Society | FestiGals
19 – 22 June
One for the ladies, FestiGals is a celebration for women everywhere. The inaugural event was held in 2011 and its popularity and scope have been growing steadily for the last few years with the powerful mission to unite women from a variety of different backgrounds, professions, and cultures. The weekend, in New Orleans, produces seminars, workshops and more, in order to tackle problems faced by women. Expect informative discussion, empowering seminars and, of course, great New Orleans food and hospitality.
FestiGals, Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 855 425 9563
Art | Behind Closed Doors Exhibition at NOMA
20 June – 21 September
Behind Closed Doors is a new exhibition presented by the New Orleans Museum of Art, which runs throughout the summer months. Focusing on art in the Spanish-American home, it is the first exhibition in the USA to explore the lives of Spain’s cultural elite from the late 1400s up to the 1800s. Spanning several centuries and numerous media, the show will attempt to define and illustrate the materialistic drives and motivations of its subjects, with themes of luxury, faith, and social standing being the focus. Behind Closed Doors is a must-see for all those interested in history and cultural anthropology.
NOMA, 1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504 658 4100
Culture | Tri-Centennial Celebration
The Tri-Centennial Celebration will see a month – that is, the whole of July – dedicated to the 300th birthday of the city of Natchitoches: founded in 1714, Natchitoches is the oldest city in Louisiana, and one of the oldest in the country. The month kicks off with an extra special, an all-day 4th of July celebration by the Downtown Riverbank. Other events include the Magnolias and Meat Pies exhibition on 12 July, which showcases the very best in Louisiana folk art and, of course, the famous Natchitoches meat pie. The month finishes with a bang at the 35th Natchitoches folk music festival.
Tri-Centennial Celebration, Natchitoches, LA, USA, +1 800 259 1714
Culture | Watermelon Festival
26 – 28 June
Not many events can claim to be sweeter (or juicier) than the Beauregard Watermelon Festival. Running from 26 – 28 June in Louisianna’s DeRidder, the watermelon is a celebration of the world’s most refreshing fruit. Festival-goers can expect to take part in watermelon eating and seed-spitting competitions, but entertainment also includes a number of live music acts, comedians, and magicians; children can take part in watermelon-based games and amusement rides. There is also an all-American beauty pageant that will see one girl crowned queen of the watermelons.
Watermelon Festival, 506 West Drive DeRidder, LA, USA, +1 337 463 5534
Music | Essence Festival
3 – 6 July
Essence Festival is one of the USA’s biggest music festivals, run in conjunction with Essence Magazine. This year’s festival will hit New Orleans from in early July with a truly tremendous line up. Friday night’s headliner is none other than the prince of pop, simply known as Prince. Saturday night sees Mary J Blige, The Roots, and Jill Scott take centre stage while Sunday is finished off with sets from Lionel Ritchie and Charlie Wilson. Not only is the music phenomenal, festival-goers will also experience the very best of New Orleans, with food, art, and drinking available in equal measure.
Various locations across New Orleans
Culture | San Fermin en Nueva Orleans
10 – 13 July
While San Fermin en Nueva Orleans is a celebration of all things Spanish, there are in fact no bulls chasing down foolish tourists. The festival does, however, coincide with the actual running of the bulls in Pamplona. The people running here in Louisiana are chased not by angry cattle, but by women on roller skates with foam bats, who will (softly) hit anyone they catch up with. Last year’s event saw 14,000 competitors get chased by 350 ‘bulls’. Saturday night sees music, live entertainment, and free-flowing alcohol, while Sunday includes literary readings.
Various locations across New Orleans
Music | Satchmo
31 July – 3 August
Satchmo is named after New Orleans’ favourite son, Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong. Celebrating his life, legacy, and music, Satchmo runs from July 31 – August 3 as part of New Orleans’ French Quarter Festival. The Satchmo SummerFest started in 2001, established on the centenary of Louis Armstrong’s birth. Over the last decade, it has grown to huge proportions. The event now features a wide variety of fantastic New Orleans musicians, performing on stages throughout the city’s French quarter. Traditional Louisiana fare – both food and drink – is widely available to keep energy levels up throughout the weekend.
History | USS Kidd
The USS Kidd is an American navy warship that was launched in 1943 and named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, the first US flag officer to die in the Second World War after he died aboard his flagship during the attack on Pearl Harbour. These days, the USS Kidd is a naval memorial in Baton Rouge, dedicated to entertaining and educating visitors with historical facts. One of the few ships in the USA to retain its full original armament and appearance including fully loaded torpedo tubes, the USS Kidd has not been modernised in any way. Every first Sunday of the month allows free admission, making the ship well worth a visit.
USS Kidd, 305 S River Rd, Baton Rouge, LA, USA, +1 225 342 1942
History | Louisiana Art and Science Museum
A centre of both art and science, the Louisiana Art and Science Museum has something for everyone. Focusing on the period of the Ptolematic Kingdom in Egypt, between 323 – 30 BC, the museum is home to a fantastic permanent exhibition of Egyptian artefacts, which was renovated and reopened for public viewing in 2007. By this fascinating period in history, the Egyptians were respected throughout the classical world as the jewel of the Greek empire. The museum also houses the USA’s largest planetarium and offers mesmerising, productions that everyone can enjoy. Current shows include a brilliant exhibition of photos of the Mississippi River, taken by well-known artist John Guider.
History | Louisiana Old State Capitol
The Louisiana Old State Capitol is a beautiful gothic building in Baton Rouge, erected in the mid-1800s as the seat of government in Louisiana. Used as a prison throughout the Civil War by Union troops after it was seized in 1882, it then fell into disrepair for two decades. Finally, in 1990, the ‘old grey castle’ was restored. Since then, the Louisiana Old State Capitol has served as a museum of politics, complete with a 4D ghost exhibition and a fascinating Huey Long exhibit where the gun that killed a former governor is kept and guarded.
Louisiana Old State Capitol, 100 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA, USA, +1 225 342 0500
By Oliver Griffin