Greater New Orleans, famous for its spectacular Mardi Gras and known as both the "Crescent City" and the "Big Easy," hosts a diverse line-up of annual extravaganzas, from festivals and fairs to sports and cultural happenings.
From the crack of the bat to the slide on into home, NCAA baseball packs a wallop of home run frenzy for what’s oft called America’s favorite pastime. Diamond action starts in January, continuing through most of June.
LSU Tigers, Loyola Wolfpack, New Orleans Privateers, Nicholls State Colonels, Southeastern University Lions, Southern University Jaguars, Tulane Green Wave
Battle of New Orleans Celebration
Re-enactment of the famous 1812 battle at Chalmette National Park features military drills, musket firings and cooking demonstrations with period costumes. On Saturday night, guided lantern tours illuminate the “night before the battle” within warring encampments. Call (504) 589-4428 for more information.
Celebration in the Oaks
From late November to early January, this historic city park becomes a holiday wonderland with walks through the botanical gardens and a two-mile driving route showcasing thousands of lights. Santa appears nightly, with miniature train rides and horse-drawn carriages. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
Sugar Bowl Classic
Originated in 1935, this gridiron classic unfolds at the Louisiana Superdome. Call (877) 99-SUGAR for packages or (800) 672-6124 for information.
Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con
Thousands of fans and many celebrities will visit the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in downtown New Orleans over the last weekend in January to visit America's largest touring expo of pop culture featuring movies, comics, toys, video gaming, television, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests, and more. Call (504) 582-3000 for more information.
Depending on the Gregorian calendar, Mardi Gras falling on Tuesday from Feb. 3 through March 9, is legendary in New Orleans with freewheeling street parties, formal masquerade balls, parades and more. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
Legend has it that the Irish were not invited to any of the New Orleans society Mardi Gras celebrations. So in the early 1800’s, they created their own O’Houligan’s Ball where outrageous costumes mocked popular society gatherings. Call (504) 529-1317 for more information.
New Orleans International Boat Show
Louisiana Superdome hosts a wide selection of new boats, engines and accessories for fun on the water. Call (504) 780-1818 for more information.
Nokia Sugar Bowl / Mardi Gras Marathon
This 5K marathon starts on Sugar Bowl Drive outside of the Louisiana Superdome and winds through streets of the historical city. Call (504) 454-8687 for more information.
Children’s World Fair
International exhibition at the Children’s Museum features music, literature, crafts, and food from 16 countries. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival
Five days of theatrical and musical events, lectures, panel discussions and literary tours -- some free -- are part of a salute to the great playwright. Call (504) 581-1144 for more information.
Louisiana Crawfish Festival
The Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center in Chalmette is the scene for this crawfish extravaganza featuring some 25 ways to cook crawfish along with non-crawfish dishes, plus rides, games and live entertainment. Call (504) 874-1921 for more information.
St. Joseph's Day Parade
In mid-March, the Italian American Marching Club celebrates St. Joseph's Day with culinary events, live music and a parade, blending Italian culture with New Orleans revelry. Call (504) 421-0955 for more information.
Crescent City Classic
The 10K Crescent City Classic road race starts at the Quarter’s Jackson Square, heads downtown and to Esplanade Ridge on a tree-shaded route winding up at historic City Park. Call (504) 636-1020 for more information.
Louisiana Swamp Romp
Crawfish and other Cajun favorites star at the Louisiana food festival unfolding for more than a decade featuring bands, beads and Mardi Gras dancers. Call (512) 441-9015 for more information.
French Quarter Festival
Committed to a pivotal role in rebuilding of New Orleans, the nearly quarter-century old French Quarter Festival provides economic impact of some $75 million over three days of family fun, with the World’s Largest Jazz brunch, 10 music stages, kid’s activities, an art show and more. Call (504) 522-5730 for more information.
On the Monday and Tuesday between Jazzfest weekends the Mayor’s Office Festival showcases new music talent. Call (504) 636-1020 for more information.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Musicians, crafters and cooks share their heritage and culture at this 35-year-old celebration often called Jazzfest at assorted venues. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
Greek music, food, crafts and entertainment reign at the Hellenic Cultural Center. Call (504) 282-0259 for more information.
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience
Featuring wines from more than 100 wineries worldwide, the festival also showcases New Orleans restaurant excellence. Call (504) 529-WINE for more information.
Great French Market Tomato Festival
Cooking demonstrations, tomato tasting and musical entertainment. Call (504) 636-1020 for more information.
International Arts Festival
The Big Easy’s third oldest festival takes over Marconi Meadows Park for a family-oriented fusion of arts, crafts, jazz, reggae, salsa, zouk and R&B. Cajun, Caribbean and African cuisine. Call (888) 767-1317 or (504) 367-1313 for more information.
Mayor’s Arts Awards
The Arts Council of New Orleans underscores the city’s unsinkable spirit with honors to recipients during a festive luncheon gala and patron party. Call (504) 523-1465 for more information.
Milk Mustache Mobile Tour
Towards the end of June, the national Got Milk? campaign hosts a number of events, including 'milk mustache' photo booths and presentations by dairy companies, kicking off around the River Walk Mall on Poydras Street in downtown New Orleans, with additional events at the Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Metairie. Call (312) 988-2026 for more information.
Robert Royal Foundation T.E.A.M. Youth Football and Cheer Camp
On the first weekend in July, teens 8 through 18 interact with players, perform running drills, practice the fundamentals of offensive and defensive maneuvers. Breakfast lunch and drinks are provided, as well as gift bags with players' autographs, at the Cut Off Center. 660 Belgrade Street. Call (713) 416-2787 for more information.
Essence Music Festival
Essence Magazine hosts a music festival in and around the Louisiana Superdome and the French Quarter over the 4th of July weekend, featuring food, music, seminars and presentations by famous authors. Call (800) 274-9398 for more information.
Go Fourth on the River
Featuring food, music, attractions and a spectacular fireworks display over the Mississippi River. Call (504) 636-1020 for more information.
Red River Western Festival
At the Louisiana State Fairgrounds in Shreveport, the Red River Western Festival (part of Ark-La-Tex) celebrates heritage of the Old West with chuckwagons, music jamborees, costume competition and barn dancing. Call (318) 798-3014 for more information.
Music and food combine within the French Quarter to honor native son Louis Armstrong. Call (504) 636-1020 for more information.
Tales of the Cocktail
Southern Comfort's Tales of the Coctail in the French Quarter provides a three-day opportunity to celebrate the history and culture of New Orleans dining and drinking. Call (504) 636-1020 for more information.
White Linen Night
This open-air event features gallery exhibit openings throughout the city's Warehouse Arts District. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
National Football League
If it’s fall and you’re ready for some football, count on the National Football League to deliver non-stop grid action, leading to playoffs, and the incomparable Super Bowl. The NFL has come a long way since its 1920 founding in Canton, Ohio at Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile dealership. NFL action was first televised in 1939 when NBC broadcast within New York City. The NFL’s Longest Day was on Christmas, 1971, in a playoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, and Miami’s 17-0 Perfect Season unfolded the following year. But that’s history, and prospects for new milestones start in September.
NCAA Football, created in 1997 to promote college football ideals, makes no bones about the importance of each game. Losing at any time during the season can thwart a team's chances for postseason action or an NCAA Championship. No wonder NCAA Football marketers have adopted a tagline of "NCAA Football: Every Game Counts."
LSU Tigers, Tulane Green Wave, Nicholls State Colonels, Southeastern University Lions, Southern University Jaguars
Labor Day weekend brings on New Orleans Southern Decadence like no other, with celebrants converging on the French Quarter to party at what’s often called the Gay Mardi Gras. Call (504) 524-3788 for more information.
Boys Hope Girls Hope Fall Gala
On the weekend after Labor Day, City Park's Pavilion of the Two Sisters hosts a celebration featuring food provided by local restaurants, live entertainment, and a silent auction to raise funds to help the organization to continue to provide a stable and loving home for the children. Call (504) 484-7744 for more information.
Art for Arts’ Sake
Galleries throughout the city open the season with evening activity culminating in music, food and dancing at the Contemporary Arts Center. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
Gretna Heritage Festival
The Gretna Heritage Festival promotes organizations in the City Of Gretna, celebrating from the Mississippi’s west bank with music, food and crafts. Call (504) 361-7748 for more information.
International Arts Festival
In mid-October, New Orleans City Park hosts a celebration of 20 years of world music and entertainment, featuring musicians of all nationalities and musical genres performing live. Call (212) 239-1732 for more information.
Bridge City Gumbo Festival
Gallon upon gallon of Louisiana's favorite chicken / sausage stew mixes with entertainment, food and a 5K run over the Mississippi River Bridge. Call (504) 436-4881 for more information.
Halloween in New Orleans
In a city ripe with voodoo legend, Halloween gets special treatment with haunted house tours, costume parties and a Moonlight Witches Run. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
German food, drinks and polka are in plentiful supply at Deutsches Haus on South Galvez. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
National Basketball Association
Toronto, Canada was the site of the National Basketball League's first game on Nov. 1, 1946, with the Huskies hosting the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens. Thirteen original rules were drafted by Dr. James Naismith, creator of basketball. Pro basketball suffered in popularity in the early 1950's, but one rule change -- that of the 24-second clock -- transformed the sport from a dull, stalling game to an exciting, offensive showcase. Icons along the way, from Bob Cousy and Wilt Chamberlain to Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, have immortalized what's now the National Basketball Association's game, creating long-standing rivalries from coast to coast.
First devised by James Naismith in 1891, with the first recorded collegiate game in 1893, legions testify there’s no sound so soothing as a basketball whooshing through the net after a flick of the wrist. NCAA basketball brings grass roots hoop dreams to an entirely new level each fall, building toward March Madness, the NCAA Division Basketball Championships.
Loyola Wolfpack, New Orleans Privateers, Nicholls State Colonels, Southeastern Louisiana Lions, Southern University Jaguars, Tulane Green Wave
During the first week in November, Remington College - Shreveport, 2106 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, hosts an event to focus on family fun and safety featuring a blood drive, ID kits provided by the Caddo Parish Sheriff, face painting and other kids' activities, fire safety and teen driving programs sponsored by Allstate, and more. Call (318) 671-4000 for more information.
On the first Saturday of November, Bayou Bacchanal brings the city to life with amazing costumes, steel band drums and the delightful cuisine. Bayou Bacchanal brings its party to the streets, known as a walking party. The parade starts at Harrah's casino, down Canal Street, and then takes the party down the streets of downtown to Louis Armstrong Park for more dancing and fun. After the parade, a variety of Caribbean musicians perform before thousands at the park. Call (504) 421-0461 for more information.
Bayou Classic action marks the traditional end of the football season with a game between Southern University and Grambling University at the Louisiana Superdome. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
Early in November, Louisiana's bayou country comes to Audubon Zoo with Cajun food, music and crafts. Call (504) 212-5417 for more information.
Bucktown Seafood Festival
Authentic Bucktown seafood is accompanied by live entertainment, cultural crafts, festival posters, games, raffles and more. Call (504) 833-8224 for more information.
Held during the second week in December, the Center for Design in downtown New Orleans hosts a week-long exhibition of architecture and art which highlights the cultural diversity of New Orleans. Call (504) 525-8320 for more information.
All Holladay Hop and LP Release Celebration
In mid-December, Dubla Music hosts a free concert with local independent Hip Hop artists and DJs to celebrate the holidays and their newest album release, at The Big Top on Clio. Call (504) 638-3014 for more information.
Christmas New Orleans Style
City-wide events include candlelight caroling in Jackson Square, tours of historic homes decorated in 19th century holiday style, cooking demonstrations, and more. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
New Year’s Eve
Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter, features fireworks and a lighted ball dropping from atop Jackson Brewery to welcome the new year. Call (800) 672-6124 for more information.
Words & Music Literary Festival
Aspiring authors gather in the French Quarter for a literary conference and workshop. Call (504) 636-1020 for more information.