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Insider's Look at Upcoming New Orleans Attractions - Summer Festivals

Beloved in the Big Easy: Experience Some of NOLA’s Favorite Fêtes

New Orleans is home to a countless number of festivals, restaurants, bars and cultural institutions, and in 2016, the city hosted a record-breaking 10.45 million visitors. It’s no surprise that the beloved Big Easy continues to rank as one of the country’s most popular travel destinations, and no matter the season, there’s always a reason to celebrate. 

Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans is always full of fun, but for those hungry for the ultimate taste of the South, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) is the only place to be. Scheduled May 25-28, NOWFE features hundreds of restaurants and wineries in a weekend full of tastings, seminars, winemaker’s dinners and parades, all dedicated to showcasing the finest in food and drink. 

On May 25, The Grill Room at Windsor Court is partnering with Napa Valley vintner Heitz Cellars to host a five-course wine pairing dinner, featuring premium selections from the winemaker alongside sweet and savory courses including Five Spiced Duck Breast, Ricotta and Pea Risotto and Chocolate Ganach. 

In June, the celebrations continue with even more culinary festivals, including the New Orleans Oyster Festival (June 3-4) and the French Market Creole Tomato Festival (June 10-11). Both of the free events celebrate signature Louisiana cuisine and offer live entertainment, children’s activities, and cooking demonstrations.

New Orleans is also home to a growing LGBT community, and New Orleans Pride, June 9-11, is a weekend centered on that local community and its allies. Aimed at creating a welcoming atmosphere for all walks of life, scheduled events include a kickoff party with local and celebrity grand marshals; a family day with live entertainment, a picnic in the park and children’s activities; a parade through the historic French Quarter; and a New Orleans-style brunch with a keynote speaker.

Although it’s a city steeped in a rich and diverse heritage, New Orleans is often celebrated as America’s most French city. From the food and language to the art and architecture, the cultural influences run deep and culminate every year during Bastille Day. The French National Day is typically commemorated in New Orleans on the Saturday before July 14 with block parties, a free festival, and French dog costume contests. 

One of the biggest perks of the Bastille Day celebrations is the variety of themed dinners that occur at some of the city’s most esteemed restaurants. At The Grill Room at Windsor Court, the spirited, six-course celebration pays tribute to New Orleans’ French heritage with a pre-dinner champagne reception, followed by a six-course feast paired with wines from some of France’s most notable regions, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Loire Valley.