July in New Orleans is one-of-a-kind. With a new festival every weekend, you’ll never be short of food, drinks, music, and fun. Here are some ideas for this month, whether you want to beat the summer heat or soak up the sun in NOLA.
15 Things to Do in July
Jam out to R&B, hip-hop, jazz, gospel, and more at ESSENCE Festival
From June 30 – July 3, see one of the biggest celebrations of African American music and culture. ESSENCE Fest has a lineup of empowering speakers and amazing artists — headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Leon Bridges, and Jeremih.
Dance like no one’s watching at Zumba at the Peristyle
Grab your dancing shoes and get ready to groove with City Park’s weekly and free Zumba classes. Rain or shine, you can count on this workout to get you movin’ every Saturday (the first of the month is on July 2) at 8 a.m.
Have a Happy 3rd of July with fireworks and patriotic music in City Park
Bring your chairs and blankets to celebrate Independence Day at City Park. The Marine Corps Band will provide tunes at 7 p.m., and the spectacular fireworks at the Peristyle are a must-see at 9 p.m. Don’t miss the corndogs and vodka snowballs!
Have an even happier July 4 with dueling barge fireworks
Continue your Independence Day fun on the Mississippi River with Go 4th on the River. At 6 p.m., the General Roy S. Kelley fireboat will display its famous red, white, and blue water show, followed by the 9 p.m. fireworks show.
Embrace National Macaroni Day with the best mac ‘n’ cheese in town
See a cosmic circus performance at the Smoothie King Center
On July 8, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to town. See their intergalactic, acrobatic, and aerial performances at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets here.
Laugh out loud at Stoked at the Howlin’ Wolf
New Orleans’ best comedians will have you LOL-ing all night. On July 8, Stoked starts at 10:30 p.m. It’s free!
Run with the “bulls” at San Fermin en Nueva Orleans
Inspired by the world famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, New Orleans’ Running of the Bulls begins its events at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 9. Crowds of participants wear traditional white and red attire, but instead of bulls, you’ll run from the not-so-traditional Big Easy Rollergirls and their Wiffle ball bats.
Feel tres French at the annual Bastille Day Fete
Immerse yourself in French culture at New Orleans Museum of Art for Bastille Day Fete at 4 p.m. on July 15. You’ll find local musicians, French cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities, and plenty of wine and cheese.
And feel tres, tres French at New Orleans French Film Festival
Cool off with a frozen treat on National Ice Cream Day
Up your NOLA emoji game on World Emoji Day
July 17 isn’t just National Ice Cream Day — it’s also World Emoji Day. Party via text with all your favorite emojis, and check out our primer on “NOLAmojis” here.
Raise your glass for Tales of the Cocktail
Experience more than 200 drink-centric events, including educational seminars, delicious tastings, and incredible parties from July 19 – 24 at the Tales of the Cocktail conference. Buy tickets here (or take part in drink specials, dinners, and more happening citywide in coordination with the conference).
Have a Sunday Funday at Freret Street Funday
Celebrate girl power at Festigals
Grab your gal pals from July 28 – 30 for a weekend of female-empowering seminars, shopping, and cocktail sipping for Festigals. This year’s unforgettable events in the downtown area include the Stiletto Stroll and the Bodacious Bras for a Cause Brunch. Buy tickets here.