Plan Your Autumn With Our Fall Festival Guide

Burlesque, Beer and Bumps In The Night make up NOLA's Fall Fest calendar.

by Alex Galbraith
September 12, 2018

It seems like we have a festival every day of the week. And that’s probably because we do. New Orleans’ festival calendar is overflowing with everything from hyper-specific culinary celebrations to broad strokes musical blowouts. As the weather gets slightly more tolerable, we want you to take advantage and hit up all the outdoor bashes, parties and events you can. Fall only comes but one or two days a year, after all.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to help you navigate the busy fall festival calendar and ensure that you don’t miss any of the action. Check it out below:

New Orleans Burlesque Festival

https://www.facebook.com/burlesquefestival/photos/p.2003596089699485/2003596089699485/?type=1&theater

 

As we’ve previously pointed out, New Orleans is one of but a few cities where you can turn burlesque into an entire career. It’s definitely a rare class of city where a burlesque festival will not only be accepted but go strong for an entire decade. The 10th annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival is a three-day blowout centered around all things risque.

When: September 20-23
Where: Various
More Info

NOLA Horror Film Festival

https://www.facebook.com/nohff/photos/a.169442609758081/1862631843772474/?type=1&theater

It’s spooky ’round here. We can believe in zombies and ghosts more readily when our dead folks aren’t even in the ground. The 8th annual NOLA Horror Film Fest will have healthy doses of both among its shorts and features at the Prytania Theatre, while leaving ample room for sci-fi and splatter-filled comedy.

When: September 20-23
Where: Prytania Theatre
More Info

National Fried Chicken Fest

https://www.facebook.com/friedCHCKNfest/photos/a.1051160891629640/1916199895125731/?type=1&theater

 

Raising Cane’s knows chicken and we know Cane’s. But the fried chicken staple is giving everyone else a little time in the spotlight to share their takes on deep-fried yardbird at this fest at the foot of Canal Street.

When: September 22-23
Where: 1 Canal St.
More Info

NOLA On Tap

https://www.facebook.com/thelaspca/photos/gm.2240863969262184/10155885023772869/?type=3&theater

You can’t possibly try the over 400 beers on offer at City Park’s annual boozy bacchanal. But you can do your absolute best to try. Homebrewers, craft-sellers and macro men and women will all be on hand to offer a taste of what they’re brewing up.

Where: September 22
Where: City Park
More Info

Oktoberfest

https://www.facebook.com/alexmeixnerband/photos/gm.2103625693226516/10156313638181636/?type=3&theater

One good beer-focused fest deserves another, although we’ll be the first to admit that this one has a bit more cultural heft behind it. Oktoberfest in New Orleans is a celebration of the culture of the German immigrant families who call the area home. The fest runs every Friday and Saturday from October 5-20.

When: October 5-20
Where: 1700 Moss St.
More Info

Treme Fall Fest

https://www.facebook.com/HistoricFaubourgTremeAssociation/photos/gm.371907923329849/2170572569649831/?type=3&theater

 

Celebrate Treme and help keep St. Augustine Catholic Church looking pretty at this annual bash for one of New Orleans’ most culturally distinct neighborhoods.

When:  October 5-7
Where:  St. Augustine Catholic Chuch
More Info

Beignet Festival

https://www.facebook.com/ShardShopNOLA/photos/gm.1864795060279746/505070569920336/?type=3&theater

Nobody celebrates harder than someone who nearly lost it all. We almost lost one of the two beignet titans in town earlier this year, so let’s take a chance to hype up our favorite treat in City Park.

When: October 6
Where: City Park
More Info

Crescent City Blues & BBQ

https://www.facebook.com/BluesandBBQFest/photos/a.107600572721931/107600579388597/?type=1&theater

 

Blues and barbecue fall under the “heritage” bit of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage. You know 12-bars and half-racks are the name of the game at this CBD fest.

When: October 12-14
Where: Lafayette Square Park
More Info

Gentilly Fest

https://www.facebook.com/GentillyFestival/photos/a.344116985663324/1648737285201281/?type=1&theater

 

Gentilly doesn’t get enough love. It’s the home of Pink Room Project and Fiorella’s, y’all. Give this neighborhood its flowers.

Where: 5701 Press Drive
when: October 12-14
More Info

Carnaval Latino

https://www.facebook.com/carnavallatinola/photos/a.196179083882997/633496176817950/?type=1&theater

 

New Orleans’ massive Latino population warrants a Carnaval all its own. And it should do to hold off the shakes from Mardi Gras season being half a year away.

Where: Generations Hall
When: October 13-15
More Info

New Orleans Film Festival

https://www.facebook.com/NewOrleansFilmSociety/photos/gm.319894022115634/10155327259722574/?type=3&theater

 

The big one, y’all. There are plenty of film fests worth your time in new Orleans but this is the one where you’re most likely to encounter a celebrity who isn’t Solange or Matthew McConaughey.

When: October 17-25
Where: The Contemporary Arts Center
More Info

Praise Fest

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2050589094973457&set=gm.659844657710059&type=3&theater

 

When the praises go up, the fests come down. The 10th anniversary of this bayou-side classic brings a who’s who of gospel singers to town for a free two-day concert.

When: October 19-20
Where: Bayou St. John at Orleans
More Info

Country Smooth Festival

https://www.facebook.com/lainehardymusic/photos/gm.269565197108941/219456578716980/?type=3&theater

 

In spite of being in the south, New Orleans is short on country music fests. Country Smooth is a newcomer to the scene looking to change that.

Where: NOLA Motorsports
When: October 20-21
More Info

Mac N Cheese Fest

https://www.facebook.com/NOLAmacNcheeseFest/photos/p.356607461491992/356607461491992/?type=1&theater

 

This fest only took one year to become the go-to when people want to point out the city’s festival glut. But really, how sad you gotta be to hate on mac n’ cheese?

Where: Armstrong Park
When: October 20
More Info

LGBT Halloween New Orleans

https://www.facebook.com/halloweenneworleans/photos/p.10156767076610337/10156767076610337/?type=1&theater

Every holiday in New Orleans gets its own LGBT version. That’s just who we are. Halloween is never going to be an exception.

When: October 26-28
Where: Various (French Quarter)
More Info

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

https://www.facebook.com/voodooexperience/photos/a.10150638981218895/10155899828498895/?type=1&theater

 

I was just going to shout Janelle Monae until y’all get it. But I’ve been told the 20th edition of this City Park music festival has a few other performers you might have heard of including Childish Gambino and Lizzo.

When: October 26-28
Where: City Park
More Info

InFringe Fest

https://www.facebook.com/InFringeFest/photos/p.2202060376745516/2202060376745516/?type=1&theater

 

New Orleans theater never needs an excuse to get weird. We have a playhouse that’s predominately puppet-focused. But InFringe allows people to step outside of what’s typical even in our weird little city with experimental productions finding space wherever they can for four days of oddball, theatrical madness.

When: November 7-11
Where: Various
More Info

Boudin, Bourbon & Beer

Emeril knows food and drink. He’d like to share a few of the finer things he’s learned with the city.

When: November 9
Where: Champions Square
More Info

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

https://www.facebook.com/poboyfest/photos/gm.2003089696627502/10155335230150090/?type=3&theater

 

Everything you need to know is right there in the name. Oak St. Po-boys. Be there.

When: 11/11
Where: Oak Street
More Info

Hell Yes Fest

https://www.facebook.com/HellYesFest/photos/a.417572038268944/2337586322934163/?type=1&theater

 

NOLA’s comedy scene is too strong and this annual blowout proves it. Huge names in comedy come to town to perform alongside the best the city has to offer every fall.

When: November 14th-18th
Where: Various
More Info

NOLA Nerdlesque Festival

https://www.facebook.com/nolanerdlesque/photos/a.839529196160682/1676516682461925/?type=1&theater

Our burlesque scene runs so deep that we can specialize. This fest focuses only on nerdy burlesque routines, taking sultry steps to sci-fi places and bringing Saturday morning cartoons into the boudoir.

When: November 16-17
Where: Contemporary Arts Center
More Info

Fete Des Fromages

https://www.facebook.com/nolacheesefest/photos/gm.431665773994941/343982392805019/?type=3&theater

 

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssseeeeee.

When: November 17
Where: New Orleans Jazz Museum
More Info

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival

https://www.facebook.com/TremeGumboFest/photos/a.362852517139366/1150545038370106/?type=1&theater

Treme needs a separate party just for its gumbo. With other neighborhoods, we might scoff but Treme has more than a few masters of roux.

When: November 17-18
Where: 835 N. Rampart
More Info

He has a distinct voice that you will come to know more as you follow VL NOLA. He has shown himself to be an intrepid entertainment and culture writer, who always knows about the best events, happenings and performers before anybody else. Now, he’s going to tell you all about them here at Very Local NOLA.