Festivals In New Orleans

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.


Must See Attractions in New Orleans

Many tourists come to Louisiana and don't get to visit the must see attractions in New Orleans. Some of the attractions are fairly obvious ones that most people know about while others are more off the beaten track. There are so many things to do in New Orleans.

carriage ride in the french quarter
most see attractions in New Orleans

Take the New Orleans School of Cooking, for instance. This is one of the few places that a visitor can take classes in classic Creole cooking, making jambalaya, shrimp Creole, or gumbo dishes. If you love authentic New Orleans cooking and want to know how it’s made, you need to visit this attraction and view a demonstration class.

Another attraction is the National World War II Museum. The focus here is on the remembrance and celebration of the American Spirit, courage and the sacrifices of the men and women who served during World War II. There are many relics on display and audiovisual demonstrations. Plan on spending at least half a day touring this fantastic museum, noted as being the best of its kind in the country.

Attractions in New Orleans Not To Be Missed!

One attractions not to be missed is a tour through the Garden District. If you contact the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, you can get information on self-guided tours of this beautiful neighborhood. You will see antebellum mansions, gorgeous gardens and the way the “new rich” lived and built their homes in the 19th century.

Take a factory tour of the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery. The tour begins with a cocktail and ends with a tasting of four types of rum. See the process of distilling rum from beginning to end. This is a great way to spend some time on something novel to do outside of the quarter.

The Audubon Zoo is a favorite with adults and children alike. You will find an interesting swamp exhibit here, where, by the way, you can eat a meal of delicious jambalaya! You’ll also find a Cajun Village, and all of the exhibits, indoors and out, that can be expected at a top-notch zoo.

Jackson Square

The History of New Orleans
Jackson Square

For a fun outdoor walking experience, visit Jackson Square, a famous landmark facing the Mississippi River and is surrounded by the St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo and the Presbytere (Mardi Gras museum with the Katrina exhibit). Here is a great place to sit, relax and do some people watching. Jackson Square ties a lot of the different histories and sights of New Orleans together. In any direction you walk, you’ll see one of the New Orleans attractions you’ve heard about. You will come across Bourbon Street, St Louis Cathedral, Cafe du Monde, Marie Laveau’s, Pat O’Brien’s, The French Market, The Riverwalk and The Natchez Paddle-Wheeler. Take a horse drawn carriage ride and admire the picturesque area. There are so many things to do while in the Crescent City! Enjoy yourself and remember there are many things to do in New Orleans because NOLA never sleeps!

Louis Armstrong International Airport

Louis Armstrong International Airport is a very busy airport year round. It's because  New Orleans is such a popular tourist destination, there are many flights to New Orleans scheduled by various airlines. Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, most people know that the heart has stayed in New Orleans and they want to come and take part in the city's revival. They know that the music is still there, the French Quarter has survived in all its glory and the food and festivities continue to prevail.

Flights to MSY
Louis Armstrong International Airport

There are a couple of great festivals worth traveling to New Orleans for: Mardi Gras, New Orleans Jazz Festival and the French Quarter Festival. In 2011, the city celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. A must date for literary buffs, this festival is held five days in March and boasts classes by the masters: leading agents, editors and authors. Tennessee had eight residences in his spiritual home of New Orleans.

From walking tours to his favorite hangouts to film screenings by America's greatest playwright, you will not be disappointed. Feel you have a need to holler "STELLAAAA" You may want to take part in the "Street Car Named Desire" shouting competition that closes the festival each year. Free and open to both natives and visitors alike, this is most definitely a favorite segment. If you can get away for one or any of these fests from February to April, by all means book one of the flights to New Orleans before it is too late. They fill up quickly as this is the peak travel season to the Big Easy.

For Mardi Gras, the fun starts officially on January 6 (known as Twelfth Night or Little Christmas) and lasts until Shrove Tuesday. Get in on the colorful parties and parades. If summer travel is more your thing, do not be alarmed. There are festivals for you also. The Satchmo Fest, celebrating musician Louis Armstrong, New Orleans most popular and beloved native son, is a four-day event during the month of August.

Louis Armstrong International Airport

The most popular flights to New Orleans are those run by Delta, Continental, Southwest and United Airlines. Thousands of flights leave and arrive weekly at Louis Armstrong International Airport, just outside of the city. Once you arrive in New Orleans, you may opt to stay at a hotel near the airport to make your trip more convenient. There are a variety of quality hotels nearby the airport. The closest is the Days Inn which is less than half a mile from the site. Gather up your luggage and you can practically walk to your room, take a nap and be refreshed enough to take part in the festivities that very evening. If you would like to upgrade, the Airport Hilton is also located nearby on Airline Highway.

If you don't mind being a short distance from the airport and closer to the middle of things near the French Quarter, stay in a lovely hotel in the Garden District. One hotel to consider is the Avenue Plaza Resort, just 11 miles from the airport. Or if you're in town to see a New Orleans Saints football game, you may want to go 10 miles away and stay 4 blocks from the Superdome at the Holiday Inn New Orleans Downtown Superdome Hotel.

Flights to New Orleans are scheduled often and can be purchased at discounts, deep discounts depending upon the time of year you are traveling. If you purchase a travel package, with hotel and flight included, you may save yourself even more money. Search the hotel packages on the Internet and book your trip in advance. You will get some perks that you cannot get at other times such as a food credit, discounts and added amenities. You won't have any trouble getting to New Orleans but if you book at the right time, you will have more money to spend doing the things you enjoy the most.



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