One of the most fun and unique ways to immerse yourself in the New Orleans way of life is to attend a festival. With over a hundred permitted festivals each year to choose from, there’s a celebration almost every weekend. Follow the guidelines below to keep up with the local festival pros.

How should I plan my day?

You won’t believe the variety of food and music that you can find at most festivals. First, arrive hungry and be sure to taste the must-try foods! To make the most of your experience, you’ll want to plan your day by checking the official festival website ahead of time for the music lineup and list of festival foods that will be available.

Photographer Zack Smith

What should I wear?

Wear something expressive, colorful and fun! Keep in mind that many festivals are outdoors and happen rain or shine. Check the forecast daily and remember that a light rain jacket or poncho is never a bad idea. Since New Orleans is warm much of the year, light clothing, sunglasses and a hat are recommended. Lastly, you will want to wear comfortable closed-toe shoes that you won’t mind getting dirty while dancing the day away.

How should I get there?

Some festivals are walkable from downtown hotels. If not, consider taking a taxi or rideshare because parking around festival grounds is often limited. Be prepared to park several blocks away and walk to the festival if you’d prefer to drive.

What should I bring?

It is important to check the official website to find out what is allowed inside festival grounds. Here’s some items you won’t want to forget:

  • Cash needed for delicious food and unique crafts that are available for purchase. Some festivals have ATMs on-site.
  • Sunscreen- remember to apply regularly!
  • Portable phone charger
  • Umbrella for rain and/or shade
  • Something to sit on such a blanket or small folding chair (there may be restrictions on sizes allowed)
  • Hand wipes and/or hand sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper- just in case the portable toilets are not stocked
  • Sealed bottles of water

Is there anything else that I should know?

  • Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water
  • Pack light because you’ll be carrying your items around
  • Get ready to enjoy some incredible live music, cuisine and people watching!

Excited to start planning your trip? Check out our Year at a Glance calendar to explore some of our favorite upcoming festivals & events.