We created this handy New Orleans Year-at-a-Glance guide for you to start planning your next trip. While some of these events may not be specifically LGBT, we invite you to take an unexpected turn and visit some other incredible New Orleans events like Oyster Festival or Red Dress Run. Come when your schedule allows (sometimes, exploring in the off-season can be the best anyway)! Our GoNola LGBT Hub has up-to-date content no matter when your trip falls.
January 4-29: The Lion King
It doesn’t get any gayer than this, folks!
January 6-8: Wizard World Comic Con
There’s a place for all people and costumes at Wizard World.
January 21: New Orleans Pride 2017 Announcement Party
Meet our Miss New Orleans Pride 2017 and Board of Directors, along with the unveiling of our Local Grand Marshals, Celebrity Grand Marshal, Line Up of Pride 2017 Events, and Pride 2017 Theme!
January 28: Gay Mardi Gras: Krewe of Mwindo Theme: “Mwindo on Broadway”
February 4: Gay Mardi Gras: Krewe of Amon-Ra Ball
February 11: Krewe du Vieux
Bring your sense of humor as this raunchy satirical commentary on today’s politics rolls through the Marigny, French Quarter, and CBD. This adult-themed mayhem is beloved by locals and tourists alike.
February 11: GrrlGras Masquerade
Meet hot ladies and get your dance on at GRRLSPOT’s 5th annual Krewe de Vieux Masquerade.
February 14: Valentine’s Day
Celebrate your significant other in one of the most romantic cities in the world.
February 18: Gay Mardi Gras: Krewe of Petronius Ball
February 25: Gay Mardi Gras: Krewe of Armeinius Ball – 49th Annual, Theme: “Festival of Festivals”. Ready to join New Orleans gay society? Come out to the satirical formal ball and feast your eyes on lavish hand-made costumes while rubbing elbows with the elite.
February 26: Gay Mardi Gras: Lords of Leather Ball Theme: “Magic to Do”
February 28: Bourbon Street Awards
The ultimate costume contest on Bourbon Street featuring amazing costumes from all the gay mardi gras balls (and more!) Anyone can join – sign up on Bourbon Street near Cafe Lafitte In Exile. This will be followed by the Annual Ambush Bead Toss at 828 Bourbon.
March 24-26: Saints and Sinners Literary Festival
Join LGBT publishers, writers and readers from around the world for panel discussions and classes where authors, editors and publishers talk about their work for the benefit of up-and-coming authors and LGBT literary fans.
April 6-9: French Quarter Festival
One of our favorite local festivals featuring live music all through the French Quarter and along the river.
April 14: Bunnies in the Big Easy
April 16: Gay Easter Parade
This lively afternoon parade passes just about every gay bar in the French Quarter. It showcases the fashion and creativity of the entire LGBT community with gentlemen in summer suits/tux with hats, and ladies in Easter suits/dresses with Easter hats.
May 19-21: Bayou Boogaloo
Grab the flotation device of your choice and head to Bayou St. John for a free music festival with live music and food.
May 29 (Memorial Day): Mascara Run
A hilarious gay bar crawl in the french quarter where teams compete to raise money as they add pieces of drag clothing at each stop.
June 3-4: New Orleans Oyster Festival
Compete in oyster eating and shucking contests or watch judges choose the best oyster and white wine pairings while you the taste vibrant flavors of oysters from around the gulf coast.
June 9-11: New Orleans Pride
Come celebrate our community at the annual Pride festival. Features a parade through the French Quarter and Family Day festivities.
June 22-24: FestiGals
Girlfriend Getaway Weekend – a celebration of women and New Orleans.
June 30-July 2: Essence Festival
Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Diana Ross are headlining this incredible music festival that is jam-packed with talented artists.
July 4: Independence Day French Quarter
Grab your family and picnic blankets and settle into a spot along the river to watch a grand fireworks display.
July 7-9: San Fermin en Nueva Orleans
Celebration and homage to the tradition Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
July 8: Running of the Bulls
Join a huge group of partying white and red-clad “runners” who expertly evade girls on rollerblades with plastic bats looking to gently tap your behind.
July 17: Bastille Day Fête
Bring the family to join in games and merriment celebrating the event that kicked off the French Revolution.
July 18-23: Tales of the Cocktail
The 15th Annual Tales of the Cocktail is the perfect place to pick up new boozy techniques and knowledge. Learn cocktail histories and sample their different recipes from famed bartenders around the city.
July 22nd: 30th Annual Gay Appreciation Awards Gala voted on by the readership of Ambush Magazine, thanking those in the LGBT+ Community who are often not recognized for the outstanding services and efforts they perform.
August 5: Whitney White Linen Night
Everyone dressed in white along Julia Street makes for a fun party.
August 11: The Lazarus Ball Previously part of Halloween weekend (but still a fundraiser for Project Lazarus), this black-tie-preferred social gathering includes an art-filled silent auction, food, and entertainment. To make the most of this weekend, pack a suit or tux, a red dress, and a “dirty” linen outfit (it really doesn’t have to be dirty).
August 12: Red Dress Run
Men and women don red dresses for a short charitable run in the French Quarter. Don’t want to run? Put on a red dress and come celebrate anyway.
August 13: Dirty Linen Night
Following the artsy White Linen Night, guests continue the party the following weekend in the French Quarter in the same dirty outfits. It’s a faux walk of shame that progresses into the night.
August 30- September 4 (Labor Day Weekend): Southern Decadence
Over 300,000 LGBTQs gather in the French Quarter for a long weekend of revelry.
September 2: Fleurt at Eiffel Society
A Dykeadance party for lesbians, gender queer and gender fluid in New Orleans to come together, hang out, and mingle. Last year’s event featured Violet Chachki from RuPaul’s Drag Race and local favorite Bella Blue.
October 20-22: Halloween New Orleans (HNO)
A weekend of events and parties raising money for charity, and a favorite for LGBTQ visitors.
October 21: Krewe of Boo
A beloved parade with a cult following of Halloween fanatics and families alike. You’ll see your favorite bands and krewes in their costumed best.
November TBD: Faux/Real Festival
Flourishing arts festival commemorating artists of literature, theater, food and drink.
December (dates TBD): Bourbon Street Classic Softball Tournament
December (dates TBD): Christmas New Orleans Style and Krewe of Jingle Parade
The most wonderful parade of the year filled with Christmas jingle and holiday cheer.
December 31: New Year’s Eve
Ring in the city’s 300th Anniversary year with fireworks along the Mississippi River.