The fun never stops in New Orleans, and the month of June is no exception. With three upcoming free festivals within walking distance of our hotel, plus great summer hotel rates from Bienville House, it’s the perfect time to visit. Here are our picks for the best things to do in New Orleans this June:
June 2016 Free Outdoor Festivals
Up first is the New Orleans Oyster Festival, which celebrates the much-loved mollusk with plenty of oyster dishes as well as an oyster-shucking contest, an oyster-eating contest, and even oyster-inspired artwork by local craft artists. The event takes place just steps from our hotel June 4-5 at Woldenberg Park at the Mississippi Riverfront, near the aquarium. It’s a festival, so of course there will be live music from local favorites like Tank and the Bangas, Bucktown Allstars, and Bag of Donuts.
The following weekend, June 11-12, the French Market honors another local culinary delight with the 30th annual French Market Creole Tomato Festival. Also just a short walk from Bienville House Hotel, this event featues 4 stages of free live music, plus cooking demonstrations and kids’ activities. Of course, there will also be plenty of delicious tomato dishes to choose from: everything from a Creole tomato and shrimp ceviche to a Creole tomato, mozzarella, basil and bacon crepe has made an appearance in previous years.
Last but certainly not least, the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival brings the traditional sounds of South Louisiana to the stage for a full weekend of fun, as beloved local musicians including Bruce Daigrepont, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars perform. The festival takes place June 18-19 at Armstrong Park in the French Quarter. In addition to plenty of upbeat tunes, you’ll also find food vendors, activities for children, and a craft fair with 25 of the best regional artists.
Lagniappe: More Upcoming June Events
While the three free festivals above offer great affordable ways to experience the city this summer, there is plenty more on tap:
The New Orleans International Beer Festival features craft beer tastings, seminars and more on Saturday, June 4 at Champions Square, while New Orleans Pride offers a weekend full of events celebrating the local LGBT community June 17-19.
Looking for something off the beaten path? The second annual Snake Oil Festival brings to town performances, workshops and parties by some of the country’s best sideshow acts, burlesque dancers, cabaret musician, drag performers, circus artists, and comedians. Headquartered at The Howlin’ Wolf, the festivities take place June 24-26.
Finally, ESSENCE Fest brings us into July, with daytime events like a Beauty & Style Expo and classes for small business owners and entrepreneurs, paired with superstar performances by Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy, Maxwell, Faith Evans, Kendrick Lamar, and more. The annual mega-fest spans June 30-July 3 and takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.