As summer winds down, fall festival season kicks off, featuring lots of delicious food, local live music, and most importantly, cool weather. Get to know New Orleans’ festival scene this fall; you can experience everything from food and music fests to history and art fests. Use this guide to figure out which festivals you’d like to visit for. Or better yet, come for them all.

1
Paul Broussard

September

Sponsored by The Bulldog and the Louisiana SPCA, NOLA on Tap is a feel-good festival, as it combines awesome local beers with philanthropy. Every fall, City Park is taken over by hundreds of breweries, microbreweries, and pubs who offer the best of their beers for a good cause. Bring your pup to this outdoor fall fest, and enjoy live music, food, and drink in the gorgeous September weather. Free to enter. Tickets required for beer tasting.

2
Zack Smith

September

The National Fried Chicken Festival, presented by Raising Cane’s, has quickly grown to be one of the most popular fall festivals in New Orleans. The fest takes place in Woldenberg Park, where you’ll find local and national vendors selling their best fried chicken dishes, along with live music, drinks, kids’ activities, and contests like the Annual Fried Chicken Eating Contest. Free to enter.

3
Paul Broussard

October

Being one of the most popular treats in New Orleans, beignets are a favorite among locals and visitors alike. While the classic pastry is plain fried dough with powdered sugar on top, beignets are served in a variety of flavors across the city. At Beignet Fest, sample different variations from sweet to savory for just $1 each. Free to enter. 

4
Photographer Zack Smith

October

Stages and grills take over Lafayette Square every October during Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival. The fest honors the beloved music genre and the local musicians who make it so great, and of course, delicious BBQ. Besides food and music, you can expect crafts, great drinks, and even an oral history area, where musicians and chefs can tell stories to fest attendees themselves. Free to enter. VIP packages available for sale.

5
Paul Broussard

There’s no other festival quite like the National WWII Museum’s Air, Sea, and Land Festival. Located at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport, the Air, Sea, and Land Fest is educational, family-friendly, and completely interactive. Kids and parents have the chance to fly in planes with pilots and learn about the U.S. military strength in WWII. Among many activities, you’ll find a Victory Parade, Kid Zone, and the PT-305. Tour (or fly in!) planes and enjoy the lovely fall weather at this annual fest. Kids 12 and under enter for free. Prices range from $12 and up.

6
Paul Broussard

October

Carnaval Latino is a vibrant celebration of Latin American history, music, and culture as well as the Hispanic culture here in New Orleans today. Attendees can experience amazing Latin American music, food, and drink, as well as attend an annual parade. Local bands and bands from around the world play music at Carnaval Latino every October. Parade packages are available for those interested in riding.

7
Paul Broussard

October

Krewe of Boo is the annual, spooky Halloween parade in New Orleans, because no major holiday is complete without a parade here. The parade rolls through the French Quarter and passes landmarks like Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. The floats are scary works of art, and everyone who attends dresses in costume in celebration of Halloween weekend. Free to attend.

8
Cheryl Gerber

October

Every Halloween weekend in New Orleans marks Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, a music and arts festival in New Orleans that takes over City Park. The 2018 lineup includes headliners like Mumford & Sons, Childish Gambino, Arctic Monkeys, Janelle Monae, 21 Savage, Marilyn Manson, and more. From alternative rock to electronic music, music fans will love the artistic and immersive experience at this one-of-a-kind music festival. Ticket prices vary.

9
Paul Broussard, NOTMC

October

Explore the historic Faubourg Tremé, the oldest African-American neighborhood in the U.S., during its annual neighborhood festival, Tremé Fall Fest. Located near St. Augustine Church, the fest features local musicians, food vendors, drinks, kids’ activities, and more. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn about an incredibly significant neighborhood not just to New Orleans but for the whole country while having an amazing time. The event is family-friendly and any donation proceeds help to fund the restoration of St. Augustine Church! Free to enter. Donations appreciated.

10
Rebecca Todd

November

Created by famous chef, Emeril Lagasse, Boudin, Bourbon and Beer is a foodies dream. Several top local chefs join Emeril in creating unique boudin dishes in Champions Square. Music, accompanied by bourbon and beer of course, adds to the ambiance to create a memorable night. Tickets start at $99 but includes all food and drink.

11
Photographer Zack Smith

November

Leaving New Orleans without trying at least one po-boy is a major foodie faux pas, so luckily visitors who happen to be in town for this fest in November can make sure to cross all their t’s and dot their i’s. This immensely popular festival takes over an entire seven-block stretch of Oak Street between River Road and Carrollton Avenue. Here, you’ll find classics such as fried shrimp, roast beef and hot sausage, as well as more creative, modernized takes like duck, pork belly, oysters rockefeller and the famous fried lobster po-boy. Get there early, and bring your appetite! Free to enter.

12
Photographer Paul Broussard

November

Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival, located in Louis Armstrong Park, is filled with local culture. It’s the only festival in New Orleans to exclusively present local brass bands as the live music entertainment, and of course, the best festival in the city to try plenty of gumbo recipes. There are craft booths, food and drink, and plenty of family-friendly fun to be had at this fall fest. Free to enter.

13
Cheryl Gerber

In many cities, Thanksgiving is simply Thanksgiving - one day of thankfulness, family, and lots of food. But here in New Orleans, there’s always an extra party to accompany a holiday. The Bayou Classic, which occurs every Thanksgiving Weekend in New Orleans, is a legendary football game between Grambling and Southern at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The weekend is filled with other special events like a school vs. school Battle of the Bands and a Greek Show. Ticket prices vary. 

*please note that admission prices on all festivals were correct at press time, but are subject to change. Please double check with the individual events as they get closer to make sure they haven’t increased.