March in New Orleans is festival central. We’ve got literary fests, film fests, food fests, and even a beer fest. Combine that with the mild, sunny spring weather and you couldn’t pick a better time to visit New Orleans. Check out our top picks for the month and book your visit today.
Celebrate Women’s History Month
March marks Women’s History Month, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate in New Orleans. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents Chanteuse: Celebrating New Orleans Women in Music concert series all throughout the month of March. Support a variety of woman-owned businesses, which range from bakeries and boutiques to tour companies and restaurants, this Women’s History Month in New Orleans.
Lovers of literature rejoice - the New Orleans Book Festival returns this March 9-11. Presented by Tulane University, Scholastic, and the City of New Orleans, the multi-day event will include readings, panel discussions, symposia, keynote speeches, and a family day with book readings and distributions. The lineup of over 100 authors includes Elliot Ackerman, Elizabeth Alexander, and Dean Baquet. Admission to the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University is free and open to the public.
The New Orleans French Film Festival returns this March 9-13. The fest, which is presented by the New Orleans Film Society, is in its 26th year and includes both narrative and documentary features alongside short films, lectures, parties, and VIP experiences. The complete 2023 French Film Festival lineup and schedule will be announced on February 9, 2023.
We love Wednesday at the Square for many reasons: it’s a fundraiser for the Young Leadership Council, it features great local musicians and vendors, it’s free to attend, and it’s held every hump day, like a balm for your midweek blues. The 2023 spring series kicks off on March 15 and concludes on May 17. Artists include The Iceman Special, Mia Borders, Water Seed, and more great local talent.
The biggest beer festival in the region is back and better than ever. NOLA on Tap will be held on March 18 at Lafreniere Park, with proceeds benefiting the LASPCA. With hundreds of craft beers, dozens of homebrews, three stages of live entertainment, Brewtality Wrestling, and the very first Doggie Drag Show, this is one beer festival you won't want to miss. Designated driver tickets are available for a discounted price.
St. Patrick’s Day weekend in New Orleans is a chance to drink green beer at Pat O’s and catch a cabbage from a street parade. While officially March 17, the city celebrates first with the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 11. Enjoy the Irish Channel Block Party and Downtown Irish Club Parade on Friday, March 17.
The Danny Barker Banjo + Guitar Festival returns from March 8-12, 2023. This festival pays homage to New Orleanian musician, writer, instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, and lyricist, Mr. Danny Barker. Just as versatile as Barker was himself, the festival features a mixture of programming including live music performances, panel discussions and workshops, special events and outings, second lines, and more.
Celebrated each year on the third Sunday in March, Super Sunday features Mardi Gras Indian tribes decked out in colorful, hand-sewn suits. Anyone can stop by to watch as the groups dance, march, and walk alongside one another in this celebration of African American, Native American, and New Orleans culture.
Attend the Tennessee Williams + Saints and Sinners Literary Festivals
Returning for its 37th year, the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival returns in person from March 22-26. Readers, writers, theater lovers, and fans of the festival’s namesake will enjoy a series of panel discussions, readings, interviews, and social events. The Saints and Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival, created specifically for the LGBTQ+ community, will be held in a similar format from March 24-26.
Two festivals, one weekend: Armstrong Park plays host to both the Congo Square Rhythms and Tremé Creole Gumbo festivals this March 24-26. The festivals are free to attend, and include lots of gumbo, African dance and drumming, live music, and an arts market.
Enjoy zydeco music and fun for all ages at NOLA Zydeco Fest on March 25. Held at Crescent Park just outside of the French Quarter, festival attendees can hop on the dance floor, take a dance lesson, eat some delicious New Orleans food, and relax to live music all on a spring day.
New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) returns this March 23 – April 1, 2023. NOEW supports emerging entrepreneurs through discussions, debates, competition, and education. This year’s themes include Culture Tech, Climate Tech, Health Innovation, EATrepreneurs, and others.
Spring theater is in full swing this March, from Broadway to the opera. Enjoy performances including MOMIX in Alice (Mar. 11), Fiddler on the Roof (Feb. 28-Mar. 5), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Mar. 9-26), and Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (Mar. 24, 26).
Overlook Film Festival celebrates all things horror in America's most haunted city. Experience feature length and short films from both experienced filmmakers and emerging artists this March 30 – April 2. More details will be announced soon.
March is a busy month for racing at NOLA Motorsports Park. From March 10-12, visit the park to view vintage cars and the Trans Am racing event. From March 31 – April 1, enjoy the Hemmings Tailgate Throwdown and expect all kinds of racing, from mud racing to drag racing. For this event, attendees can bring their trucks and tailgate. Learn more here.
Hogs for the Cause is back this March 31-April 1, and we couldn’t be more excited to pig out for a purpose. Nearly 100 teams will compete in the ultimate New Orleans barbecue competition while raising funds for families with children who have pediatric brain cancer. Over 20 bands are scheduled to play three stages, including artists like St. Paul and the Broken Bones and The Devon Allman Project. Head to the New Orleans Lakefront for this family-friendly festival.
Eat lots of crawfish and fried fish
Crawfish season officially begins in March, and New Orleans is full of seafood shops and restaurants that’ll satisfy all your cravings. Grab ‘em boiled, sautéed, baked, or fried, or get ‘em raw for a crawfish boil of your own. Also, once Mardi Gras Day has concluded, Fish Fry Fridays begins! Enjoy plates of fried or baked fish and sides at participating restaurants all while raising funds for Hospitality Cares. You can also support local elementary and high schools by grabbing a fish plate any Friday in March.
Spring is the perfect time to venture outside the city limits. Take a short road trip to Zip NOLA in LaPlace, the Infinity Science Center in Pearlington, MS, or the state capital in Baton Rouge. Festivals abound throughout Louisiana in spring, so consider visiting for Sicilian Heritage Fest in Independence, Louisiana Crawfish Festival in Chalmette, or Books Along The Teche Literary Festival in New Iberia. Learn more here.