Special Events in New Orleans

Mardi Gras
When one thinks of New Orleans, Mardi Gras is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind. "Mardi Gras" means "Fat Tuesday" in French, and the Mardi Gras festival is an exuberant exercise in excess before the strict Catholic Lenten season of fasting and penitence begins. New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras with a series of spectacular private balls and raucous public parades throughout the city in the days leading up to and including Fat Tuesday.

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival
Each spring, New Orleans pays tribute to the world-renowned playwright whose works – including A Streetcar Named Desire – were inspired by his adopted city. The multiple-day event at venues throughout the city includes theatrical performances, readings, panel discussions, classes, musical events, walking tours, and even a "Stella!" shouting contest.

French Quarter Festival
Louisiana's largest free music festival, held each year over a three-day weekend in April, celebrates life in New Orleans' famed French Quarter. On 12 stages situated throughout the quarter, music lovers can enjoy jazz, zydeco, blues, and all the other sounds that are part of the city's vast musical heritage. The festival's signature event transforms the French Quarter into the world's largest jazz brunch with more than 60 food and beverage booths offering a variety of specialty items from the city's top restaurants.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
What locals call "Jazz Fest" is an annual springtime celebration of the region's musical, culinary and artistic heritages. Jazz is just one type of music to be heard at the Fair Grounds; the festival's 11 stages also offer gospel, blues, rock, folk, zydeco, soul, reggae, and more, showcasing both local artists and internationally-renowned stars. The festival also features parades, handcrafted wares, and a mind-blowing array of food.

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience
New Orleans is a epicurean's dream destination any time of the year, and each spring thousands of food and wine lovers come together to celebrate the city's legendary culinary scene and benefit local charities. The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience showcases local food and chefs along with fine wines from around the world at indoor and outdoor events held throughout the city over five days.

Halloween
With a local lore that includes both hauntings and voodoo, there perhaps is no better place to celebrate this spooky holiday than New Orleans. Don a costume and check out one of the city's many parties and haunted houses.