Everyone knows that New Orleans is the city of festivals. Almost every weekend, there’s a festival of some sort to keep us entertained. But how can you possibly keep track of all of them? Fear not, because here is our definitive list of the best festivals of the upcoming semester.
1. NOLA Horror Film Fest
If you’re a huge horror movie buff like me, you’ll have to check out this film festival, created by horror filmmakers for horror fans. Held September 20-23 at Prytania Theatre, this festival is the perfect way to get yourself into the fall spirit. Head to their website for more info.
2. National Fried Chicken Fest
If you’re less into horror and more into food (or just looking for something to do during the day) this is the perfect festival for you. Get ready to sample any and everything fried chicken in Woldenberg Park on September 22nd and 23rd, from 11am-9pm and 11am-8pm, respectively. This one is free entry, you just have to pay for all the fried chicken your heart desires.
Every weekend in October, you can celebrate your German heritage, or just awesome German food, right here in NOLA. There’s traditional German music, folk dancing, and lots of cold beer. Located in Kenner, this festival starts on October 5th and gives you the chance to taste German cuisine all through the month.
4. Beignet Festival
Get ready for some fried, powdered-sugared goodness at the annual Beignet Festival. In City Park on October 6th, indulge on all the beignets you could ever want in wild flavors, all while supporting Tres Doux Foundation, whose mission is “to celebrate and enhance the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities.”
5. Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival
As the name boasts, this three-day festival features live blues performances from some of the best in New Orleans and beyond, as well as some of the best New Orleans BBQ. Located in Lafayette Square Park, this festival runs October 12th from 4:30pm-8:30pm, and October 13th and 14th from 11am-8:30pm.
6. New Orleans Film Festival
This festival gives new and established filmmakers a chance to premiere their latest works. With everything from full-length features, to documentaries, to animation, there’s a little bit of film for everyone. Plus, the festival is committed to providing a platform for oppressed voices, meaning that 40% of its films are by filmmakers of color, and over 50% are by female filmmakers. Check this festival out from October 17th-25th at the Contemporary Arts Center.
7. Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
Okay, we’ve probably all heard of Voodoo Fest, but this list wouldn’t be complete without the iconic music festival. Taking place over Halloween weekend (Oct. 26-28), this is the perfect opportunity to dress up in your best costumes and “worship the music.” Also, Tulane offers a free shuttle to and from the park, so you don’t have to worry about the hordes of people trying to Uber all at once.
8. Oak Street Po-Boy Festival
Come get your fill of this New Orleans classic all day on November 11th. This festival runs from 10am-6pm, and offers live music, arts, and, of course, every type of po-boy you could imagine. During the festival, you can get a glimpse of the range of unique shops on Oak Street, offering everything from vintage books to jewelry to cozy little dining establishments.
9. Treme Creole Gumbo Festival
Held in what is known as the oldest neighborhood of free African Americans in the United States, this festival celebrates NOLA’s long heritage of jazz and gumbo. Being on November 17th and 18th, it’ll be the perfect time to warm your hands and stomach with some of this delicious New Orleans classic.
10. Celebration in the Oaks
Starting the weekend of Thanksgiving and continuing until the new year, this festival is the perfect way to get yourself into the Christmas spirit. This festival features light displays throughout City Park, as well as carnival rides and dozel of Christmas trees decorated by local school groups. Hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday, 6-10pm, and Friday and Saturday, 6-11pm. This is the perfect way to round out your semester before heading back home for the holidays.
New Orleans is a city of many festivals, as there are more festivals than days of the year, and while they aren’t all listed here, I hope this list gives you a start on your festival calendar. For a full list, click here!
COVER PHOTO: Eventbrite