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    NAS JRB New Orleans, LA Festivals Arts

    New Orleans is a busy city, and this listing includes only some of the many local public events.

    New Orleans is famous for its Carnival / Mardi Gras celebration, the last day before Lent, usually in February (the date depends on when Easter falls). Mardi Gras is a major local celebration, with parades, costumes, parties, dancing in the streets, and a wide variety of mischief. This can start rolling a few days in advance - it's a big party, but it ends, strictly, at midnight Fat Tuesday, when the date becomes Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is not only held in New Orleans, of course, and different communities have different events and experiences.

    The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is an annual music and culture festival, held in late April, featuring local music, including a lot of jazz, but also other music, local cuisine, and local culture activities.

    The New Orleans area has a great many large concerts, including Voodoo Experience (also called Voodoo Fest), a popular music concert; the Essence Music Festival, a music festival centered on African American women; and the Southern Decadence festival, a pride event featuring music and other events.

    The Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival is held annually in March, and is focused on Williams but includes lots of other literary material and is partly to encourage reading among children and adults. Williams lived in New Orleans repeatedly, and wrote and set some of his most important works here. The festival also features other Southern writers, and includes signings, panels, writing contests, and closes with a Stanley and Stella shouting contest.

    The New Orleans Film Festival, called Cannes on the Mississippi, is an internationally recognized film festival featuring critically acclaimed films, often before they're acclaimed by critics.

    With all this local music, there's still space for classical, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is based in New Orleans, with regular concerts.

    The New Orleans Opera is the continuation of a long local tradition of opera going back almost continuously (allowing for war and disaster) to the 1790s, in several opera houses; the modern opera performs at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.