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Hot Summer Festivals in New Orleans

Things are heating up this summer on the festival circuit.

satchmo-summerfest
Jackson Square is the center of attention during Satchmo Summerfest. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Just because Jazz Fest is over doesn’t mean the festival landscape has dried up in NOLA. With a celebration for everything under the sun, you know we’re well equipped to party on through the next few seasons. Summer is on the horizon, and these fests are primed and ready to show you a good time. (Pro tip: if you haven’t booked your trip to these summer fests yet, check out these awesome deals.)

NEW ORLEANS SUMMER FESTIVALS

Bayou Boogaloo. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Bayou Boogaloo, May 19-21

A three-day spree of local music and food held on the banks of Bayou St. John, Bayou Boogaloo is the definition of a true NOLA celebration. With local musicians from New Orleans and neighboring cities, this fest is unlike any other in the Crescent City as attendees make their way down the bayou by kayak and “barge” (a homemade raft). Arts and crafts, a boat race, and a bicycle pub crawl are all part of the mix, too. Bonus: The Boogaloo is committed to sustainable festing and prides itself on being a zero-waste event.

The Superdome hosts Bayou Country Superfest this year Photo: Paul Broussard

Bayou Country Superfest, May 26-28

Bayou Country Superfest has moved to New Orleans, making Memorial Day even more celebratory. Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and other country superstars will all be in attendance, with an indoor venue at the Superdome and select events in Champion’s Square. Tickets from $45.

Oysters on the Riverfront? Yes, please. (Photo courtesy Oyster Festival on Facebook)

New Orleans Oyster Festival, June 3-4

What would a festival lineup in NOLA be without one dedicated to our finest bivalve? At this two-day, free fest, the city showcases all the amazing ways you can prepare an oyster. Held along the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park, Oyster Festival includes lots of eating and music, all with a picturesque view of the city. Make sure to check out the cooking demonstrations around the fest, three contests, and a slew of local crafts from vendors around the area.

Festigals’ Stiletto Stroll Photo: Paul Broussard

Festigals, June 22-24

As June draws to a close, grab your gal pals to celebrate female empowerment. From June 22 to 24, Festigals brings professional development conferences, shopping, and cocktail sipping to the JW Marriott Hotel. Don’t miss two of the most spectacular events: The Stiletto Stroll and the Bodacious Bras for a Cause Brunch.

Absorb Cajun and Zydeco music, food, and culture at the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Fest. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival, June 24-25

Acadiana comes to the city when The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation hosts Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Fest in Armstrong Park. This three-day, free fest will make you want to hop out of your seat and get down with the best of them.Work on your Cajun two-step! And let’s not forget all of the Acadiana food staples: boudin, alligator, and, of course, fresh Louisiana seafood.

The Superdome transforms for ESSENCE Fest every 4th of July weekend. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

ESSENCE Fest, June 30-July 2

Every year, the weekend before Fourth of July brings a wave of big-name acts to the Superdome for ESSENCE Fest. This year’s headliners range from Diana Ross and John Legend to Mary J. Blige and Chance the Rapper. An annual celebration of black culture, the festival also holds smaller performances as well as workshops, an empowerment speech series, and more.

Running of the Bulls Photo: Cheryl Gerber

San Fermin en Nueva Orleans, July 7-9

Inspired by the world-famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain, New Orleans’ Running of the Bulls begins its events on Friday, July 7. Participants take to the French Quarter streets in red and white ensembles as they try to avoid getting hit by a bull. There aren’t any real bulls here though. Instead, roller derby team the Big Easy Rollergirls (and their Wiffle ball bats) chase guests around town.

A pup dressed for Bastille Day Photo: Paul Broussard

Bastille Day Fete, July 14

New Orleans celebrates its French roots every July with a tribute to Bastille Day. Held at the New Orleans Museum of Art on July 1, the Fete includes local musicians, French cooking demonstrations, a dog costume contest, and plenty of wine and cheese.

It wouldn’t be a birthday celebration without a cake! Photo: Paul Broussard

Satchmo Summerfest, August 3-6

New Orleans couldn’t pass Louis Armstrong’s birthday without a grand affair. Held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Mint, Satchmo Summerfest celebrates Pops’ birthday with music, food, and a second-line parade appropriately dubbed the “Satchmo Strut.” The fest also includes seminars, discussions, and speakers focused on Louis Armstrong and his contributions to New Orleans — and the world.

Whitney White Linen Night. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Whitney White Linen Night, August 5

Don’t skip your laundry this week, y’all. Every year, a mass of white clothing takes over Julia Street as guests explore art galleries in the Warehouse District. Channeling days gone by in New Orleans where residents donned white to reflect the summer sun, guests soak up local artwork with handheld fans in tow on this Saturday celebration downtown.

Dirty Linen Night Photo: Cheryl Gerber

Dirty Linen Night, August 13

Keep your outfit after White Linen Night! The following weekend, Dirty Linen Night occurs: the idea is to wear your white linen from the previous weekend, now that it’s dirtied up. This time guests stroll down Royal Street, where shopkeepers give away free dirty martinis and dirty rice.

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