Top 5: Festivals in New Orleans
New Orleans knows how to celebrate. The city claims the title of Festival Capital of the World, with various elements of the region’s culture and history celebrated throughout the year. Among the best festivals to attend are:
Jazz and Heritage Festival
Held each spring since 1969, the Jazz Fest (as it’s known locally) is a multiday gathering of musicians on multiple stages. Acts include world-famous musicians and bands like Elton John and The Who to an array of local and regional musicians showcasing the area’s rich musical heritage. The festival grounds are filled with food vendors serving up classics like crawfish Monica and beignets.
French Quarter Festival
New Orleans’ most historic district hosts what is basically an enormous block party, with small stages scattered around the area and food and drink vendors. Wandering the French Quarter, eating and drinking and dancing in the streets, is a quintessential New Orleans experience.
Tennessee Williams Literary Festival
This festival celebrates one of the city’s most famous residents with performances, walking tours and a “Stella!” screaming contest.
Red Dress Run
The annual event involves thousands of women — and men — donning red dresses and jogging (or stumbling drunkenly) through the French Quarter. There’s also live music and food. And plenty of hilarious photo ops.
The city’s joie de vivre is on display for the many celebrations surrounding Mardi Gras. Parades, street fairs and wild parties are on the docket.