(WVUE) - There's a festival for just about anything and everything in New Orleans. Some are small and confined to neighborhoods. Others are huge and attract visitors from around the world. According to the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city has more than 130 festivals on its roster. That's a lot of money being pumped into the city's economy and a lot of party plans to keep up with!
Here are 8 popular festivals that help make New Orleans the cultural celebration it's become over the years.
The French Quarter Festival is the largest free music festival in the South. There are roughly two dozen stages set up throughout the French Quarter. The music ranges from contemporary Jazz, Folk and Gospel to Zydeco and New Orleans Funk. Great local restaurants are scattered throughout the festival. It's referred to as 'The World's Largest Jazz Brunch.' http://fqfi.org/frenchquarter
You don't have to be a Jazz fan to celebrate music at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. It takes place the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. There are 12 stages of soul-stirring music - Jazz, Gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, R&B, Rock, Funk, African, Latin, Caribbean, Folk, and much more! It's New Orleans culture at its best. http://www.nojazzfest.com
The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo festival grows every year. It is a cultural extravaganza of food, art and music on the banks of Bayou St. John in New Orleans. You'll find local musicians, artists and performers. Lots of people grab their party rafts and hang out in the bayou. There are also canoe and kayak races. The festival attracts tens of thousands of people to Mid-City to celebrate the city's Creole heritage. http://www.thebayouboogaloo.com
The New Orleans Oyster Festival is a celebration of the Louisiana Gulf Oyster and honors the restaurants and oyster farmers who have helped make the French Quarter the nation's Oyster Capital. Dozens of local restaurants serve dishes that highlight Louisiana oysters. There's also live music as well as oyster eating and oyster shucking contests. http://www.nolaoysterfest.org
June in New Orleans brings the French Market Creole Tomato Festival. Tomatoes are essential ingredients in many of the most popular dishes served by New Orleans' top restaurants. The festival offers live music, cooking demonstrations, kid's activities and a tomato eating contest. http://www.frenchmarket.org/creoletomatofest
Essence Fest, known as a "party with a purpose", is the largest cultural event of its kind in the country. The July 4th weekend festival celebrates the talents of the local and national African American community. Over the years, Essence Fest has grown from a music festival to include speakers, authors and comedians. Those attending fill the Mercedes Benz Superdome as well as the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Fest-goers can enjoy non-stop music entertainment, attend motivational seminars or watch other performers. http://www.essence.com/festival
Named for Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, Satchmo SummerFest was supposed to be a one-off salute to the jazz icon, but attendance was so great, it returns every summer. The three-day festival features live Jazz music by local legends and nationally touring musicians as well as screenings of films and documentaries with Jazz themes. http://fqfi.org/satchmo
Hogs for the Cause is a non-profit, annual fundraising music festival and barbecue competition in New Orleans that raises money for families with children fighting pediatric brain cancer. Money is raised through ticket sales, direct donations, food sales, sponsorships, and fundraising efforts spearheaded by teams in the barbecue competition. Close to 100 teams compete in seven categories. https://www.hogsforthecause.org/
One of the most unique festivals in the world may be the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival! This event features some of the finest restaurants, artists and musicians in the Crescent City, all coming together in appreciation of one of New Orleans most distinct and delicious creations, the legendary Po-Boy Sandwich. At the one day festival, visitors brave long lines to try over 50 different variations of the classic sandwich. https://www.poboyfest.com/
Let us know what's your favorite festival?