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Five Must-See New Orleans Festivals

Between the food, the music, the history, and so much more, there’s always something fun to do in New Orleans! That said, if you’re planning a trip to The Big Easy and somehow find yourself struggling to fill your itinerary, you can’t go wrong with New Orleans festivals. From jazz to oysters, there’s something for everyone in our guide to NOLA festivals!

Between the food, the music, the history, and so much more, there’s always something fun to do in New Orleans! That said, if you’re planning a trip to The Big Easy and somehow find yourself struggling to fill your itinerary, you can’t go wrong with New Orleans festivals. From jazz to oysters, there’s something for everyone in our guide to NOLA festivals!


NOLA Jazz and Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

What would a guide to NOLA festivals be without New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest at the top of the list? For two long weekends every year since 1970, visitors from around the world have flocked to Jazz Fest to hear some of the biggest names in music, including Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, and B.B. King, just to scratch the surface. More recently, Elton John, Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Pearl Jam, and Elvis Costello are just a few top acts who have graced the stages at Jazz Fest.

If you need a break from the large music crowds, there’s plenty more to do at Jazz Fest. Learn about the culture that helped to create the festival at the Congo Square African Marketplace, or head to the Louisiana Folklife Village to watch Cajun musicians craft handmade accordions or learn more about the traditions of Mardi Gras.


New Orleans Oyster Festival

The New Orleans Oyster Festival is about much more than enjoying a few too many of these slimy mollusks for two days. The mission of the festival is to educate visitors about the Louisiana Gulf Oyster and celebrate the oyster farmers and restauranteurs who have helped to make New Orleans’ French Quarter the Oyster Capital of America. During your visit, you can, of course, eat plenty of oysters. But there’s also a music stage where you can catch new acts, as well as a crafts area full of unique vendors and fun contests to join, like the P&J Shucking Contest.

NOLA Oyster Festival

NOLA French Quarter Festival

French Quarter Festival

Offering free admission, the French Quarter Festival is the largest free festival in the country. Music, food, and art fill 100 stages in New Orleans’ French Quarter for four days, much to the delight of the hundreds of thousands of visitors the fest sees each year. Enjoy jazz, blues, zydeco, and more music of New Orleans, or head to one of more than 60 tasting booths set up by some of the city’s best restaurants.


Dirty Linen Night

This annual free-of-charge get-together started in 2001 to celebrate the artists of Royal Street and now takes place every July. Explore Royal Street end-to-end, stopping in every gallery that catches your eye to indulge in delicious food, great music, and, of course, the brilliant works of art on display.

NOLA Dirty Linen Night

NOLA Cajun Zydeco Festival

Cajun Zydeco Festival

With its roots in Lousiana’s bayous, we think a fitting end to our list is the Cajun Zydeco Festival. Enjoy three days of Louisiana’s most renowned Cajun and zydeco performers in Louis Armstrong Park, and don’t forget your dancing shoes! Foot stomping is encouraged, and you might end up the odd one out if you don’t make your way to the dance floor. Refuel with some of Louisiana’s best seafood, and head to the art market when you need a break from dancing. Bringing kids along? No problem – the fest provides plenty of kid-friendly activities!


Explore More of New Orleans with Ray Brandt Mitsubishi!

The morning after a night spent at a New Orleans festival requires a hearty breakfast, and Ray Brandt Mitsubishi has got you covered with our guide to the best breakfast in New Orleans. For more local tips, be sure to follow along with our NOLA guide so you never miss a beat, or contact us if you have questions!


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Image Sources:
https://www.nojazzfest.com/
http://nolaoysterfest.org/
https://frenchquarterfest.org/
http://dirtylinen.org/
https://www.jazzandheritage.org/cajun-zydeco

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Ray Brandt Mitsubishi
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