Top Social Events in New Orleans
Ready to let your hair down? New Orleans is one of the party capitals of the world, hosting dozens of parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals and fiestas every year. Your biggest problem won't be finding something to do; it'll be choosing between all your options! Here are just a few of the best annual events for your pleasure.
French Quarter Festival
Hundreds of music fans pour into the French Quarter in April, making this festival one of the largest and liveliest in the entire state of Louisiana. Dance to funk, jazz and rhythm and blues. Munch on jambalaya and two-for-one shish kebabs. Enjoy spectacular fireworks over the Mississippi River after night falls and the sky darkens.
The biggest social event of New Orleans, Mardi Gras is a city-wide celebration where the drinks flow freely and the entertainment lasts all night. The official dates, however, fluctuate between February and March depending on the year, so make sure you know when the party starts before you book your flight.
Beat the heat with SatchmoFest, a three-day weekend so full of revelry and exhilaration that it will make you forget it takes places in August. Originally conceived as a commemorative event to Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, it's since grown into a large-scale party full of live music and festivities, including exhibits, street performances and a parade through the city.
More than 15,000 people enjoy Oktoberfest in New Orleans, so if you're looking for big crowds and lots of fun, this is where you'll find both. It may be an event most famous for its beer, but there's also plenty to do for kids and families, so don't hesitate to bring everyone to the party!
If you're a fan of football, grab your colors and declare yourself at the annual Sugar Bowl. It's one of the oldest and best-known athletic events in the country, so you'll enjoy the company of thousands of fans as you cheer, jeer and make a wave for your favorite team. You might even wind up on television for your efforts!
Held every year in late March, FoodFest is a week-long event where restaurants, cafes, food trucks, street stalls and barbeque pits all open up to share their favorite dishes with the public. From the grits of the south to the chowder of the north, you'll find tastes of all kinds during this festival. Just be prepared to make another notch in your belt!
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Also known as JazzFest, these concerts bring together thousands every May when the crowds gather to appreciate New Orleans food and sound. Past performers include everyone from Miles Davis to the Temptations, and the roster only gets more impressive every year. If you're a fan of open-air music and thrumming, bustling fun, you won't want to miss Jazzfest.
New Year's Eve
Ring in midnight with fireworks and festivities that last all night. St. Charles Avenue is the place to be, the street brimming with activities throughout Uptown, Downtown and the French Quarter, so make a home base at Maison St. Charles Hotel & Suites and explore the surrounding area until you can no longer stand. Once you've wrapped up the evening in style, you can even browse their New Orleans event calendar to make plans for the new year!