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There’s nothing more iconic than spending your summer days in a city like New Orleans. Whether midday or midnight, NOLA is filled with opportunities to make fun memories you’ll never forget.

And while you’re sure to have heard of events like Southern Decadence, there are plenty of other unique festivities to find in the Big Easy like the Running of Bulls (NOLA style!) or the jazz-filled Satchmo Summerfest. 

Between stuffing your face with beignets and partying at Bourbon Street, here are a few special summer events that only a city like New Orleans could host. 

 

Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Fest 

For a few days each year, New Orleans jazz takes a backseat to the spirited sounds of Zydeco. Zydeco music is native to southwest Louisiana and blends the blues with elements of French and Caribbean music. Hosted by The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Fest features Cajun food, dancing, and lots of Zydeco music. Admission is free, and fest goers can celebrate Cajun-Zydeco musicians or browse an art market, and families can participate in plenty of kids' activities.

When: June 11 to June 12, 2022
Find more information here.


Running of the Bulls (NOLA Style) 

If you’ve ever wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona – but didn’t want to end up on the wrong side of a bull’s horn – then this event is for you. Running of the Bulls (Nola Style) is the safer cousin of the famed event in Spain. The twist? Instead of running from bulls, participants are chased by roller derby skaters armed with plastic bats, dressed in the traditional colors of the Spanish run, and wearing horned helmets. Though the actual run is July 9th, the weekend is full of fun events to check out like Fiesta de Pantalones!

When: July 8 to July 10, 2022
Find more information and register here.


Satchmo Summerfest

There’s nothing more “New Orleans” than strolling the streets to the sound of sultry Jazz. If you nodded your head in agreement, you should check out the Satchmo Summerfest. Named for Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Satchmo SummerFest is a family-friendly event featuring performances from both local and world-renown Jazz legends (like Wycliffe Gordon from U.S. Statesmen of Jazz). Other fun activities include screenings of Jazz films, hands-on workshops, swing dance lessons, and interactive exhibits. 

When: August 6 to 7, 2022 
Find more information here.


Red Dress Run 

Like the “Red and Black Song” from Les Misérables, the French Quarter is “painted” red for the Red Dress Run once a year. The annual run is a charity event populated by runners wearing red from head to toe with drinks in hand. Not a runner? No problem — watching from the sidelines is just as fun! Just be sure to wear the signature color and join the runners after to party on Bourbon Street. (Participants must be 21 years or older to join)

When: August 13, 2022
Find more information and register here.


Southern Decadence 

And what better way to end the summer than with the classic NOLA Southern Decadence event? Held on Labor Day weekend, Southern Decadence celebrates the city’s LGBTQ community with a series of parties, parades, brunches, and more. The event was first held in 1972 as an end-of-summer party among 40-50 friends. 50 years later, thousands now flock to NOLA for the iconic party and parade.

When: September 1 to September 5
Find more information here.

We hope to see you there!