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New Orleans Attractions: Top Summer Festivals in NOLA

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New Orleans Summer Festivals 

Summer may be the hottest time of year in the Big Easy, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of New Orleans attractions to enjoy! New Orleans summer festivals offer all kinds of occasions to experience the Crescent City’s vibrant culture. Whether you are most interested in music, art, food, or all three, there’s a New Orleans summer festival out there for you! 

NOLA Zydeco Fest – June 10th, 2023 

New Orleans Attractions Zydeco Fest performers on stage

Zydeco is one of Louisiana’s most famous and fun musical genres. In classic Louisiana melting pot style, this contagiously energetic music combines blues and R&B with French Creole, Native American and Cajun folk music influences. While Zydeco primarily developed in Southwestern Louisiana, audiences dance to the Zydeco beat all across the state.  

The NOLA Zydeco Festival was founded by Gabrielle Deculus and Courtney Smith. They began the festival to honor their great-grandfather, Zydeco legend Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin. NOLA Zydeco Fest will feature an all-star lineup of Zydeco talent, accompanied by delicious Louisiana food and beverages. This free event is scheduled for Saturday, June 10th, 2023 at A.L. Davis Park, located in New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood. 

ESSENCE Festival of Culture – June 29th-July 3rd, 2023 

New Orleans Attractions Essence Festival

The ESSENCE Festival of Culture is one of New Orleans’ largest annual events. While the music lineup always features superstar talent, ESSENCE Fest is about more than just entertainment. This sprawling New Orleans summer festival is both a celebration and a conversation centering on the African American community, particularly African American women. Seminars, workshops and speaking appearances focus on topics including but not limited to education, economics, religion, beauty, and fashion.  

ESSENCE Festival is always held over 4th of July weekend, so this year’s festival will take place from June 29th through July 3rd. Festival events take place around the city, with the largest of them occupying the Superdome and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Music headliners for 2023 include Ms. Lauryn Hill and Megan Thee Stallion. Tickets vary in cost and may be purchased for individual events or as weekend passes. Many of these events can even be attended free of charge. 

Red Dress Run – August 12th, 2023 

New Orleans Attractions Red Dress Run

Ever considered joining a “drinking club with a running problem”? Meet the New Orleans Hash House Harriers. This Crescent City club hosts events all year long, but the Red Dress Run is their biggest annual party. For this popular event, the Harriers dress in all red as they run from one libation source to the next. Although the route changes every year, the stops are always centered in the Marigny and French Quarter.

Those wishing to participate in the Red Dress Run don’t have to be Hash House Harriers themselves, but they are required to register and pay a fee. The Red Dress Run is a charity event, so all proceeds from registration go towards small, local non-profits. These annual runs always take place on the second Saturday in August, so this year’s event will fall on August 12th. 

Learn More with a French Quarter Walking Tour

Experiencing New Orleans attractions at your favorite summer festival will leave you hungry for more background on the Crescent City. Thankfully, a French Quarter walking tour is the best way to absorb New Orleans’ incredible history. These French Quarter tours will get you up to speed on how the Crescent City’s unique music, food, and architecture developed into the magical culture we enjoy today. So come join New Orleans Legendary Walking Tours and prepare to have a blast! 

New Orleans Legendary Walking Tours
New Orleans Legendary Walking Tours
French Quarter Tour  |  Garden District Tour  New Orleans Ghost Tour  |  New Orleans Cocktail Tour

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