(April) Since its inception in 1984, the annual French Quarter Festival has swollen in size and scope to become the largest free festival in the South. The three-day event now hosts over 500,000 visitors to New Orleans’ most historic area. Just about every musical genre ever vaguely associated with NOLA is represented at the festival and with 20 music stages strategically placed along the festival grounds, one can literally walk between styles ranging from traditional New Orleans jazz to Zydeco, Cajun and even opera.
The festival plays host to a number of special events all three days, including the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch” hosted by several neighborhood restaurants. Foodwise, scores of vendors (mostly local restaurants) offer a very limited number of items at or near the venues, giving you a chance to inexpensively sample from among them. Due to the incredibly high attendance numbers, we recommend taking advantage of whatever alternate parking location the festival has organized (often the Convention Center parking lot) to avoid the area immediately around the festival grounds.
- Public Transportation: Free shuttle from parking locations
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances: 250-275
- Ticket Prices: Free.