Category Archives: New Orleans Festivals

City Park. NOMA New Orleans Festivals

NOLA International Beer Fest – Knock Back a Few Cold Ones


Photo Courtesy of the NOLA International Beer Fest

Photo Courtesy of the NOLA International Beer Fest

Who doesn’t love knocking back a couple of cold ones with buddies on a Saturday afternoon? How about having a selection of more than 150 craft beers for you to sample?

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New Orleans Festivals

Louisiana Swamp Festival 2012:Music, Food and Fun Cajun Style

A Louisiana Swamp with tall cypress trees and cypress knees

Louisiana Swamps are exceptionally beautiful.


This coming weekend, Nov. 3-4th, the Audubon Zoo hosts the annual Louisiana Swamp Festival on their lush green grounds. With admission to the city’s world-renowned zoo read more »

New Orleans Festivals

New Orleans’ Free Fall Food Fest: Louisiana Seafood and Crescent City Blues & BBQ

logo for Louisiana Seafood Fest

2012 Louisiana Seafood Fest

For the city of New Orleans, festivals—and most celebrations in general—tend to revolve around an essential cultural trifecta: food, music, and the arts. Whether it’s bigger, ticketed festivals like New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest or Voodoo Music Experience, or smaller, free fests like the two being held this weekend, they all sample the best the city has to offer in each of these three cultural categories.

This weekend, October 12-14th, downtown New Orleans hosts two different free festivals that attract visitors and locals alike each fall. Louisiana Seafood Festival celebrates the taste and quality of the state’s world-renowned under-the-sea delicacies, and the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival combines genres of music and food that have been slow-cooked to perfection in restaurants and venues around the city.

At Woldenberg Riverfront Park on the Mississippi River, stages of live music, rows of food tents, and strips of artist booths converge to support local seafood eateries and artists alike. From fish, shrimp, and crabs to oysters, crawfish, and other seafood eats, just about every edible underwater creature available in the Gulf of Mexico and local waters will be represented.

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New Orleans Festivals

Fall Festivals in New Orleans : September

The poster for the New Orleans Burlesque Festival


In New Orleans, fall, like spring, is festival season. After a long and hot summer, we are anxious to get outside and enjoy the weather as it turns crisp and cool . To take advantage of this temperate perfection while it lasts, we find  a reason to revel in Big Easy culture every weekend of the month.

This weekend, the New Orleans Museum of Art and its adjacent Sculpture Garden host Where Y’Art (September 7th). The evening will be enlivened by jazz music from saxophonist John Doheny, local restaurant fare from joints like Crepes a la Carte, Green To Go NOLA, and Woody’s Fish Tacos, and of course, art and art activities, all accessible with museum admission.

Next weekend, the Fourth Annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival (September 13th-15th), hosted by Harrah’s Casino and the House of Blues, presents enticing dancing talent from around the world, including renowned dancers of the past. In addition to performances, the festival will feature panels, workshops and the Queen of Burlesque competition.

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New Orleans Festivals

2012 Satchmo Summer Fest

Satchmo palying the trumpet

Louis ” Satchmo” Armstrong

This weekend, August 3-5, we’ll celebrate the 12th annual Satchmo Summer Fest, a music festival in the French Quarter at the Old U.S. Mint paying tribute to New Orleans’ favorite son, Louis Armstrong.   There are special lectures and seminars on his music and the early jazz of New Orleans, as well as a stellar lineup of performances by brass bands, traditional jazz bands, and jazz bands, all tuned up to show off Louis’ music.  And of course, there’s always wonderful food at New Orleans festivals.

Satchmo was born onAugust 4, 1901 (although he claimed to be born on the 4th of July!) The first Summer Fest commemorated the 100th anniversary of his birth.  Armstrong grew up poor in New Orleans.  His legal father abandoned his mother when he was an infant, and he didn’t see much of her either.  She went to live in the Perdido/Liberty St. neighborhood known as Storyville, home to pimps and prostitutes.  Armstrong’s paternal grandmother and uncle took care of him.  He briefly went to school, but quit when he was 11 and earned money by singing on the streets with other youngsters and working random jobs.

When he fired a 38-caliber pistol on New Year’s Eve 1913 (probably acquired from one of his “stepfathers”), Armstrong was arrested and ended up in a Colored Home for Boys. Its structure and discipline helped him develop, but he got a real start in life when Peter Davis, his professor who taught at the school, introduced him to the bugle and cornet.  He played in the Home’s brass band at picnics, socials, and funerals.  Young Louis rapidly absorbed what he could learn from the New Orleans players who were on the scene in those days–Bunk Johnson, Buddy Petit, Kid Or, and especially ”King” Joe Oliver.  He started playing with Kid Ory’s band in 1919, when Oliver left behind New Orleans.   Before long, Armstrong went up to Chicago to play with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, but he soon struck out on his own.  Switching from cornet to trumpet, he became a star.

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New Orleans Festivals

Bastille Day Celebrations In New Orleans

And you thought the fireworks were over.  Wrong.  So very wrong.  Because in New Orleans, we aren’t just American.  We also are a colonial city, founded by the French and governed by the French and Spanish along the way. That means—another chance for a party, on Bastille Day, July 14!  Yes, that’s right, but since it falls on the weekend, we get a few days of fêtes!  All in honor of the French ideals of libertê, egalitê, and fraternitê.  Which are, after all, ideals we cherish in New Orleans.

The Alliance Française of New Orleans puts on dinner for Bastille Day at Restaurant Galvez in the French Market to start on Friday, July 13, at 8:00 PM.  Today is the last day to order tickets for that gala dinner, but if you don’t make it to the dinner, you can check out the fireworks over the grand Mississippi River in Dutch Alley.  There’ll be a band, of course.  Fireworks start at 9PM.  Watch for sparklers in—red, white and blue, of course!

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New Orleans Festivals

New Orleans Creole Tomatoe Festival

Big juicy ripe red creole tomatoes

Locally Harvested, Juicy Creole Tomatoes


It seem that all we do in New Orleans is eat, and listen to music, and go to festivals to eat and listen to music.  So what’s wrong with that?   This weekend’s Annual Creole Tomato Festival, together with the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, at the French Market combines two of our favorite things-cajun/zydeco music and the aphrodisiac Creole tomato.

The Louisiana state legislature designated the Creole tomato the official vegetable plant of Louisiana in 2003.   (Okay, we know it’s technically a fruit, but that’s irrelevant for this discussion.  We honor the Creole tomato, no matter what its horticultural designation).   We locals look forward to their arrival the way folks in the Midwest do to the first sweet corn.   The Creole tomato usually means any tomato grown in southeast Louisiana, typically in St. Bernard and Placquemines Parish in that famous alluvial river soil.   They’re “open-pollinated,” and they have a crown at the root!   There’s no specific breed as such, although they were originally developed by LSU.  (Some sources say it was developed in the West Indies, but who knows?)  It just has to do with the soil, and the sultry Louisiana humidity.   You can grow your own—if you’re in the right place, with the right soil and climate—from varieties like Celebrity, Better Boy, Fantastic, Monte Carlo, Bingo, Big Beer, and Sunleaper. Slap a slice or two on some white bread, add bacon and mayonnaise, and you’re in summer mode for real.  Your host at Southern Comfort Bed and Breakfast loves this sandwich!

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