A selection from the city’s Event calendar for 2017
New Orleans is a city that lives to celebrate and it is said that New Orleans residents should have five good costumes ready to go at any given time. So pack that favorite dress, that amazing hat you never get to wear and even a wig or two before you head to New Orleans for food, music and a string of festivals.
To the famous French Quarter, Bourbon Street – for Creole cuisine and for cool Dixiland jozz. There is one event that beat them all – Mardi Gras.
January 2. Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic. From the first Sugar Bowl in 1935 through this past year’s 82nd Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at the world-famous Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the goal of the event has remained the same – to create the best game possible.
Rock´n´Roll Marathon. January 5, 2017. You can run 10k, half Marathon and Marathon.
Mardi Gras, February 28, 2017. “It’s time of revelry and romance, of madness and music of parades and parties, of comic costuming in the streets and masquerade balls. Mardi Gras is a time when the gaudy and the gorgeous all come together for a blowout. New Orleans Mardi Gras has it all!”, writes Arthur Hardy, publisher of the Mardi Gras Guide.
St. Patrick’s Day. March 17. St. Patricks Day is a great celebration and in particular in New Orleans where the immigrants from Ireland arrived in the 1800´s and made contributions to the city’s culture and infrastructure. Each year the city show its appreciation by taking to the streets for parades and block parties in honour of the Irish – something you have to experience at least once. www.stpatricksdayneworleans.com
Gay Easter Parade. Easter Sunday kicks off with the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade, and then later in the afternoon the Gay Easter Parade. Participants in horse-drawn carriages or atop floats parade through the French Quarter.
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. Kids’ activities and other festivities fill the weekend with fun.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. 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. The music is phenomenal and the food is inspirational. The place to Jazz it up in New Orleans.
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. May. 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.
Greek Festival, May. Greek food and wine, Live Music and Family Fun for three days and nights at the Greek Festival on Bayou St John. This festival has kept on for 44 years and still going strong – with traditional Greek dancing. More info
Go Fourth on the River. July 4. The Independence Day celebrates along the historic New Orleans Riverfront features live band music and all day family activities, culminating with a Fireworks Extravaganza over the Mississippi River. More info
Tales of the Cocktail. July. Sip at this five-days-long mixer of the city that invented the cocktail. Enjoy lectures, dinners, cooking and mixing demonstrations and more at this annual event.
Satchmo Summerfest. July/August. Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong is one of New Orleans’ favorite native sons. Each year, this weekend-long festival celebrates his life, legacy and music.
Louisiana Seafood Festival. September 2-4, 2016. This Festival celebrates the local cuisine. Starting with everything fresh from the water, some famous chefs cook up shrimp, oysters, crawfish, crab and alligator.
Southern Decadence Festival. August 31- September 5, 2016. At French Quarter. Decadence events primarily take place on the streets and are free. Events include DJ sets, the Parade, contests and more.
Art For Art’s Sake. October 1, 2016. Every fall, gallery owners in the Arts District and on Magazine Street open doors in celebration of the arts and culture. Join 30,000 other art lovers at this giant, chic street party.
New Orleans Film Festival. October 12-21, 2016. This annual celebration features premieres, film screenings, workshops and more. You never know which of your favorite celebrities you’ll see second-lining down the red carpet.
Voodoo Music Experience, October 28-30, 2016. This Halloween-themed festival take place in the City Park, known for high-profile national artists. www.worshipthemusic.com
Creole Gumbo Festival. November. The Treme Creole Gumbo Festival celebrates the culture of New Orleans – with brass bands, jazz and a huge selection of the best gumbo in town.
Celebration in the Oaks. November and December. A month-long holiday light exhibits with magic aglow at every turn, these event features festive displays of nearly two million lights decorating 100-year-old oak tree. It’s a family tradition featuring nightly entertainment. www.celebrationintheoaks.com
Christmas New Orleans Style. December. Riverfront bonfires, the brilliantly lit Celebration in the Oak, the Cathedral Concert Series and free cooking demonstration from chefs. Visitors and locals alike enjoy this authentic twist of the holidays each year. Many hotels offer “Papa Noël” rates.
New Year’s Eve. December 31. New Orleans counts down to the New Year in Jackson Square, one of the nation’s largest street parties. Gather in the French Quarter for live music, a festive ball and a fireworks display to accompany in the New Year.
Make it Happen!
Touch Down: Flying time is 3 hours from New York, 2 hours 30 minutes from Chicago, 1 hour 40 minutes from Dallas, and 4 hours 20 minutes from Los Angeles. Condor, twice-weekly departure from Frankfurt, Germany, start May 3, 2017. Cab ride to or from the airport and Uptown or downtown costs $33 for up to two passengers. The city is surprisingly compact, no matter where you choose to stay; you will have convenient access to a variety of attractions, event venues and transportation.
Stay: Hotels are destinations in their own right, home to many of the hottest clubs, restaurants and spas in the city. The welcome say “Bienvenue”, welcome. Come and stay awhile – you may never want to leave!
Eat: The cuisine melds different cultures including Creole, Cajun, and French-influenced Southern specialties.
Play: In New Orleans the night never has to end since bars and clubs are not required to close.
Mini Guide: New Orleans has much to offer. Take a bike ride along Mississippi River, feed an alligator or stroll through times and see historical attractions. The French Market District encompasses six blocks on the riverside of the Lower French Quarter. The district includes over 20 unique retail shops, performance venues, cafes, a flea market and a farmers market. Magazine Street is a cool strip of restaurants and shopping outlets. Tax-free shopping offers international visitors. Happy Tuesday: Tuesday used to be the worst day of the week. Not any more. Happy Tuesday includes special prices, discounts and experiences for travellers visiting New Orleans between Sunday and Wednesday. In general weather is pleasant for shorts and April the beginning of music-festival season.