Celebrating the Unique Culture of New Orleans: A Guide to the City's Festivals

New Orleans is a city that loves to throw a party. With more than 130 festivals a year, there's something for everyone to celebrate. From the iconic Mardi Gras and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo and Tales of the Cocktail, the city offers visitors a variety of colorful events almost every weekend. Carnival season is a unique celebration of New Orleans culture, beginning on January 6 (Epiphany) and culminating with Mardi Gras.

During this time, expect luxurious Krewe dances, parades and parties. The annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo is held on the banks of Bayou St. John for three days in May, featuring many of NOLA's favorites, from Amanda Shaw and Anders Osborne to Cowboy Mouth and Tab Benoit. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival also attracts thousands of visitors each year to celebrate local music and food.

The festival's gastronomic offer, prepared by some of the city's best chefs, is second to none (and helps keep the festival free).The Monteleone Hotel is the venue for one of New Orleans' most popular festivals: Tales of the Cocktail. Cocktail lover Ann Tuennerman founded the event in 2003 and currently hosts approximately 17,000 guests each year. Tales of the Cocktail is a gathering of spirits and experts in the cocktail industry and was only initially a walking tour of historic New Orleans bars. One of the most notable parts of this event is the Spirited Awards, which is a ceremony dedicated to bartenders, bars and other industry professionals, not just in the United States but around the world. Since the city is known as the home of jazz music, it's only natural that they celebrate it with a Jazz Festival every year.

The two-week music festival is held on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May at the fairgrounds, where you can see more than 100 of the biggest names in music performing live on various stages. Musicians like Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, Elvis Costello and Pearl Jam are just some of the famous bands that have performed over the years. Dirty Linen Night started in 2001 and was a fun way to take people to Royal Street to see the works of art created there. It is now an annual summer festival held in July along Royal Street, known for its many artist-owned galleries. Attendance at the event is free, but you'll want to bring your wallet for that piece of art that you just have to own. Satchmo Summer Fest Honors New Orleans Native Louis “Satchmo Armstrong.

Louis was a big influence on the city's music and culture and they still love him to this day. The three-day event takes place in the French Quarter and its starting point is the New Orleans Jazz Museum. During the event, you will enjoy the music of jazz and blues musicians and great music bands. Voodoo has had a significant impact on the culture and history of New Orleans, so it's no surprise that they came up with the Voodoo Music and Art Experience. This three-day festival began 20 years ago and is held on the last weekend of October at City Park.

Come and enjoy performances from some of the best rock and alternative music bands in Louisiana. No matter what time of year you arrive in New Orleans, you'll almost certainly find something worth celebrating. Check out our festival calendar below and start packing! The city can't wait to give you a good time.

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