We say this all the time, and the frequency of the thought does not make the sentiment any less true: overall, no town has more activities built around the end of the year than New Orleans.
Oh sure, there are events and happenings in other places that are amazing and fun. But many other places take their best shot and then that’s it. Once the Snow Festival is over, nothing’s left to do except head to the mall and sip hot chocolate…straight.
Around here, like we always do, when one fun and special event is done, don’t linger in the road. You will get run over by the next six events. Sometimes an event is going on and you won’t even be aware. You will just assume that’s the way it’s supposed to be so what’s the big deal?
As we totter into the holiday season, which seems to start earlier each year (I had no idea Christmas jack o’lanterns were even a thing), it is soon to be followed by Carnival the first six weeks in 2018, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s Day. Don’t rest too long, because those are soon followed by what we lovingly call "Festival Season."
But next year is the Tricentennial noting the 300th anniversary of the founding of this burg, and if you think our regular calendar of events is wacky, you will not be resting at all in 2018. Nonstop, wall-to-wall, full-bore, lights-out.
Let’s leave that for a future discussion. Suffice it to say, next year, from start to finish, you will have a lot of decisions to make as to how you are going to spend your leisure time.
Nov. 3 – Coming up right now is Emeril Lagasse's amazing fund-raising event, Boudin, Bourbon and Beer. Champions Square, next to the Superdome, will be chock-a-block with more than 60 chefs from all over town and America, wall to wall music, an endless array of adult beverages, and more fun than anyone is having anywhere else at that time. One price, $99, for all you can eat, drink, and do. Benefits education in New Orleans. www.boudinbourbonandbeer.com.
Nov. 12 – The thank-you Nate, rescheduled Po-Boy Festival on Oak Street. After all these years, you don't need me to tell you what a great party this is, do you? www.poboyfest.com
Nov. 17 – Beaujolais Nouveau – By French law, the introduction of the first wine of the new vintage is not available until the third Thursday of November following the harvest. New Orleans respects French wine law, and so the French American Chamber of Commerce celebrates the respect of two entities joined by a common cultural bond. This is the night to revel in this French tradition. www.faccwinefestivals.com.
Nov. 18-19 – The Treme Creole Gumbo Festival, Congo Square, the true birthplace of Jazz shows off her culinary skills. Brass bands, second lines, and down-home cooking. C'mon, y'all, don't just sit there.
Nov. 18 – Feb. 25 – Prospect 4, The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp. This citywide art installation makes new statements about the unique nature of New Orleans' unique natures. It all meets together at www.prospectneworleans.com.
Dec. 1 – Jan. 1 – Christmas New Orleans Style includes bonfires on the levee, Reveillon dinners in just about every restaurant, caroling, holiday lights all over town, home tours, and delightful diversions everywhere. www.followyourjoy.com
Dec. 2 – Beignet Festival: City Park gives it up for New Orleans most famous "doughnut." Sweet and Savory are included. Music and awards. www.beignetfest.com
Dec. 6 – 9 – Luna Fete once again dazzles with light installations putting our city's unique architecture in a whole new light (pun intended).
Dec. 6 -10 – New Orleans: Words and Music Festival. Words alone are not the whole story! With suitable grace and incredibly beautiful melodies, this celebration brings authors and markets together for the benefit of all. www.wordsandmusic.org.