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Costume Culture in New Orleans

There’s plenty of reasons to get your costumes together in October.

Mardi Gras costumes
Festive costume go-ers make Halloween a special holiday in New Orleans (Photo: Zack Smith)
- Photo by Zack Smith

Whether it’s Halloween, or a random Wednesday, costuming is always a great idea in New Orleans. We dress up for Red Dress Run, Mardi Gras and we might just dress up to have drinks at Good Friends. But since Halloween is obviously our favorite holiday, we put together some ideas for the upcoming weekends in October. If you are in need of a little more inspiration, Probably This shows us a few places to get your costume together in New Orleans.

Cocktoberfest – The Krewe of Armeinius is having a fundraiser to kick off Cocktoberfest. A festive night of German food, beer and entertainment, the event is held at “the den” where Mardi Gras costumes are created. You can see it featured here on Max and Kyle’s Great NOLA Adventure, Episode 2.

Halloween New Orleans (HNO) – The giant LGBTQ fundraiser for Project Lazarus is in it’s 36th year with events October 25-27th. There is always a theme and this year’s is “Hallowdays” (all the holidays are coming to Halloween). Friday’s black tie-preferred event will be at Board of Trade. Saturday’s Main Event takes place at the newly opened Fillmore, and is a costume required dance party. There will be a costume contest, midnight show, VIP area and more! Sunday’s Tea Dance on the Pier in Crescent Park includes a festival area, food trucks and great music on the pier. For more info on the HNO Weekend events, visit their website.

Krewe of Boo -Our big Mardi Gras-style Halloween parade is happening on Saturday, October 19, starting at 6:30 p.m. and rolls from the Marigny to the Warehouse District. You can catch it on the way to the party.

VooDoo Music + Arts Experience -The three day festival of music and art includes names such as Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Flow Tribe and over 60 other performers! This event takes place the weekend of October 25-27 at City Park and is second in size only to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Halloween Night – No matter how many times you’ve dressed up the previous weekends, everyone will be out again on Halloween night for more. Expect packed crowds of people in costume parading down Frenchmen Street and all through the French Quarter. If you go elaborate with your weekend costume, then maybe a quick shake-and-go wig is in order here.

Ready to get your costume together? Check out these shops: Fifi Mahony’s: Custom Wig Shop/Salon and Makeup Store in the French Quarter; Jefferson Variety: Raw materials for costuming including fabric, glitter, masks and more; Cate Swan: Costumer and Drag Queen; Allán Herrera: Custom Costumer; Dark Garden: Specializes is corsets and fiercely devoted to inclusivity and being a welcoming space for LGBT friends.

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