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May Events, Festivals, and Things to do in New Orleans


There are always lots of outdoor events in the merry month of May in New Orleans, including the internationally famous Jazz Fest.

Mother's Day Events & Freebies

Check out this list of Mother's Day options in New Orleans. For instance, moms visit the Audubon Zoo and the New Orleans Museum of Art for FREE on Mother's Day. In addition to Mother's Day Sunday things to do, there are also weekend events to consider as well as a Mom's Day Out Thursday night party and a Mother's Day Eve Champagne Stroll on Magazine Street uptown.

The Jazz Fest

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival starts in April an ends in the beginning of May.. The famous Jazz Festival attracts music fans from from near and far, but many also attend for the food, the unique arts & crafts shopping experience and just for people-watching. There ain't much shade at the Fairgrounds site, so don't forget your hat and sunscreen. Check out this year's musical highights summary and a list of free events and things during Jazz Fest season.

Cinco de Mayo Fiestas

SUPERIOR GRILL celebrate Cinco de Mayo all week uptown New Orleans with specials and music. On May 5th proper, Superior Grill kicks it up a notch with its annual block party. Superior Grill is on St. Charles Avenue near Louisiana Avenue (the old Que Sera site).

On the Westbank, CUCO'S annual Cinco de Mayo Extravaganza starts at 6 p.m. and features live music by Chicken on the Bone - that's a great classic party rock band, not an entree - plus food and drinks of course. 2766 Belle Chasse Highway in Gretna.

SERRANO'S SALSA COMPANY restaurant in Metairie holds its annual "Gringo Cinco" outdoors fiesta featuring live music, food and drinks starting at 5:30 p.m. Clearview and I-10 at the Palace 12.

RITA'S TEQUILA HOUSE, A Fresh-Mex Grill on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter holds a New Orleans Cinco de Mayo Block Party with live music from 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. 419 Bourbon St. Just about every Mexican restaurant will celebrate Cinco de Mayo and have specials. Some none Mexican food places will too. For instance, last year, both Antoine's Hermes bar in the French Quarter and a restaurant in the National World War II Museum marked the days with drink specials. Especially since Cinco de Mayo in 2012 is on Saturday, you can also expect drink and beer specials across town.


Maifest is the Deutsches Haus spring fix for German food, music, dancing, and culture. The party is fun for all ages, but of course German beers, schnapps and wine are for adults only. This year if you pull up in a Volkswagen, you get in free plus priority parking. May 11 - 12, 2012.


Forestival is a celebration of art and nature at A Studio in the Woods, an artist retreat in the woods. The annual event includes art displays, activities, performances, an auction, nature walks, and more! 11 am - 5 p.m.; 13401 Patterson Road (River Road) in lower coast Algiers. May 12, 2012.

Bayou Boogaloo Festival

The Bayou Boogaloo Festival is a big free festival right in the heart of New Orleans' Mid-city neighborhood on the banks of Bayou St. John. It promises to go on, rain or shine. Activities in the Zulu Anniversary Run to Ride (With Zulu Coconut awards), a Disc Golf Competition, and a Rubber Ducky Derby. The sprawling festival includes live music, great food ;art, shopping and more. May 18 - 200, 2012.

NOLA Veggie Fest

This New orleans vegetarian/vegan festival began as a project of the Humane Society of Louisiana with major sponsor New Orleans Food Co-op.

The festival features live entertainment, speakers, cooking demos, films, vendor booths, raffles, vegetarian and vegan food, and more. New Orleans Healing Center. May 12 - 13, 2012.

Greek Festival New Orleans

The Greek Festival New Orleans, "Greece on the Bayou", is a New Orleans Memorial Day Weekend tradition. Greek food, dancing, culture, music, entertainment and more. 1200 Robert E. Lee. You can't miss the crowds all around the Greek Orthodox Church. Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Memorial Day Weekend in May every year.

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

The five-day New Orleans Wine & Food Experience features a variety of events, including the Royal Street Stroll, Wine Dinners, Tastings, and more. And it attracts celebrated winemakers, chefs and industry insiders. May 22-26, 2012

Wednesday at the Square Concerts

Live concerts every Wednesday this month starting up right after office hours in Lafayette Square in the CBD, one block off Poydras Street between St Charles and Camp Street. Plus food, art, and more.

Memorial Day Weekend in New Orleans

Expect annual Memorial Day and weekend events at the National World War II Museum as well as a Hurricane Preparedness State Sales Tax Holiday. Details to follow when events are confirmed for this year. It's always the weekend for the New Orleans annual Greek Fest which has its own entry on this list.

Wednesday at the Square Concerts

Live concerts every Wednesday this month starting up right after office hours in Lafayette Square in near the Warehouse District in downtown New Orleans, one block off Poydras Street between St Charles and Camp Street. You can't miss it - you'll hear the music, see the crowds and lack of parking spots. Plus food, art, and more.
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