The Big Easy knows how to party! And its famous Mardi Gras celebration in March is indeed the best time to visit the city. But if you prefer more sophisticated crowds then postpone your trip till late April when outstanding New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will show you the best things the city has to offer. April is also all about French Quarter and its artistic spirit. It seems New Orleans is never tired of music, dancing and street celebrations!
Mardi Gras is more than just a festival. It is the mother of all carnivals, bursting with color, joy and flamboyance! About 70 parades, elevated to unbelievable levels of self-expression,—get thoroughly prepared for months. Every neighborhood and every krewe of New Orleans have their own traditions. Some, for example, elect their own kings, queens, dukes and maids; others make participants compete for coconuts and beads.
The masks at the parade are special too—any person who rides in a float has to wear a mask or paint his or her face. The style of masks reflect traditions of the krewes. They can be large or small, cover the face completely or just the eyes. The colors may vary but usually they combine green, purple and gold – the official colors of Mardi Gras.
And don’t forget to try Mardi Gras King Cake. It honors the Kings who brought presents to baby Jesus. And whoever will find a little plastic boy in the cake, will always be happy!
Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday make New Orleans party so hard, that the whole city becomes one huge joyful debauch!
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, and no wonder the city hosts probably the most famous jazz festival in the world. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival held in late April and early May is inspired by the spirit of Mahalia Jackson and the Eureka Brass Band. It showcases gospel hymn, jazz, zydeco, blues, R&B, rock, funk, African, Latin, Caribbean, folk, and much more. National stars, chart-topping local artists as well internationally renowned guests perform during 10 days in New Orleans.
The main stage is located at the Fair Grounds Race Course, which is a horse racing track in the center of New Orleans. But there are many concerts and parties held at nightclubs and concert halls all over the city during the days of New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
White Linen Night
The Warehouse district of New Orleans consists of brick warehouses now converted into restaurants, coffee shops, art studios and boutiques. This trendy district organizes the most famous party of art and style. White Linen Night is more the festival that has a spirit of a of a big block party. Its name originates from white clothes that people used to wear during hot New Orleans’ summers to reflect the sun. With all participants wearing white the party is super chic and there is plenty of entertainment for everyone.
The Voodoo Fest
Halloween in New Orleans is impossible without Voodoo Music and Arts experience in City Park. Big names line up used to include Marilyn Manson, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Muse, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tiësto, Nine Inch Nails, KISS, R.E.M., Thirty Seconds to Mars, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and more. Also, the festival gives a great chance to local Louisiana musicians to share the stage with national stars. About 100,000 people visit this loud event every year.
French Quarter Festival
French Quarter is not just a place – it’s a lifestyle. Every spring the French Quarter Festival celebrates local music, food, and arts. The best thing about this event is diversity – with more than 20 stages hosting musicians and dancers of all possible genre, from jazz, R&B, New Orleans funk and gospel to Latin and Zydeco, there is something for everyone. The festival features thousands of musicians. Best restaurants of the city bring most delicious food and drinks to multiple locations, such as Jackson Square, the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, JAX Brewery, and Woldenberg Riverfront Park. For many years the festival was voted “the favorite” by New Orleans’ residents.