New Orleans Festivals

festival new orleans

After a long hiatus, New Orleans festivals are back and ready to showcase the city’s unique culture. From celebrations of iconic foods (like beignets and gumbo) to spotlights of local musical styles like jazz, blues, and zydeco, there’s bound to be something that catches your eye. And don’t miss the chance to check out one of our favorite annual holiday traditions, Celebration in the Oaks, which brightens City Park with a mile-long path of lights you can enjoy on foot or by car.

The most recognizable festival in town is of course the Jazz Fest, which is headlined this year by rock band Dead & Company and pop superstar Lizzo. It’s a massive event with multiple stages and food areas, so to make the most of your time there, be sure to pick up a festival map that includes the schedules for all the stages plus the onsite food and craft areas. You’ll find helpful volunteers outside the entrances who can help you with this. If you want to avoid the bigger crowds, consider attending on Locals Thursday, which is a special day reserved for local residents that offers lighter entry fees and reduced congestion.

Another major music festival is the Oak Street Po-Boy & Brewfest, which is designed to celebrate and highlight this cornerstone of the neighborhood’s economy and its distinct culture. The event is a huge draw for New Orleanians, who can sample from the city’s finest restaurants and enjoy live music on the streets. And since nothing goes better with a po-boy than a cold beer, the festival will also offer an array of brews from local and regional breweries.

Foodies are also well-served by the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, which has been delighting attendees for over 30 years with events that showcase the region’s best and most unique cuisine. From intimate wine dinners with acclaimed chefs to sommelier-led seminars and parties, the festival has it all for those looking to expand their culinary horizons. And for those who aren’t quite ready to commit to a full weekend of tasting, there’s the New Orleans Craft Beer & Whiskey Fest, a smaller version of the larger festival that features beer samples from all over the state as well as food from local eateries.

But there are many other festivals that delve into the diverse cultural and historic aspects of this fascinating city, such as the New Orleans Film Festival, which is known for its lively second-line parades and its focus on films by women and filmmakers of color, or the ESSENCE Festival of Culture, which promotes, celebrates, and explores health & wellness, beauty & style, entertainment, and community and culture within the Black community each July. With so many options, it’s easy to find an event that fits your interests and makes your visit even more memorable.