Summer in New Orleans is hot in more ways than one. Get ready to add to your “to-do” list with a slew of cool fests (and festivities) happening across the city. Can you cross off each and every one?
What’s Coming Up
Throughout the month of August, this dining deal features more than 80 restaurants offering special prix fixe lunch, brunch, and dinner menus. Keep all eyes on their website to watch the growing list of participating restaurants (Antoine’s, Brigtsen’s, Café Degas, and Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak are just a few of the restaurants in on the deliciousness so far).
Throughout the month of August, one museum membership gets you access to a dozen participating museums all month long. New Orleans Museum Month museums include the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), the National WWII Museum, the New Orleans Jazz Museum, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, just to name a few.
Honoring Louis Armstrong, Satchmo SummerFest is another first-weekend-of-August festival that takes place at the New Orleans Jazz Museum in the French Quarter. Six-dollar daily admission (children under 12 are free) provides access to three stages of live local music, food booths featuring a number of well-known restaurants, seminars with renowned Armstrong scholars, and more. Satchmo SummerFest fest happens August 2-4.
Recalling an old tradition for staying cool by wearing white linen (it’s said to help reflect heat), this big, fabulous block party on the first Saturday of August (August 3 this year) encourages attendees to wear white, although it is not required. Shop, stroll, and sip through the art galleries along the Arts District on Julia Street, and then finish the night with a party at the Contemporary Arts Center, featuring food, live music, and of course, art.
Grab a red dress from your closet, a friend, or second-hand shop and run through the French Quarter for this annual event. This year’s Red Dress Run starts at Crescent Park on August 10 at 11:30 a.m., though festivities tend to start around 9 a.m. with beer, food, and live music. Hosted by a self-styled “drinking club with a running problem,” this Hash House Harriers’ event is adults only.
On the weekend following White Linen Night (August 10, same as Red Dress Run!), put on your unwashed linens from White Linen Night (hence the name “Dirty Linen”) and meander Royal Street in the French Quarter for a three-hour event of special entertainment, art, food, drinks, and deals.
Finish out the month of August with a festival that covers all the bases: music, food, art, culture, and do-goodery. Stretching throughout the Warehouse District, the NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Fest is August 21-24 and lets you experience pop-up shops, food trucks, street music, art, and bowling, all while supporting an organization that supports New Orleans musicians.
Labor Day weekend in New Orleans is all about this massive gay event. Taking place in the French Quarter, Southern Decadence is August 29 to September 2. Events are adult-themed, and we love Sunday’s walking parade through the French Quarter.
During the month of September, the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s (LRA) Greater New Orleans Chapter sponsors Restaurant Week. Any time between September 9-15, visit participating restaurants around the area offering dining specials like prix fixe menus, specially priced two-course lunches, and three-course dinners.
Spotlighting classical and traditional burlesque, the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, taking place September 12-15, is a stunner featuring shows, workshops, panel discussions, and parties. The main go is Saturday night’s competition with the world’s best burlesque dancers vying for the title “Queen of Burlesque.”