With cooler weather and hurricane season winding down, November is one of the loveliest months to visit New Orleans. Oysters are in season and its finally "gumbo weather." The Saints and Pelicans are both in the season and the city is starting to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Hotel prices are a bit higher than they would be during the summer, but it's still affordable.
Boudin, Bourbon & Beer - Boudin, Bourbon and Beer is one of the most mouthwatering food and beverage festivals in New Orleans, and it’s back to host its 7th annual event this fall. Created by famous Chef Emeril Lagasse, this one-night food and beverage event will be hosted at Champions Square. The festival will be held on Friday, November 3, from 6-10:30 pm. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased on the event’s website.
Algiers Folk Art Festival - The annual Algiers Folk Art Fest showcases local folk art and some legendary music artists to celebrate the rich culture and personality of the Algiers Neighborhood. The festival features tons of art, food, and live music. You’ll find the fun on Algiers Point , at the Folk Art Zone and Blues Museum. This year’s festival takes place on Saturday, November 4 from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The New Orleans Book Fest - The New Orleans Book Festival is a celebration of books for readers of all ages! This year’s festival is special, though, because it will be the kickoff event for New Orleans’ Tricentennial celebration! The festival is a full day of programming for book lovers ranging from new readers to literary scholars and ends with a family-friendly evening performance by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. The festival will be held at Big Lake at City Park and it will feature readings, panel discussions, and an entire activity area for kids — all centered around books and stories.
Oak Street Po-Boy Festival - Sunday, October 22 will mark the 11th Annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, held along a commercial strip of Oak Street in the city's Carrollton neighborhood. The festival is open to the public and family-friendly. Admission is $3 prior to the event and $5 on the day-of. This one-day-only event goes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and features live music, art, handicrafts and – of course – booths offering many different types of po-boys. For an updated list of po-boy providers, check back with the festival’s website closer to date.
Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival - The same non-profit that runs JazzFest puts on this annual free celebration of New Orleans African-American culture in Armstrong Park (home of Congo Square) at the edge of the historic Tremé neighborhood. There is, as you might expect, gumbo a-plenty available for purchase and sampling, as well as other food, crafts, and tons of great music.
Thanksgiving Day - Lots of local restaurants offer up decadent Thanksgiving meals for both locals and out-of-towners (make reservations in advance), but the big excitement on Thanksgiving Day is at the racetrack. Thoroughbred season at the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots traditionally opens each year on Thanksgiving, and it's a big to-do.
Celebration in the Oaks - City Park has been hosting this historic Christmas celebration for generations. 25 acres of the enormous park (including Carousel Gardens and the fairy tale-themed Storyland playground) are decked out to the nines with light displays and other holiday decorations. Kids and holiday-loving grownups find it entirely magical. Tickets are required and are best purchased in advance, particularly for busier weekends
Bayou Classic - This showdown between two legendary HBCU football rivals, Grambling State and Southern University, has been taking place since the 1930s. Nowadays, it's held the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and broadcast over national television. It is an absolute blast to attend, even if you're not affiliated with either team.