park
504-378-2694
When New Orleans throws a party, everybody shows up! Expect this Go Fourth on the River celebration to be more of the same, as thousands flock to the Crescent City to watch a truly spectacular display of fireworks echoing off the man-made canyons of downtown New Orleans and reflecting off the Mighty Mississippi. New Orleans celebrates our nation’s Independence with a full day’s worth of events. The entire riverfront gets into the act, with many area businesses hosting special Independence-themed shows.
Essence Music Festival
Held over the July 4 weekend – July 5-8, 2018
Location: New Orleans, Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
504-587-7713
The annual Essence Festival not only zeroes in on African-American-oriented forms of music but also offers “empowerment seminars” that help educate and inform the African-American community…and there’s no shortage of attendees!
Tales of the Cocktail
July 17-22, 2018
Location: French Quarter
504-948-0511
Tales of the Cocktail is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the international spirits community for five days of what’s now, what’s new and what’s next in bartending. This event has something for bartenders and spirits professionals with opportunities to mix and mingle with the brightest minds in mixology during an always-spirited schedule of seminars, dinners, competitions, tasting rooms and new product launches.

August

Satchmo Summer Fest
Early August – August 3-5, 2018
Location: French Quarter Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint
504-568-6972
It truly is a “wonderful world,” as jazz great Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong told us in his haunting 1968 hit song. Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong gained fame through his incredible musical talents and through these talents, increased New Orleans’ standing as a city of international cultural significance. New Orleans repays this debt with the Satchmo Summer Fest, a three-day celebration of the life, legacy, and music of “Satchmo.” Satchmo Summer Fest is a weekend’s worth of musical performances, lively seminars, captivating exhibits, children’s activities, great New Orleans food, and partying New Orleans-style!
White Linen Night / Dirty Linen Night
August 4, 2018
Location: French Quarter
Named for a long tradition of trying to beat the summer evening heat, White Linen Night has become a staple in late-summer activities for the people of New Orleans. Wearing white linens, as the name would suggest, travelers and locals take to a friendly stroll down the streets of the Art District. And the artwork on display in New Orleans’ fabled French Quarter is stunning. One is able to view a wide selection of art; from the most avant of avant garde to traditionalist paintings in a dozen styles. Dirty Linen Night is Royal Street’s version and takes place a week later.
Red Dress Run
August 11, 2018
Location: French Quarter
Red Dress Run is an annual costumed 5k(ish) run through the Marigny neighborhood in early August to raise money for breast cancer research, among other charities. The event is sponsored by the Hash House Harriers, a self-proclaimed “drinking club with a running problem.” Wearing a red dress is an absolute requirement and you must be 21 to participate.

September

Louisiana Seafood Festival
September 2018
Location: Festival Grounds in City Park
Admission is free
Three days of live music boasting great local and national bands, fabulous seafood dishes from the city’s finest restaurants and live cooking demonstrations featuring celebrity chefs.
Southern Decadence
Held in early September – August 29 – September 3, 2018
Location: French Quarter
504-522-8049
New Orleans’ Annual Southern Decadence, nicknamed the “Gay Mardi Gras” is a French Quarter-wide celebration of LGBT life, music and culture. Elaborate and colorful costumes, drag shows, contests and parties happen all day and all night during this marathon weekend.

October

New Orleans Film Festival
Held Mid-October
Location: Citywide
504-309-6633
The festival attracts record-breaking crowds and offers year-round programs including the French Film Festival each spring. Labeling the festival, “Cannes on the Mississippi,” the Times-Picayune movie critic David Baron confirmed its importance as a permanent part of the City’s cultural landscape.
Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
Held on Halloween weekend – October 26-28, 2018
Location: Festival Grounds in City Park
504-482-4888
Voodoo Fest in City Park brings you some of the hottest local and national bands for this annual 3-day event.
LGBT Halloween in New Orleans
Held on October 25-28, 2018
Location: French Quarter
On the corner of Bourbon and Conti you might stumble upon (literally) a gaggle of Elvi out for a stroll… just down the block you could run into howling, growling werewolves… and of course, there’s generally just a bit too much skin exposed in many a costume!
Oak Street Po-Boy Festival
October 2018
Admission is free
Location: Oak Street – Uptown New Orleans
Po-Boy Fest is uniquely New Orleans festival celebrating the humble po-boy sandwich. This is a fantastic all-day event features some of the city’s best music and food.

November

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival
November 2018
Admission is free
Location: Congo Square in Armstrong Park
Treme Creole Gumbo Festival features New Orleans Jazz, R&B and the finest collection of New Orleans Brass Bands presented with a huge selection of New Orleans’ signature dish – gumbo, in a variety of styles.
Bayou Classic
November 22, 2018
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
The Bayou Classic is more than just a football game. This annual event is one of the country’s greatest college sports rivalries, bringing the fans of and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to New Orleans each November. A week of events featuring a parade, fan festival and battle of the bands culminates with the Saturday football match-up.

December

Caroling in Jackson Square
December 17, 2017
Location: French Quarter
Since 1946, Patio Planters du Vieux Carre has sponsored Caroling in Jackson Square, a truly moving holiday tradition held every year by candlelight on the Sunday before Christmas.
Celebration in the Oaks
December 1 – January 1, 2018
Location: City Park
504- 482-4888
Admission Charged
See New Orleans’ historic City Park transformed into a holiday wonderland. Its ancient oak trees are aglow with massive ornaments along a two-mile stretch that is spangled with over two million sparkling lights and lighted displays. Celebration in the Oaks is one of the most beautiful holiday light exhibits in the country, attracting over 500,000 visitors annually.
New Year’s Eve
Held on December 31
Location: Jackson Brewery
504-566-7245
A large street party, a lit ball dropping from the sky, thousands counting down to the next year – no you’re not in Times Square, but rather Jackson Square! Every year, a week following the relaxation of Christmas, hundreds of thousands pour out to the Jackson Brewery to welcome in another year of living and partying in New Orleans.

Arts & Entertainment

Arts Council of New Orleans
935 Gravier St., Suite 850
New Orleans, LA 70112
504-523-1465
Now in its 40th year, the Arts Council New Orleans is a private, nonprofit organization designated as the city’s official arts agency. They are one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and they administer municipal arts grants as well as the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council also produces the city’s largest arts market on the last Saturday of every month.
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO)
1010 Common St., Suite 2120
New Orleans, LA 70112
504-523-6530
Call for schedule of performances
Season runs from September – May
Marigny Opera House
725 St. Ferdinand St
New Orleans, LA 70117
504-948-9998
The Marigny Opera House a non-denominational, neighborhood church of the arts celebrating the arts as a common spiritual bond among all people. The Marigny Opera House is also home to the Marigny Opera Ballet. Call for schedule of performances.
New Orleans Ballet
935 Gravier St., Suite 800
New Orleans, LA 70112
504-522-0996
Call for performance schedule
New Orleans Opera
616 Girod St., Suite 200
New Orleans, LA 70130
504-529-2278 Direct
504-529-3000 Box Office
Call for performance schedule
The history of opera in New Orleans is the history of Opera in America. Evolutionary progress through heredity is reflected in a great culture transplanted from Mother France to the Paris of America, New Orleans, where the first resident opera company in America was founded.
Southern Rep Theatre
504-522-6545
Southern Rep is an award winning, critically acclaimed regional theatre company that produces bold world premieres, the best of Broadway and off-Broadway, and classic plays under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes. Call for schedule and location of performances.

Sports

New Orleans Pelicans
Professional Basketball
Games played at the Smoothie King Arena
1501 Girod Street
New Orleans, LA 70113
504-525-4667
Season runs October – April
New Orleans Saints
Professional Football
Games played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
1500 Poydras St.
New Orleans, LA 70112
504-587-7713
Season runs September – January