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The Best Fests

Annual New Orleans Events, Activities + More

New Orleans festivals you can’t miss

If you’re in the mood for merriment, New Orleans delivers year-round. In fact, our supremely social city hosts more than 130 annual festivals, parades, and celebrations. Some you’ve no doubt heard of — does Mardi Gras ring a bell? — but others are under-the-radar fetes worth finding. Whether you’re in town specifically to celebrate or are looking for something spontaneous to do, here are a few of our favorite New Orleans activities:

New Orleans Musician

French Quarter Fest

April 11 – 14, 2024

The French Quarter Festival in New Orleans is a signature celebration of Louisiana's rich cultural heritage, showcasing an impressive lineup of live music, food, and special events across the historic French Quarter. Known as the largest free music festival in the United States, it offers attendees a diverse array of performances spanning jazz, blues, zydeco, and more, alongside delicious local cuisine from some of the city's most renowned restaurants, embodying the vibrant spirit and community of New Orleans.


Jazz Fest

April 25 – May 5, 2024

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often simply known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. The festival features a wide array of music, including not just jazz but also blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, and bluegrass, and showcases crafts, food, and cultural displays that highlight the rich heritage of the region.

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Crawfish Boil

NOLA Crawfish Festival

April 29 - May 1, 2024

A haven for crawfish enthusiasts, featuring great music, arts, crafts, and, of course, plenty of boiled crawfish along with a crawfish cook-off and eating contest. This delicious event is not to be missed!

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Crowd at live music show

Essence Fest

July 5 - 7, 2024

The Essence Festival of Culture, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2024, is "a party with a purpose" and has evolved significantly since its inception in 1995, originally intended to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence Magazine. Today, it encompasses a wide range of activities including panel discussions, meet-and-greets, live music performances, and more, all aimed at promoting and celebrating Black culture and community.

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White Wine Cheers

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

July 7 - 11, 2024

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience not only indulges the taste buds with a plethora of wines and culinary delights but also serves as an educational platform where enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge of wine and food pairings. This festival artfully combines the joy of eating and drinking with learning, making it a must-visit event for anyone looking to savor the rich flavors of New Orleans and beyond.

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man on boat with fishing pole

International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo

July 27 - 29, 2024

The International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo stands as America's oldest fishing tournament, a testament to the enduring allure of sport fishing in New Orleans. Each year, it gathers both seasoned anglers and enthusiastic novices, all competing for the prestige of capturing the heaviest tarpon, in a celebration that blends competitive spirit with the rich maritime culture of the region.

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