New Orleans is a city that loves to celebrate. From the iconic Mardi Gras to the French Quarter Festival, there are plenty of amazing festivals to experience in the Big Easy. Whether you're looking for music, food, art or culture, there's something for everyone in this vibrant city. The most famous festival in New Orleans is undoubtedly Mardi Gras.
This annual celebration of excess and indulgence is held on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and marks the start of Lent. The festivities last for several weeks, with parades, costumes, beads and King Cakes all part of the fun. Be sure to wear the official Mardi Gras colors: purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power). If you don't want to deal with the crowds, consider traveling to New Orleans a few weeks before Mardi Gras.
The French Quarter Festival is another popular event in New Orleans. This free music festival began in 1984 as a way to attract locals back to the area after construction of the World's Fair ended. It's now the largest free music festival in the country, with approximately 1,700 Louisiana musicians playing on 23 different stages. Here you'll hear a variety of musical genres, from funk to jazz and zydeco.
The Wine and Food Experience is another must-do event for foodies and winos alike. This 5-day celebration of all things delicious features more than 250 wineries and 100 restaurants. If you want to participate in this event, visit their website for more information. Tales of the Cocktail is another popular event in New Orleans.
Founded by Ann Tuennerman in 2003, this gathering of cocktail amateurs and professionals now hosts approximately 17,000 guests each year. The Spirited Awards ceremony is one of the highlights of this event, honoring bartenders, bars and other industry professionals from around the world. Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is a massive 3-day festival that takes place each year in City Park. Top artists like Guns N' Roses, Post Malone and Beck have all performed at this event over the years.
Dirty Linen Night is an annual summer festival held in July along Royal Street. This event celebrates local artisans and their handmade items, with plenty of music and food to enjoy as well. Finally, Satchmo Summer Fest honors New Orleans native Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong with a three-day event in the French Quarter. This celebration of jazz music features some of the biggest names in music performing live on various stages.