Autumn in New Orleans: Parades & Festivals

By Megan Millisky

Party like it’s Mardi Gras - even in the fall! New Orleans has so much to do year-round. With joyous festivals, sizzling street food, and mariachi bands around every corner, New Orleans is like nowhere else! Read on to discover the best events you can attend this September.

1. Southern Decadence

Catch this fun LGBT+ festival from August 6 - September 1! Each year you’ll find parades with glamorous costumes, street parties, jazz concerts, and much more! Over 200,000 people attend every year, bringing “Gay Mardi Gras” to a city that knows how to party!

Address: French Quarter New Orleans, LA

2. Alligator Festival

September 24-27, celebrate one of the south’s most prevalent reptiles - alligators! You’ll find excellent street food, crafts, and music. You can hold and pet a baby alligator - if you’re brave enough!

Address: 13825 River Rd, Luling, LA 70070

3. Arts Market of New Orleans

Spend an afternoon strolling through the Arts Market on September 26! You’ll find handcrafted goods, perfect for souvenirs. Over 100 local artists sell paintings, photography, printmaking, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, and more. Support local New Orleans artists and absorb the local culture!

Address: Palmer Ave New Orleans, LA

4. St. Tammany Crab Festival

September 26-27, celebrate another of Louisiana’s resident creatures - crabs! It’s a must-try delicacy of Louisiana culture. Try a tasty crab dish, check out dozens of vintage cars, and ride fun carnival rides. You can even take a tour of Bayou Bonfouca!

Address: 1701 Bayou Ln Slidell, LA 70458

5. Gretna Heritage Festival

This festival is a big party each year! September 25-27, world-famous musicians will perform at the festival’s 25th anniversary celebration. You’ll find classic Louisiana street food, carnival rides, and arts and crafts. Grab a drink in the German Beer Garden or a bite to eat at the Italian Village!

Address: 327 Huey P Long Ave Gretna, LA 70053

6. French Quarter Bar Crawl

Select days through September, explore the bars of New Orleans with this fun, safe guided tour! You’ll stop at four incredible bars in the French Quarter, each with a distinct party style. While the tour ends around 11 PM, many bars here are open til 4 AM or are 24 hours, so the party goes all night!

Address: French Quarter New Orleans, LA

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