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Fall Festivals and Events

Things to do in New Orleans

After the heat of the summer is over, New Orleans gets busy again doing what we do best, "passing a good time."

The Fall season starts off with Southern Decadence on Labor Day weekend, followed quickly by the National Fried Chicken Festival on the third weekend of September.

October brings the Treme Fall Festival, the Crescent City Blues & Barbecue Festival, the Beignet Festival, and three weekends of Oktober Fest.

In November we'll have the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival, with brass band music and all sorts of gumbo and the Oak Street Po' boy Festival.

And September marks the beginning of "second line season". A unique to New Orleans cultural tradition, second line parades are sponsored by neighborhood based Social Aid & Pleasure clubs. The season runs from September through June, with Father's Day usually having the last parade until the fall.

We love going to second lines parades, and we always encourage our guests to do it as well. Tom works up route sheets and maps for our guests. If your travel plans include staying over Sunday, you really should check out a second line parade.
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Southern Decadence street party


Southern Decadence 2019, spanning 5 days over Labor Day weekend, is the largest LGBT festival in the South. The event is marked by walking parades, street parties, bead tossing, dances and other revelry.

In some ways it resembles Mardi Gras, but it's more adult in nature. Crowd sizes have ranged from 100,000 to 300,000 revelers who travel to New Oreans from around the world.

B&W Courtyards is well situated for Southern Decadence: just a short walk to the French Quarter, but in a quiet neighborhood when it's time to call it a night (or early morning.)


Second line parades are held by Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs. Some have long histories; the oldest such organization still holding regular parades is the Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association, founded in 1884. During the "second line season", lasting most of the year with breaks for holidays (including Mardi Gras) and the hottest part of summer, there are second line parades most Sundays. Longer parades often make stops, commonly at bars, where refreshments have been arranged for members and those following the parade for fun can purchase something. There are usually vendors selling soft drinks, beer, and street food, including barbecue and yaka mein. There's even one sidewalk entrepreneur who has a Radio Flyer wagon with a portable generator and a frozen daiquiri machine.

The "main line" or "first line" is the main section of the parade, or the members of the actual club with the parading permit as well as the brass band. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the "second line." The second line's style of traditional dance, in which participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is called "second lining." It has been called "the quintessential New Orleans art form – a jazz funeral without a body."

And these parades are not spectator sports - you follow along - as part of the second line. Think of it as a moving neighborhood block party. Tom prepares route sheets for the second line parades.
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October 2019
October 6 - Family Ties
October 13 - Prince of Wales
October 20 - Men of Class
October 27 - Black Men of Labor / Original Four

November 2019
November 3 - We Are One
November 10 - Sudan
November 17 - Nine Times
November 24 - Men & Lady Buck Jumpers
December 2019
December 1 - Dumaine Street Gang / Westbank Steppers
December 8 - New Generation
December 15 - Big Nine
December 22 - Women of Class
December 29 - Lady Rollers

January 2020
January 5 – Perfect Gentlemen
January 12
January 19 – Undefeated Divas
January 26 – Ladies & Men of Unity
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For 2019 the National Fried Chicken Festival has expanded to three days, and has moved to Woldenberg Park - along the French Quarter's bank of the Mississippi River. In cooperation with Gambit magazine the festival has put together a stellar line up of New Orleans musicians.

Artists include gut bucket bluesman Little Freddie King, trombone heavy funksters Bonerama, Mardi Gras Indian funk band Cha Wa, and Bounce Royalty - Cheeky Blakk, Choppa, and our friend ( and 2020 Zulu Governor ) DJ Jubilee. Also playing are the Hot 6 Brass Band, Brassaholics and Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers.

Over 30 vendors will be participating, both local and national. Stay tuned for a list of the 2019 vendors.

Past vendors have included Blue Oak BBQ, Bonafried, McHardy's Chicken N' Fixins, The Original Fiorella's Cafe, Willie's Chicken Shack, Gus's Fried Chicken and Veganation- to name a few.


Scout Island Scream Park comes to City Park every autumn. Eight acres of park land are transformed into a Halloween Festival.

Featured spaces will include My Blood Homecoming Fright Zone, the Kraken Pirate Pub and and Music Hall, the Balderdash Boutique, the Devil's Swamp Haunted Terror Tour, Carnival Rides and more.

On Fridays, the grounds are open 6pm to Midnight. On Saturday, the grounds are open 11am to Midnight and Sundays 11am to 11pm. Specific attractions open at various times. Please check the official website for more details.

Tickets start at $20.
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Image may be subject to copyright


The Treme Fall Festival is presented by the Historic Faubourg Treme Association to support the ongoing restoration of St. Augustine Church, the oldest historically African American Catholic Church. The center of the activities is at the intersection of Henriette de Lille & Governor Nicholls Streets, the crossroads of the Treme.

There will be live music, food as well as arts & crafts ny local artisans. There will be representatives from some of the various culture bearers rooted in the Treme and surrounding neighborhoods - Baby Dolls, Mardi Gras Indians and members of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

The music lineup hasn't been announced yet: we'll update the information as it comes in.


This is a one day festival held at City Park . All proceeds from Beignet Fest benefit the 501c3 nonprofit organization, Tres Doux Foundation. The mission of the Tres Doux Foundation is to celebrate, embrace and enhance the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities by presenting them as whole beings, and to support organizations that do the same. Each year, the Tres Doux Foundation makes grants to support New Orleans-area programs that serve children with development delays.

The music line up is great - the Honey Island Swamp Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, and Big Sam's Funky Nation.
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Image may be subject to copyright


New Orleans take on the Bavarian Oktoberfest will be held at Deutsches Haus on the banks of Bayou St John – 1700 Moss Street on three consecutive weekends in October.

There will be 25 different beers offered, including imports such as Warsteiner, Paulaner, Späten, Hacker-Pschorr and Köstritzer Bitburger. New Orleans' Urban South Brewery will be producing an exclusive Festbier – a cross between a pale & amber lager.

German food will be featured at Oktobertfest. German dinners, with rotating specialties, will be served in the main food area. Smaller booths will feature bratwurst on rolls or soft pretzels, kielbasa on a stick, and flammkuchen ( sort of a pizza with creamy white sauce.) Desserts include apple strudel, german cakes & pastries and Oktoberfest cookies.

There will be dachshund racing, a schnauzer costume contest, chicken dancing and oompah bands galore. 


The Patio Planters of the Vieux Carre opens magnificent courtyards of the French Quarter for a special weekend tour. This highly anticipated event offers the allure of private and historic gardens otherwise closed to the public. The self-guided walking tour reveals how garden designers take advantage of small spaces, and provides access to the cool and private hideaways suited to the Louisiana climate in styles of early Spanish and French architecture.

Several courtyards will be opened in different locations each day for a self-guided walking tour between the hours of 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 each
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Image may be subject to copyright


This will be the 15th year for the Crescent City Blues & Barbecue Festival. Over the years it has grown to be one of the best loved blues festivals in the South. There will be three nights & two days of music on two stages, dozens of food vendors and 23 local artists and artisans displaying their curated work. It's an easy ride on the Rampart / St Claude streetcar line to Poydras Street and then a short walk down to Lafayette Square. And it's absolutely free.


This year the Crescent City Blues & Barbecue Festival brings a new emphasis on local barbecue. In the years since the festivals inception New Orleans has developed quite a reputation for barbecue so some of our best 'cue joints will be in attendance. There will also be options for our vegan and vegetarian friends.

And if you can't make it down this year, WWOZ New Orleans 90.7 FM (the greatest radio station in the known universe) will broadcast most of the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival live from Lafayette Square – over the air and in streaming video


New Orleans Halloween Parade

The Krewe of Boo is the Official New Orleans HAlloween Parade. This year the parade rolls on Saturday, October 19. Starting on Elysian Fields Avenue - just a few blocks away from B&W Courtyards, the parade makes it's way across the French Quarter and down Tchoupitoulas Street. At the end of the parade route there's an after party - "The Monster Mash", at Generations Hall. Tickets are available through the Krewe of Boo website.
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Image may be subject to copyright


The Voodoo Music +Arts Experience takes over New Orleans City Park for three days every October.

Since it's Halloween weekend, and it's New Orleans, costuming is a big part of the experience. So don't forget to pack your costume & make-up - or you can always find something once you're here.

The headliners for Voodoo Fest are Guns n Roses, Post Malone and Beck. Also in the lineup are Bassnectar, Brandi Carlile and The National, along with dozens of other acts.


On Sunday, November 3rd, the Oak Street business corridor in the neighborhood of Carrollton will again be transformed into one of this city's most unique festivals: The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival! This event features some of the finest restaurants, artists and musicians in the Crescent City, all coming together in appreciation of one of New Orleans most distinct and delicious creations... the Po-Boy Sandwich.
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Image may be subject to copyright


This November the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation will combine two of its popular festivals into one event - The Treme Creole Gumbo Festival and the Congo Square Rhythm Festival.

The festivals will take place Saturday, November 16th and Sunday, November 17th in Congo Square and Louis Armstrong Park. There's free admission ( but donations are welcomed. )

The combined festival will feature two stages of music celebrating the New Orleans traditions that spring from the African diaspora: jazz, funk, contemporary and traditional brass band, gospel and rhythm & blues.

African drumming and dance will be a continued highlight at Congo Square Rhythms Festival, as well as, the annual Mardi Gras Indian "battle" – with tribes from various neighborhoods.

And there's more than just the music

There will be two food courts – each offering a mix of classic New Orleans dishes and food. We'll, of course, have a smorgasboard of New Orleans' signature dishes – Different varieties of gumbo, Red beans and rice, crabmeat beignets, deep fried bell peppers, jambalaya, poboys, fresh produce, seafood and more!

The festivals will have two art markets.

The Congo Square Market will feature art, crafts, jewelry, locally produced bath and beauty products and imported items from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Treme Market will feature original local art, crafts, jewelry and unique handmade items.

The festivals are a way of paying tribute to our ancestors and New Orleans' cultural traditions- through food, music, drumming and dance. By bringing these two festivals together– the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is hoping to make a bigger impact on the city. 


Watch the Carrier New Orleans bowl - the kick off game of college football's bowl season live in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints and Super Bowl XLVII.
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