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Voodoo Experience 2009 |© Joe Van/Flickr
Voodoo Experience 2009 |© Joe Van/Flickr
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The Best Fall Festivals In New Orleans

Picture of Rebeca Trejo
Updated: 9 February 2017
Autumn in New Orleans doesn’t just mean changing leaves and cooler weather, it is also one of the best times of the year to visit the city as the festival season is in full swing. From blues and BBQ celebrations to Halloween parades and Latin fiestas, the Big Easy remains unapologetically true to the popular believe of having a shindig for just about anything you can imagine (there are 133 registered city festivals). Here, we present a detailed list including the best festivals happening in NOLA during the fall season.

Oktoberfest

Celebrating German heritage with traditional live music, authentic cuisine, traditional folk dancing, and lots of cold biers, Oktoberfest will be taking place during every weekend in October at the Deutsches Haus in the Rivertown section of Kenner. Initially, the celebration was created as a support group for German immigrants living in New Orleans – however, the festival has been such a big hit over the years that it hosts up to 15,000 visitors annually. Attendees will be able to savor everything from sauerbraten and krautwickel to kasseler rippchen and giant Bavarian pretzels, as well as more than 20 German ales.

People enjoyed drinking German beer and eating sausages during the Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest in the area of Rivertown in the city of Kenner, courtesy of Valeria Kawas
People enjoyed drinking German beer and eating sausages during the Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest in the area of Rivertown in the city of Kenner, courtesy of Valeria Kawas

NOLA Film Festival

Held from October 12th to the 20th , the NOLA Film Festival, founded in 1989 by the New Orleans Film Society, is an event designed to provide new and established filmmakers a place to premiere their latest works. The motion picture celebration, ranked as one of the country’s top film festivals, is set to showcase narrative features, shorts, spotlight films, documentaries, Louisiana-made films, animated shorts, experimental films, music videos, among others. This year’s movie gathering will be celebrating its 27th anniversary at citywide locations, and will also host industry leaders to direct a series of mentor sessions, workshops, and panel discussions. To purchase passes and film packages, visit the event’s website.

Beignet Festival

Dedicated to New Orleans’ quintessential dessert, the Beignet Festival will be held in Lafayette Square during the second weekend of October from 10a.m. till 4p.m. The sugar-filled fiesta, which supports children living with autism in New Orleans, will be offering visitors sweet treats and savory delicacies featuring seafood, cheese and more, from some of the city’s most famous beignet restaurants. Beignet Fest 2016, free and open to the public, will also be providing freshly brewed coffee, flagship beer stands, local and regional music entertainment and many NOLA eatery vendors.

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde |© Phill Rhoeder/Flickr
Beignets at Cafe Du Monde | © Phill Rhoeder/Flickr

Words and Music Festival

Welcoming new and established authors, the annual Words and Music Festival is a unique festival/conference sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc, a nationally recognized non-profit arts organization. Founded in 1990, the literary celebration gives writers, scholars, editors, publishers and performing artists a chance to showcase their latest works inside a city that stemmed talents such as William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Kennedy Tolle, among others. For more details about the Words and Music festival, which runs from November 9th to the 13th , click here.

Krewe of Boo

Krewe of Boo is an annual Halloween parade that will be strolling down the French Quarter during the Saturday evening before Halloween. The eerie procession, which began on 2007 and is free and open to the public, features an eclectic mix of frightening floats, spooky costumes and one-of-a-kind characters. This year’s ‘throws’ will include everything from candy, chee wees and pralinettes to light-up medallion beads, voodoo doll pins and children’s toys. Even though Krewe of Boo usually begins at Elysian Fields in the Marigny, you can stay updated with the parade route by visiting the event’s website, where you’ll also find schedules, and weekend event information.

Awesome costume! Photo by Paul Broussard

A photo posted by Krewe of Boo (@kreweofboo) on

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

Held in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans, the annual Oak Street Po-Boy festival is a free, one-day-only celebration taking place on Sunday, October 23rd. Designed to commemorate New Orleans’ traditional sandwich, the culinary shindig, which celebrates 10 years from the moment of its inception, will be running from 10a.m. to 8p.m., featuring live music, arts, handicrafts, and many different styles of the beloved po-boy such as fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, ham and cheese, roast beef, and many others, from over 50 different vendors. Visitors can access the festival from the French Quarter by hopping on the historic St. Charles Streetcar for only $1.25.

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

For a music-filled weekend head to Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, a multi-day festival held at New Orleans’ City Park festival grounds during Halloween weekend. The annual celebration, which began 17 years ago, encourages attendees to dress up in their most inventive costumes, while they enjoy top-tier acts from the contemporary music scene and experience their large-scale interactive art installations. While this year’s stellar lineup includes performances by The Weekend, G-Eazy, Tool, Die Antwoord, Cage the Elephant, Arcade Fire, The Chainsmokers, Band of Horses, festival goers will also be entertained by EDM and indie-pop acts. For more information about the music worshipping festival, head to Voodoo’s official website.

Faux Real Festival of Arts

Running from November 3rd to the 13th, Faux Real Festival is a citywide, 10-day celebration dedicated to honoring the creative artists of theater, literature, food and drink. This year’s festival, ­which bills itself as ‘the festival of the wild, weird, fresh and original,’ will host performances throughout the city, however the main hub of the event will be on St. Claude Avenue between Elysian and Franklin Avenue. While the performing arts acts being showcased will be hosted at theaters, cabarets, outdoor venues, warehouse, galleries and cafes, the food and drink events will be held at dinner clubs and bars. For day-to-day information about the Faux Real Festival of Arts, head to event’s website.