New Orleans is a city of festivals. From the most famous (Mardi Gras, Jazz and Heritage Festival) to the steadily-growing (Freret Street Festival, Oak Street Po-Boy Festival), there is something for everyone in each of our unique neighborhoods. Downtown New Orleans is no exception, and South Market District is excited to be in the middle of some of the best festivals the city has to offer this summer.
Learn more about the three downtown festivals that you won’t want to miss this year:
1. New Orleans Wine and Food Experience | April 21-24, Locations Vary
The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience is in its 22nd year, and like its drink of choice, it’s getting better with age. The four-day festival attracts over 10,000 gourmands and connoisseurs as well as art and music lovers from New Orleans and beyond. Hundreds of wineries and restaurants participate, with top chefs from around the city creating remarkable culinary experiences.
Ticket and package prices vary, but attendees will tell you it’s well-worth the cost. The Grand Tasting events take place at the Convention Center downtown, with other events happening throughout downtown and the French Quarter.
2. Essence Music Festival | July 3-6, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Essence Music Festival, and it’s shaping up to be a big one. Featuring major performers like Prince, Nas, Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Janelle Monáe, and more, the Festival is the largest event celebrating African-American culture and music in the United States.
Essence isn’t just about the music, though. The Festival also hosts a number of community initiatives, like the #YesWeCode hackathon, Empower U workshops, and a free Family Day.
3. Whitney White Linen Night | August 2, Julia Street
Anyone in New Orleans knows that August’s weather can be just a touch hot and humid. Whitney White Linen Night has the perfect solution — all-white outfits and leisurely strolls through the Arts District’s many galleries. Complimentary hand-held fans are provided at galleries and booths along the way, as well as food and drink samplings from some of the city’s best restaurants. In typical New Orleans fashion, music and entertainment is also featured.
The best part? It’s completely free! Plus, there’s a post party at the Contemporary Arts Center for those who aren’t quite ready to call it a night.