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Top 5 Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July in New Orleans

Fireworks on the Riverfront (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Whether you’d like to kick back and relax or get out and explore, New Orleans is full of fun things to do this 4th of July. Catch fireworks at City Park or on the Riverfront, spend the day on the Lakefront, or enjoy a trip to the Audubon Aquarium or Insectarium. Stay the weekend for ESSENCE Festival and enjoy great music, food, and lots of fun. New this year is Sneauxball Fest, a family-friendly way to spend the holiday. Here’s a look at our top 5 ways to celebrate the 4th of July in New Orleans.

Fireworks on the riverfront (Photo: Paul Broussard)

1. Go 4th on the River

If you want to see fireworks this 4th of July, Go 4th on the River’s got you covered. At 9 p.m., dueling barges take to the Mississippi River and provide a spectacular fireworks show choreographed to a medley of patriotic songs (download the app to listen along here). Head down to the Riverfront and enjoy this show for all this 4th of July.

Catch the 3rd of July Fireworks above the Peristyle in City Park (Photo: Paul Broussard)

2. Have a Happy 3rd of July at City Park

Celebrate the 4th of July before it happens with Happy 3rd of July at City Park. Beginning at 7 p.m., enjoy patriotic music from The Marine Corps Band New Orleans on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn and fireworks from the top of the Peristyle at 9 p.m. Food will be available for purchase, including snowballs, but guests can also bring their own picnic. This event is free.

Take in the wonders at the Audubon Aquarium (Photo: Paul Broussard)

3. Visit the Aquarium and Insectarium

This 4th of July, keep it cool with a visit to these two indoor Audubon Institutes. This weekend, guests can use a coupon to receive $4 off admission to the Audubon Aquarium or the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Hang with the sea otters, jellyfish, and penguins or check out the creepy crawlies during your visit to these two institutions.

The sun sets on the Lakefront (Photo: Paul Broussard)

4. Spend the Day on the Lakefront

Whether you’d like to have a picnic or eat out, tackle land or sea, enjoy sports or relax, the New Orleans Lakefront has it all. If water sports are your thing, check out NOLA Flyboarding where you can rent jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards, and attempt to defy gravity with flyboarding. If you’d rather stay high and dry, enjoy fresh seafood at The Blue Crab or Landry’s Seafood. Take a bike ride along Lakeshore Drive, relax on the levys, and stay for the beautiful sunset this 4th of July.

Essence Fest (Photo: Zack Smith)

5. Stay for Essence Fest

It wouldn’t be 4th of July weekend without ESSENCE Fest, and this year, the lineup is big. Hang out in the Convention Center during the day and check out the speakers, expos, and food before heading to the Superdome for the evening concerts. Performances this year include Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams, and more. This year will also feature a special appearance from Michelle Obama. ESSENCE Festival is July 4-7, and ticket prices vary.

Lagniappe: Sneauxball Fest

New this year is Sneauxball Fest, a family-friendly festival held in New Orleans East on the Fourth of July. Celebrate community while enjoying live performances, food and drink, a car show, a Greek Step Show, and more. Best part of all–the festival is free to attend!

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