October Fun in NOLA!
Let’s Kick it October Style!
By AJ Nash
October in New Orleans is an exciting time of year! In a city that costumes much better than most; Halloween here is unparalleled! It’s every bit as wild as you need it to be. I’ll leave that up to your imagination and offer a few suggestions that are much more tangible on a non-metaphysical level. Mark your calendars! This list has a little bit in every category, food, festivals, food festivals, cultural endeavors, and outdoor activities! In no particular order, here we go!
We’re starting off the month with a super fun walk around event Art for Art’s Sake! October 5th, 5-9 pm along Magazine Street in the Garden District. This is a fun one because dozens of galleries, restaurants and other local businesses will have their doors open to the public and be offering tasty treats and drinks to lure you in! Magazine street quite literally stretches for miles! Don’t miss this one, it’s good free fun! See the link below for details.
Treme Fest is a fun party in the historic Faubourg Treme, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and historically known as the birthplace of Jazz. It still serves as an important cultural center to the city and especially important in carrying on the tradition of brass bands and Mardi Gras Indians. The music line up has yet to be announced but is always packed with amazing local talent so keep your eyes peeled for updates coming soon!
Beignet Fest is exactly as you would hope! The American version of the tasty pastry topped with powdered sugar has french origins but has been made famous by New Orleans. This is the 4th annual beignet fest and guests can expect the typical sweet versions as well as savory snacks bursting with seafood or cheeses! This is a fun day hosted in city park, one of the largest urban parks in North America. It’s the perfect setting to eat ridiculously, in a true New Orleans fashion, then walk it off over many miles of trails and ponds with bridges connecting them all. Just be mindful that those geese can be nasty and they are total sugar addicts! Check details below:
Oktoberfest is a fun party over the first 3 weekends in October that’s full of sausages and giant mugs of beer! There’s music by bands none of us have heard of and stein holding competitions every day. I think it’s fair to say it’s a drink until you fall over kind of situation. Probably not the most family-friendly scene. It’s set along Bayou St. John in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans which is quite beautiful. You can find more details here:
The second line parade tradition in New Orleans is one of my favorite topics. They come from the old jazz funeral tradition of a somber beginning that turns into an outright celebration of life. This past year or two we lost Mr. Okra and Dr. John and their funerals went in this manner. The weekly parades aren’t funerals but they are parties for sure! It’s the quintessential NOLA activity and I’ve never felt the energy of this place more than on a Sunday afternoon when the line hits Claiborne Ave and the music amps up! It’s quite literally bursting at the seams! Some lines are bigger than others but it’s safe to say there’s a handful of bands that are working hard to drive the parade through the streets from one end of the city to another. Starting again this fall after the usual summer break, we’re back in full swing every Sunday afternoon! The second line parades are put on by different community organizations listed on the schedule that you can find below:
This festival needs little explanation. All things mac and cheese. All I can say is get there early because we’ve been disappointed in the past as the best items sell out early. I hope they have their act together this year!
Voodoo Fest is a super fun pre-Halloween weekend rager that caters to the young party crowd and totally dominates city park for a few days. I’ll be up there for Guns N Roses you’d best believe! You can party outside the fest too and just search for ground-scores. Trust us, it’s a good time! Check out the line-up here!
Lastly, a little shameless self-promotion. We’ve been sending out 2-hour kayak tours for many years. We’re excited to announce a longer, half-day excursion this fall! We’re sending out a daily excursion that will trek about 6 miles in total and enjoy at least four hours on the water. Our plan is to launch from shell bank and paddle to Lake Maurepas, stop to enjoy lunch provided by our dear friends at Atchafalaya Restaurant, maybe take a swim and enjoy a couple of other fun activities like dip nets, fishing poles, water quality testing, mushroom hunting, etc. This is the tour for folks who want more time on the water and to get as much as possible from the swamp experience! We can tweak the day to your specific interests as well if you give us a heads up! It won’t be long before we’re offering two tours daily. Check out the ½ day excursion on our website.