The word “FUN” is nearly synonymous with the term Festivals in New Orleans. New Orleans is known to be a fun town, full of festivities, parades, music, food, art, and the Mississippi River.
Mardi Gras is just one of the many New Orleans festivals that this city can boast, and it is a very big one, indeed. From January until its huge parade on Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras is the big draw to the Big Easy. But there are other New Orleans festivals going on all year round in this town that never seems to sleep.
The French Quarter Festival runs during four days in mid-April where non-stop 275 hours of musical entertainment can be enjoyed on twenty stages. The festival attracts more than 500,000 participants for this New Orleans music fest. Begun in 1984, the French Quarter Festival is the largest free music festival in the South. A multitude of musical genres such as traditional and contemporary jazz, R & B, New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, classical, opera, Zydeco, Latin World, International, and children’s music are represented. Food and drink is available in beautiful Jackson Square and a free shuttle service will take you from stage to stage.
The Satchmo Summerfest is an event that music lovers everywhere should not miss. This New Orleans jazz fest is dedicated to the life and music of New Orleans born Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. It is a free music festival enhanced with speakers, seminars and food and drink.
There is no Christmas like Christmas New Orleans Style, a festival held during the month of December. Food, romance, art, architecture and music, this festival has it all. Enjoy the gospel choirs in the St. Louis Cathedral. Feel like a little child again as you stroll or ride along the oak trees all lit up in City Park. See the homes gaily decorated in the Garden District. Every nook and cranny of New Orleans is ready for the holidays during the entire month of the season.
Don’t miss the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April and May. The music tents are set up in Heritage Square and Louisiana Marketplace along with a showcase of original handcrafted clothing, gorgeous leather goods and crafted musical instruments, along with a colorful array of paintings, photographs, sculptures and one-of-a-kind jewelry items. You will find delectable food items in Congo Square, Heritage Square and the other food areas selling such wares as Po-Boys, Cajun Jambalaya, Alligator Pies, Beignets, Crawfish Bisque, Pralines, and fresh pies to name a few items. It is food and music galore. On the crafty and cultural end, there are “villages” set up to represent the various heritages such as Louisiana Folklife Village where Cajun musicians handcraft accordions, boat builders ply their craft, and you will learn the traditions of Mardi Gras Indians and Marching Clubs. The Native American Village will introduce you to a real pow-wow with traditional dances, drumming and singing.
Well it’s the Jazz Fest turn next on the list of festivals in New Orleans. Celebrating it’s 45th year, the Jazz Fest features scores of local and international musicians and artists. The dates are April 25,26,27 and May 1,2,3,4 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. People come from all over the world to the New Orleans Fairgrounds for seven full days of music, arts and food! Yes, that’s right not just the music and art but the food are a big draw as well. Check out the article By Scott Gold
If you’ve never been to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, you’ve probably still heard about it. It is, by all accounts, one of the longest-running, largest, and most-renowned music festivals in the Crescent City (if not the world!), and while theres a TON of amazing music, one of the best reasons to head down to the Fair Grounds actually has nothing to do with jazz, gospel, funk, rock, blues, or even Bruce Springsteen. It’s the food. You can literally spend an entire day at Jazz Fest doing nothing but eating, and even then, you probably wouldn’t be able to handle everything the vendors have to offer. Here’s the best of what’s there…
Cajun Nights Catering
African Combo Plate
Cochon De Lait Poboy
Love at First Bite
Vaucresson Sausage Co.
Japanese Yakiniku Po-Boy
Ninja Sushi Restaurant
Lamb Tagine and Merguez Sausage
Pheasant, Quail, and Andouille Gumbo
Barbecue Turkey Wings and Meaty White Beans
Down Home Creole Cookin
Vietnamese Shrimp Bun
Ba Mien Vietnamese Cuisine
See full story on The Best Food To Find At Jazz Fest
You must check out the Jazz Fest this year. Admission is $70 per day, $5 ages 2-10, and $55 advance (before April 24). VIP packages are available as well. I know it’s costly but well worth it and I will see you in the food lines!
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I had a great time at the French Quarter Festival this year. Every year the crowds are getting bigger. Surely all attendance records were broken this year with all of the great weather we had. If the crowds continue to grow, it may require that they stop all vehicle traffic in the French Quarter for this festival. The organization will have to revisit the parking situation in the French Quarter and surrounding area to handle the massive crowds.
French Quarter Festival is a free, annual music festival located in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded in 1983 with the first festival held in 1984, French Quarter Festival features 1,400 musicians across 21 stages in the French Quarter. The impressive array of music showcases a variety of popular New Orleans’ genres including traditional and contemporary jazz, Cajun-Zydeco, world, brass band, blues, rock, and pop from some of New Orleans’ most well-known musicians. French Quarter Festival offers cuisine from more than 65 of New Orleans’ finest restaurants at the ‘World’s Largest Jazz Brunch’. With an annual attendance of over 560,000, the festival bills itself as “The Largest Free Festival In the South.” The next French Quarter Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014.
French Quarter Festival is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., the nonprofit organization, which also produces Satchmo SummerFest in August and Christmas New Orleans Style in December. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. promotes the Vieux Carré and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans.
Click here for more on The French Quarter Festival
You haven’t experienced Louisiana until you come here for the New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities. The term “Mardi Gras” signifies one day of parties and parades on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras literally means “Fat Tuesday” in French. It is the Tuesday before the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. During Lent, many people stop eating rich food or candies, culminating on Easter Sunday, when a big meal is eaten to break the fast, including chocolates, in the form of Easter eggs or bunny rabbits, and delicious desserts.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Mardi Gras in New Orleans has come to mean more than just one day of partying and eating like a king. Mardi Gras carnivals have turned into a months’ long period of activities, some beginning in January and building up through February right up until the actual Mardi Gras Day.
If you’re wondering what goes on during Mardi Gras, here’s a few tips and ideas of what to expect before you make your New Orleans hotel reservation. First of all, do plan ahead, as the city gets very crowded during this time of year. If you plan on being in the Big Easy on Mardi Gras Day, study the parade routes and plan on being where you want to be with plenty of time to spare.
Do come to New Orleans with fun in mind! Dress up in a costume for the parades – anything goes here. You’re here to watch and to be seen. And be ready to catch some Mardi Gras beads and “throws” that are tossed into the crowd from the parade floats. These can include beads, cups, doubloons and stuffed animals. The beads are the most visible symbols and souvenirs of Mardi Gras and there are more than enough to go around.
Interestingly, there is no one “official” Mardi Gras. It’s a holiday that belongs to anyone and everyone who wants to take part in it. There are different parades with their own themes and best of all, it’s free to go to any of them. Enjoy the marching bands, over three hundred floats, and thousands of parade-goers. Whether you are in a parade or watching one, chances are you’ll be wearing an outlandish costume just to fit in! So have a great time and participate in one of the New Orleans Mardi Gras festivals.