Summer 2013 is officially here (and hot) and there is no time like the present to plan a New Orleans getaway. Since no one throws a party quite like the Crescent City, I rounded up the best festivals taking place in the Big Easy this summer. You’re welcome.
Essence Music Festival
July 4-7, 2013
Headlined by none other than Queen B herself, the Essence Magazine sponsored music festival is one of New Orleans’ premier parties. In addition to Beyonce, other performers include Jill Scott, LL Cool J, Janelle Monae, and many, many more. Seminars will be held by such notables as the Rev. Al Sharpton, Oprah Winfrey’s progeny Iyanla Vanzant, and Gone with the Wind fabulous Kenya Moore.
July 14, 2013
Francophiles mark your calendars; Bastille Day is right around the corner. Known as the French equivalent of American Independence Day, Bastille Day marks the storming of the prison fortress in Paris, and the final straw that set off the French Revolution.
Celebrations will fittingly take place in the French Quarter, at the French Market, and along Frenchman Street, and will include a fireworks show, cocktail demonstrations, French Mass at St. Louis Cathedral, a sidewalk parade, and a picnic in Washington Square Park.
Tales of the Cocktail
July 17-21, 2013
If you need an excuse to drink your way through the French Quarter, do it in the name of education. (Hey, it worked in college.) New Orleans lays claim to creating the first ever cocktail and has certainly created a few famous ones since. (Insert Hurricane.) Tales of the Cocktail is a festival that pays homage to the rich tradition of mixology in New Orleans. Both cocktail professionals and foodies will enjoy “five days of cocktails, cuisine, and culture” in a city renowned for all three.
August 1-4, 2013
New Orleans’ top musicians will come out to honor jazz great Louis Armstrong through their music during a three-day event to take place on the grounds of the Old U.S. Mint. Festivalgoers will celebrate Satchmo and his music while partaking in New Orleans-style culinary delights and Southern beverages. Additionally, art contests, seminars and lectures will be open to the public.