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New Orleans in the Summer: Your Guide to the Can’t-Miss Events

Summertime in New Orleans… there’s nothing quite like it. Whether you prefer hanging out on the front porch with a cool glass of iced tea or sitting poolside and soaking up the rays, the city is full of potential for fun.

New Orleans comes alive during the summertime, with festivals, events, and celebrations happening pretty much every weekend. If you don’t want to miss out on any of the festivities, then take a look at our guide to the best summer events in NOLA.

Essence Festival

A concert.

When: July 5th – July 7th

Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

What: Ringing in its 25th anniversary, Essence Festival is all about celebrating African American music, beauty, health, business, and more. This year’s festival is one of the biggest yet, bringing in huge names like Missy Elliot, Mary J. Blige, NAS, H.E.R, and Pharell Williams. Not only can attendees expect live music, but there will also be free panels, workshops, meet-and-greets, vendor markets, and more!

Added bonus: this year, presidential nominee hopefuls like Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and several others will be participating in a keynote conversation.

Bastille Day Fête

People celebrating in France.

When: July 12th – July 14th, 5pm – 9pm

Where: Faubourg St. John

What: A weekend celebration that recognizes New Orleans’ French roots, the Bastille Day Fête is jam-packed with special happenings. You can expect French cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities, museum tours, a costume contest, and more. The biggest highlight of the weekend is the Bastille Day Block Party, where you’ll find food and drinks, local vendors, live music, and tons of French costumes.

Running of the Bulls

Running of the Bulls in Spain.

When: July 12th – July 14th

Where: The Sugar Mill

What: You’ve probably heard of Running of the Bulls—the famous Spanish celebration where a group of people run through town, chased by six fighting bulls. Well, New Orleans puts its own special spin on the event! Here, runners make their way through the city’s Warehouse District, dodging the Big Easy Rollergirls along the way. There are several different runs throughout the weekend, as well as three different parties full of food, drinks, and fun.

Satchmo Summerfest

A person playing the trumpet.

When: August 2nd – August 4th

Where: French Quarter

What: Held in honor of the famous and renowned jazz musician Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Satchmo Summerfest celebrates Armstrong’s influence on music in the city. Throughout the weekend, there will be live music on three different stages, as well as local food and drink vendors, seminars, and lectures. This year’s lineup includes names like Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Corey Henry & the Treme Funktet, and Robin Barnes & the Fiyabirds.

NOLA Downtown Music & Arts Festival

A person playing guitar.

When: August 21st – 24th

Where: Downtown/CBD/Warehouse District

What: The NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival marks the end of summer. A huge celebration centered at Crescent City BBQ and spread out throughout the neighborhood, the festival includes live music from two stages, pop-up vendors, food trucks, and more.

Find Your Home in NOLA This Summer

Summer is a great time to make a move…and you won’t want to miss out on these summer events in New Orleans. If you’re interested in relocating to the area, take some time to explore our in-depth neighborhood guides, browse our buying resources, and give us a call when you’re ready to find your new home!

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