Although temperatures are dropping as summer is ending, things are just heating up in New Orleans. Summer never ends in Louisiana making September a perfect time to visit. The crowds of the summer have gone, and the crowds for Halloween have yet to arrive, allowing locals to give visitors an authentic taste of New Orleans during September. We’ve compiled a list of some of what New Orleans has got going on this September, just to prove New Orleans deserves to be moved to the top of your travel list.
Louisiana Seafood Festival
Bring your appetites to this year’s Louisiana Seafood Festival, at the City Park Festival Grounds, September 2-4. From the waters of Louisiana to local plates, the Louisiana Seafood Festival is a celebration of all the fresh seafood Louisiana has to offer. The three-day festival offers live music, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations (in a covered pavilion, so heat and bad weather aren’t factors), a beer garden with a wide selection of craft beers, an arts village showcasing gifts, décor and more, food and beverages like water, sodas, beer, specialty cocktails and frozen daiquiris as well as a kids tent, featuring fun, seafood-themed activities. This year’s festival is hosting 27 food vendors, showcasing 56 seafood dishes, 11 non-seafood dishes and five desert items. All six of the indigenous Louisiana seafood species – alligator, fish, crab, shrimp, crawfish and oysters – will be incorporated into various dishes. Bonus: The proceeds from the festival, normally donated to the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, are going directly to the victims of the recent flooding in Louisiana.
New Orleans Burlesque Festival
Throughout history, the French Quarter has been the U.S. hotspot for burlesque entertainment. New Orleans is celebrating this tradition September 15-18 this year with the 8th annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival. Spread between the House of Blues, Harrah’s Casino and The Civic Theater, this year’s Burlesque Fest is offering more events than any years past. Friday night at the Civic Center will be the “Queen of Burlesque” competition, where classic burlesque dancers will perform to live jazz music for a panel of celebrity judges, who will select a winner from the group of world-famous competitors. On Saturday catch “It’s Burlesque!” at the House of Blues, a show celebrating the international world of burlesque, offering performers from Canada, Australia, Japan and more. Don’t miss it: In attendance at the festival will be legendary Bourbon Street burlesque star Rita Alexander the Champagne Girl, who headlined the Sho-Bar on Bourbon Street in the 60s.
Every year, the media group Thrillist takes over a different hotel in the U.S. and brings an amazing time with them. Enter: Hotel Thrillist. Some previous party destinations have included Miami, Phoenix, Chicago and San Diego, to name a few. This year, Thrillist is heading to the food and drink capital of the U.S., New Orleans. From September 16 through the 18, Thrillist is taking over Royal Sonesta New Orleans, located in the heart of the city on Bourbon Street. The weekend long event offers a taste of New Orleans, a balcony bash, a gospel jazz brunch and a bunch of surprises. Last year, rapper Lil’ John joined the bash, so there’s no telling who will head to New Orleans this year. Restaurants like Jacques-Imo’s, Domenica, R’evolution will be at the event and drinks by Modelo and other distributors will be supplied by the lot as well. Good to know: you can’t book a room for the event through Thrillist, so when planning your trip contact Royal Sonesta New Orleans directly. Tickets for Hotel Thrillist are available online now.
Pancakes and Booze Art Show
No three words describe New Orleans better than food, art and alcohol. Combine all three at the Pancakes and Booze Art Show at The Howlin Wolf on September 17. The event features more than 50 artists displaying and selling their works, body painting, canvas painting, live art battles, live music performances and, of course, free pancakes. Among art displayed will be paintings, mixed media, photography, sculptures, drawings, graffiti and more. Established in 2009, The Pancakes & Booze Art Show has become the largest art and music movement and exhibition of emerging artists in the country. The show opens up the floor to anyone who wants to create a live art piece or do body painting during the show, so remember to bring your own supplies. Good to know: this event is cash only, so stop at an ATM before showing up.
NOLA on Tap
Get your drink on September 24 at New Orleans City Park with the 7th Annual NOLA on Tap Beer Festival, presented by The Bulldog and Louisiana SPCA. What better way to drink over 400 different beers than at a fest that gives back to puppies!? This year, NOLA on Tap will be the first fest in Louisiana to introduce cashless payment technology wristbands, so you won’t have to worry about continually opening your wallet up – just remember to bring your 21+ ID with you. The largest beer festival in the region, NOLA on Tap invites over 25,000 beer lovers to help kick off Oktoberfest in New Orleans with live music, 400+ local, national and homebrewed beers, a Homebrewers Beer Judge Certification Program competition, People’s Choice Awards, food, contests, art and merchandise vendors, games and more. If you don’t drink beer, don’t worry, they’ve got non-beer drinks too. Plus, the event is dog-friendly, so bring man’s best friend!