As summer winds down, fall festival season kicks off, featuring lots of delicious food, local live music, and most importantly, cool weather. 2021 is a special year with French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest and a handful of other springtime festivals now in the fall. This year, you can experience everything from food and music fests to multicultural and art fests. Use our guide to figure out which festivals you’d like to visit for. Or better yet, come for them all.
September 25, 2021
Beignets are one of the most popular treats in New Orleans, 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. Proceeds benefit the Tres Doux Foundation, which enhances the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities. Admission is $20 per person and children under 4 years of age receive free admission with a paid adult.
September 30-October 2, 2021
Kicking off the list of springtime festivals rescheduled for the fall, French Quarter Fest is one of the most popular food and music festivals in the city. With free admission, the French Quarter is a playground for experiencing New Orleans’ most iconic neighborhood. The area has stages and food pop-ups throughout, with plenty of places to kick back and enjoy the fall breeze. The festival is free to enter with VIP experiences available.
October and November
Celebrate all things German with beer, brats, oompah music and more at the 91st annual Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest celebration. This year’s event, which takes place along the banks of Mid-City’s Bayou St. John, will also feature a Dachshund race, dance competitions, more than 20 different German beers, a variety of German wines and over 20 types of schnapps. Admission is TBD.
October 8-17, 2021
Now scheduled for October, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival returns with all the music, food and culture we’ve been missing. The lineup includes Dead & Company, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Buffett, Lizzo and countless others. Held at the Fairgrounds, Jazz Fest is an experience beloved by locals and visitors alike. Enjoy a day filled with rosemint iced tea, po-boys, crawfish bread and pralines. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Jazz Fest to plan your visit. Admission prices vary.
October 20-November 10
Held in Lafayette Square, Wednesday at the Square is the perfect midweek music event. Locals stake out their chairs in front of the stage while enjoying food, drinks and art. The series benefits the Young Leadership Council, which invests in various community projects aimed at bettering the life of residents. Admission is free.
October 21-23, 2021
Literary lovers will find joy this October at the New Orleans Book Festival. Enjoy readings, panels, book signings and keynote speakers all held on the campus of Tulane University. Family day is a free, all-day event with book readings and distributions. Admission is free and open to the public with a limited number of ticketed events.
October 22-23, 2021
BUKU returns to Mardi Gras World with an awesome lineup of artists this October. Headliners include Megan Thee Stallion, Illenium and Machine Gun Kelly. Enjoy food, art installations and, of course, the music all under the backdrop of the industrial Mississippi riverfront. Tickets start at $199.50.
October 23, 2021
Krewe of Boo is the annual, spooky Halloween parade in New Orleans, because no major holiday here is complete without a parade. 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 many who attend will dress in costume in celebration of Halloween weekend. Free to attend.
October 23-24, 2021
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 near the UNO Lakefront Arena, 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. VIP experiences are available.
November 4-5, 2021
Celebrate the culture and heritage of the islands at the original Caribbean Carnival of New Orleans, Bayou Bacchanal. Presented by Friends of Culture, Bayou Bacchanal is an annual celebration of Caribbean food, music, dance and tradition. Their annual Bayou Bacchanal parade will sweep the streets of downtown New Orleans and end at Crescent Park for a daylong festival featuring a number of Trinidadian and Jamaican food and merchandise vendors, soca artists and dancers. Tickets for Bayou Bacchanal are TBD.
November 5-21, 2021
Each year New Orleans is home to some of the best in the film business. Actors, actresses, directors, producers, writers and of course fans of film flock to the Crescent City to showcase works and participate in exclusive viewings. Anything from full-length features, documentaries, shorts, animations and even music videos can be expected at this weeklong fest. With so many genres and so much to choose from, you can customize your New Orleans Film Fest Experience. VIP passes are now on sale; individual tickets go on sale to the general public on October 26.
November 5-6, 2021
Opa! This beloved neighborhood festival returns to the banks of Bayou St. John this November with food, music, dancing and plenty of fun. Hop in a kayak and cruise down the bayou, or take a tour of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Enjoy baklava and traditional Greek food all weekend long. Admission is $8.
November 6, 2021
Fête des Fromages is the ideal fall festival for cheese and wine connoisseurs in the Southeast region. Indulge in featured local, national and international cheese samples paired alongside fine red, wine and rosé wines imported from Europe. In addition to unlimited cheese samples, wines, ciders and beers, Fête des Fromages will include live cooking demonstrations, competitions, musical entertainment and cheese seminars. Ticket prices vary.
November 27, 2021
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. Bayou Classic is an annual football game between Grambling and Southern universities, but it’s also so much more than that. 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.