We created our 2023 LGBTQ year-at-a-glance guide to showcase some of the exciting events New Orleans has to offer to the LGBTQ community throughout the year. From LGBTQ Mardi Gras to unforgettable music festivals to the iconic Red Dress Run, there’s a seemingly never-ending lineup. This is not an exhaustive list, but it includes some of the biggest and best events in town. Cheers to another year!

*Note - all dates are confirmed as of publishing. Please be sure to check with event organizers as the events get closer, especially for those later in the year.

January 2023

Krewe de Joan d’Arc Parade

January 6, 2023

Celebrate Twelfth Night and the first official parade of the Mardi Gras season.

FAN EXPO

January 6-8, 2023

As a renowned convention of comics and superheroes, Wizard World welcomes all types of folks and their funky costumes to participate. Special guests this year include Joseph Quinn from Stranger Things, Matthew Lewis from Harry Potter, and Katee Sackhoff from The Mandalorian.

Krewe of Stars Ball

January 13, 2023

Celebrate Mardi Gras with the city’s newest, most inclusive krewe.

The Mystic Krewe of Amon-Ra Ball

January 28, 2023

Join the second-oldest gay krewe in New Orleans for their Mardi Gras ball. Per tradition, the theme will be announced the night of the ball.

Mystic Krewe of Apollo

January 28, 2023

The Mystic Krewe of Apollo de New Orleans is a Mardi Gras krewe for the LGBTQ community and allies. This year, they present their 20th Bal Masque, "A Night of Magic," at the historic Carver Theater in New Orleans. This anniversary ball will showcase costumes ranging from Hocus Pocus to the Magic Markers (and maybe even a visit to the Magic Forest or a sighting of Magic Mike).

Chewbacchus Parade

January 28, 2023

The 2023 Chewbacchus parade is a kaleidoscope of Bacchanalian revelry and sci-fi fandoms set to a New Orleans soundtrack. Celebrate your weirdness and pop-culture obsessions when you join Chewbacchus for their 12th annual roll.

Krewe of Mwindo Ball

January (TBD)

Kick off Gay Mardi Gras with the Krewe of Miwindo’s annual extravaganza, which traditionally celebrates Black and African-American culture.

FEBRUARY 2023

Krewe Bohème

February 3, 2023

The Krewe Bohème is a marching parade that travels through the Marigny and French Quarter. Their goal is to present a visual and auditory feast of mystery, artistry, and fun. The procession is led by a green absinthe fairy, recognized as a symbol of the bohemian spirit, followed by several inclusive inner krewe marching clubs.

Krewe du Vieux

February 4, 2023

Enjoy this adult-themed satirical parade on current events, politics and culture as it rolls through the CBD, French Quarter, and the Marigny. The parade is immediately followed by a procession of “innerkrewes” known as krewedelusion.

Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade, 2022
: Zurin Villanueva performing as ‘Tina Turner’ and Garrett Turner as 'Ike Turner' in the North American touring production of TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical

February 7-12, 2023

Her voice is undeniable. Her fire is unstoppable. Her triumph is unlike any other. An uplifting comeback story like no other, TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL is the inspiring journey of a woman who broke barriers and became the Queen of Rock. Featuring her much loved songs, TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Katori Hall and directed by the internationally acclaimed Phyllida Lloyd.

Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2023

Fall in love all over again in one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Use our Valentine’s Day guide to plan a perfect evening for you and your partner.

Anita Baker

February 17, 2023

See Anita Baker perform as her The Songstress Tour stops by the Smoothie King Center.

Barrett Delong-Church
Krewe of Armeinius

Krewe of Armeinius Ball

February 17, 2023

Experience the most visitor-friendly of the balls – Armeinius will celebrate its 52nd anniversary at the Frederick J Sigur Civic Center! The secret 2023 theme will be revealed on January 7, 2023.

Krewe of Petronius Ball

February 19, 2023

Celebrate at the city’s oldest gay ball – reinvented! The 2023 celebration will benefit Covenant House New Orleans.

Lords of Leather Ball

February 19, 2023

Celebrate Bal XXXVII with the nation’s only leather-oriented Mardi Gras Krewe.

Mardi Gras Day

February 21, 2023

Carnival season culminates in this citywide celebration of revelry and liberation. Can you complete our Mardi Gras bucket list by Fat Tuesday?

Jabari Henry, New Orleans & Co.

Bourbon Street Awards

February 21, 2023

Anyone is welcome to join this ultimate costume contest featuring amazing costumes from all of the gay Mardi Gras balls. Gather at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets to witness the best of the best–or enter to win a prize of your own.

MARCH 2023

NOLA on Tap

March 18, 2023

The region’s largest beer festival takes place in Lafreniere Park, offering hundreds of different beers from brewers all over the country. The event is pet-friendly and features games, contests and more.

Tennessee Williams Literary Festival

March 22-26, 2023

This literary festival is named after and celebrates one of the greatest LGBTQ playwrights in history. Tap into the city’s literary roots with contests, readings, cocktail parties, walking tours and more.

Saints and Sinners Literary Festival

March 24-26, 2023

Join LGBTQ publishers, writers, and readers from around the world at Saints and Sinners, the LGBTQ-specific offshoot of Tennessee Williams Fest.

Madame Butterfly

March 24 & 26, 2023

The New Orleans Opera Association delivers a stunning adaptation of Puccini’s classic opera, Madame Butterfly. This production will include updated perspectives to more accurately reflect the experiences of women and Asian heritage.

Tremé Creole Gumbo Fest

March 24-26, 2023

This celebration of all things brass and gumbo combines two local festivals: the Tremé Creole Gumbo Fest and Congo Square Rhythms.

April 2023

Bunnies in the Big Easy

April 7, 2023

Enjoy a gay-themed Easter celebration held on Good Friday.

Rebecca Todd
Gay Easter Parade

Gay Easter Parade

April 9, 2023

See this vibrant parade that passes just about every gay bar in the French Quarter on Easter Sunday. Make sure to stick around for the Bonnet contest at Good Friends to follow.

French Quarter Festival

April 13-16, 2023

A favorite among locals, this free festival features live music, classic New Orleans dishes, and cocktails on the riverfront and throughout the French Quarter.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

April 28 – May 7, 2023

The world-famous Jazz Fest returns with another incredible line-up of musicians and culture bearers.

MAY 2023

Bayou Boogaloo

May 19-21, 2023

Find your favorite over-the-top flotation device and head to Bayou St. John to soak up the sun and bask in the live music.

Paul Broussard, New Orleans Tourism
Mascara Run

Mascara Run

Memorial Day Weekend, 2023

Join this hilarious gay bar crawl in the French Quarter where teams compete to raise money as they add pieces of drag clothing at each pit stop.

JUNE 2023

New Orleans Food and Wine Experience

June 7-11, 2023

Food and wine lovers unite for this five-day festival featuring NOLA’s best restaurants and wines from around the world.

Rebecca Todd, New Orleans Tourism
Costuming at Pride

New Orleans Pride

June 7-11, 2023

Celebrate Pride in New Orleans with a weekend of parties, concerts, community events, and more.

Black Pride NOLA

June 9-11, 2023

Coinciding with Pride weekend is a host of events specifically catered toward the Black queer community, including a Saints & Sinners leather party, a sneaker ball, awards shows, and community block parties.

Pride Fest and Pride Parade

June 10, 2023

The day starts with a block party that fills the streets of the French Quarter with costumed revelers. The day builds up to an extravagant Pride parade that unites the LGBTQ community and allies.

Essence Festival of Culture

June 29-July 3, 2023

Experience the nation’s biggest celebration of African American culture through live musical performances spanning gospel, R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and beyond.

JULY 2023

Independence Day

July 4, 2023

Grab your picnic blankets and settle into a spot along the Mississippi River to watch the dueling barges fireworks display.

Bastille Day Fête

July (TBD)

Celebrate French and Francophone culture in New Orleans with music, food, and merriment on the national day of France.

Running of the Bulls

July 14-16, 2023

For this New Orleans take on Spain’s Encierro de Pamplona, runners clad in white and red try to evade New Orleans Roller Derby Girls (the bulls). Runners are caught when they’re tapped on the rear with one of the bulls’ plastic bats.

Tales of the Cocktail

July 23-28, 2023

Learn cocktail histories and new boozy tactics while sampling recipes from famed bartenders around the city.

AUGUST 2023

Hancock Whitney White Linen Night

August 5, 2023

Dress in your finest white linen and stroll through the impressive art galleries along Julia Street.

Dirty Linen Night

August 12, 2023

A week after White Linen Night, guests continue the party throughout the art galleries on Royal Street in supposedly the same, now-dirty outfits. It’s a faux walk of shame that progresses into the night.

Zack Smith, New Orleans & Co.

Red Dress Run

August 12, 2023

Join runners in a sea of red dresses for a short charitable run in the French Quarter. Don’t want to run? Put on a red dress and come celebrate anyway.

Southern Decadence

August 31 - September 4, 2023

Don’t miss the biggest gay weekend of the year! An estimated 300,000 LGBTQs gather in the French Quarter for a long weekend of revelry. Expect tons of drag, street parties, and incredible costumes.

New Orleans Pride Run & Walk

September 2, 2023

The New Orleans Track Club returns for its sixth annual pride run/walk starting in the beautiful Crescent Park.

OCTOBER 2023

Krewe of Boo

October 21, 2023

Get dressed up for this Halloween parade that features larger-than-life 3-D fiberglass and paper-mâché monsters. This family-friendly event will delight parade watchers with throws like beads, candy, and toys.

Halloween New Orleans (HNO)

October 27 – 29, 2023

This festive weekend–a favorite among LGBTQ locals and visitors–consists of a black-tie gala, costume parties, and a tea dance, all raising money for a HIV/AIDS charity.

NOVEMBER 2023

Bayou Classic

November 25, 2023

One of the city’s most anticipated college football matches of the season returns to the Superdome every Thanksgiving weekend.

NOAGE Gala

November (TBD)

This annual event features food, music, dancing, and an auction that supports local LGBTQ elders.

DECEMBER 2023

Holidays New Orleans Style

December (all month)

Enjoy a unique New Orleans holiday experience with Réveillon dinners, caroling in Jackson Square, holiday home tours, and much more.

Children's Hospital New Orleans Holiday Parade and Jingle on the Boulevard

December (TBD)

Celebrate the holiday season with two of the most magical and cheerful parades of the year.

Bourbon Street Classic Softball Tournament

December (TBD)

This annual LGBTQ softball event is a fun-filled double-elimination tournament for queer people and their allies.

LUNA Fête

December (TBD)

This mesmerizing lights show transforms the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Pedestrian Park and surrounding buildings into colorful, projection-mapped wonders. The festival includes local vendors, art, drinks, and more.

Bonfires on the Levee

December 24, 2023

For this unique tradition, locals build giant bonfires along the levee and burn them bright to light the way for Papa Noel, the Cajun Santa.

New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2023

Ring in the new year with fireworks along the Mississippi River or watch the fleur de lis drop in Jackson Square.

HRC Louisiana Gala Dinner & Auction

December TBD

The Human Rights Campaign – perhaps the most influential LGBTQ advocacy group in the country – hosts its Annual Dinner and Silent Auction.

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