February is host to a number of events, celebrations, and holidays. The month is marked with the start of the Vietnamese New Year (also known as Tet), Valentine’s Day is celebrated by lovers across the country and communities nationwide honor and celebrate African American history and trailblazers throughout the month for Black History Month. While February proves to be eventful city to city, New Orleans sets itself apart in a very special way: Mardi Gras!
Everything you need to plan a memorable February in NOLA can be found below.
Take a break from the typical Valentine's Day to-dos and ring in February in the Crescent City.
While the date fluctuates year by year, Mardi Gras Day, often referred to as Fat Tuesday, typically falls during the month of February. The days leading up to the most special Tuesday of the year are filled with parades all across the city. Some of the best to experience are Krewe du Vieux, Muses, and Endymion. Try and catch a coveted Zulu coconut or beads from Rex on Mardi Gras Day. Browse the full list of Mardi Gras parades here and check for future Mardi Gras dates advance.
Beyond the excitement of Mardi Gras and carnival season, there's plenty more to see and do in the Crescent City. The annual Tet Fest celebrates the Vietnamese New Year in New Orleans East. The fest features traditional Vietnamese food, performances, music and activities all centered around New Orleans’ vibrant Vietnamese community.
Citywide events, performances, showcases, and community service efforts take place all month long in celebration of Black History Month. Take part in the planned events or create your own with our New Orleans Black History Itinerary.
New Orleans is full of opportunities to sweep your special someone off their feet. Choose between romantic dining options, live music and performing arts, riverboat cruises, and much more. Check out our Valentine’s Day page or our romantic itinerary for inspiration and events centered around this celebration of love. And if you’d rather celebrate the friends in your life, we have a Galentine’s Day itinerary as well.
Like most other things in New Orleans, February weather can be unpredictable. One minute you're working up a sweat trying the catch beads along the parade route and the next minute you'll be wishing you had opted for long sleeves. Layers will be your best friend. Keep a light jacket that can easily be stowed away or tied around your waist in case the weather takes a turn.
Best practice for Mardi Gras attire is to wear shoes that are comfortable and that you don’t mind getting a little dirty, especially in the official Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold. Check out our page on Mardi Gras costume ideas to find what works best for you and be sure to browse our list of costume shops and boutiques (particularly on Magazine Street) for all your Carnival gear needs.
Your top two must-eat cuisine options for February are king cake and crawfish. King cake (and king cake flavored items) are abundant throughout Carnival season, and whether you’re a king cake aficionado or haven’t tried a slice, our Guide to King Cake has everything you need to find the dessert of your dreams. Although crawfish is available year-round, Mardi Gras and crawfish go together like peanut butter & jelly. Grab a pound or two at different eateries across the city. First timer? Don’t fret. This Guide to Crawfish has everything you need including where to get it, how to peel it and even where you can host your own crawfish boil.
The Crescent City has you covered this Valentine’s Day. From restaurants to tours, bars and even activities, New Orleans has everything you need to plan the perfect romantic getaway. If you’re putting romance on the backburner and visiting strictly for the culture, we have that too! Celebrate the Vietnamese New Year with this roundup of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants or immerse yourself in Black heritage with this itinerary and our list of Black-owned businesses for Black History Month and beyond.
However you choose to celebrate, know that there is plenty to do, see, and experience in the Crescent City during the month of February.