New Orleans

For a relatively small city, New Orleans has a remarkably vibrant and varied performing-arts community. While there are many traditional performance venues around town, one of the most exciting movements in recent years is the fringe theater action along Saint Claude Avenue, in the Bywater neighborhood. The annual Fringe Theater Festival brings pop-up performances, but there are also some permanent venues as well.

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  • 1. Essence Music Festival

    Music Festivals

    Held around Independence Day, this three-day festival brings in more than a half-million visitors and draws top names in R&B, pop, and hip...Read More

  • 2. Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts

    Tremé | Music

    A $27-million post-Katrina renovation returned the lights to this fabulous stage and restored the sculpture-filled Armstrong Park grounds. With...Read More

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  • 3. Mardi Gras

    Cultural Festivals

    The biggest event on the city's cultural calendar is also the oldest—it's been around for more than a century. Parades roll almost nightly for...Read More

  • 4. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

    Gentilly | Cultural Festivals

    Top-notch local, national, and international musical talent takes to several stages the last weekend of April and first weekend of May. The...Read More

  • 5. Trinity Artist Series

    Garden District | Music

    Gratifying concerts of all types—solo, choral, orchestral, and chamber—fill the vaulted interior of Trinity Episcopal Church most Sunday evenings...Read More

  • 6. Anthony Bean Community Theater

    Uptown | Theater

    This community theater also houses an acting school, providing young local actors with an audience. Productions include musical dramatizations...Read More

  • 7. Art for Art's Sake

    Art Galleries–Arts

    Art lovers and people-watchers alike pack Warehouse District and Magazine Street galleries in early October for the annual Saturday-evening...Read More

  • 8. Bayou Playhouse

    Lockport | Theater

    Theater buffs routinely make the hour's drive from downtown New Orleans to this unique theater that sits on the banks of Bayou Lafourche in...Read More

  • 9. Celebration in the Oaks


    City Park's majestic oaks, Botanical Gardens, Carousel Garden, and Storyland amusement park are awash in holiday lights and decorations during...Read More

  • 10. Christmas New Orleans Style

    Cultural Festivals

    Throughout the month of December, Canal Street sparkles with the season's decorations, and historic homes across the city put on their holiday...Read More

  • 11. Easter Parades

    Cultural Festivals

    Three fun parades hit the streets of the French Quarter on Easter Sunday: one led by local entertainer Chris Owens, another dedicated to the...Read More

  • 12. French Quarter Festival

    Music Festivals

    With stages set up throughout the Quarter and on the river at Woldenberg Park, the focus here is on free local entertainment—and, of course...Read More

  • 13. Friends of Germaine Well Easter Parade

    Cultural Festivals

    Socialite Germaine Wells, step-daughter of the founder of Arnaud's Restaurant (and eventually its owner), started this New York–style Easter...Read More

  • 14. Friends of Music

    Uptown | Music

    This organization brings superior performers from all over the world to Tulane University's Dixon Hall. Concerts take place approximately once...Read More

  • 15. Gay Easter Parade

    Cultural Festivals

    Fashion takes a front seat at this parade, which ambles through the Quarter midafternoon on Easter Sunday, passing gay and gay-owned bars,...Read More

  • 16. Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Parade

    Cultural Festivals

    For more than 65 years, the Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club has put on a Saturday-afternoon-before-St. Paddy's Day parade with floats,...Read More

  • 17. Jefferson Ballet Theatre

    Lakefront | Dance

    This community-based dance school and ballet company stages a few public performances each year, including festive balls and an annual winter...Read More

  • 18. Jefferson Performing Arts Society

    Metairie | Music

    A wonderful fount of culture, if a bit out-of-the-way, the society stages musicals, ballets, recitals, kids' theater, and operas at multiple...Read More

  • 19. Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré

    French Quarter | Theater

    Since 1916, Le Petit Théâtre has entertained the French Quarter with plays, musicals, and variety shows. The oldest continuously running community...Read More

  • 20. Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

    Central Business District | Music

    The always good, sometimes excellent LPO now holds court at the Orpheum Theater while continuing to perform at Tulane and Loyola university...Read More

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