New Orleans 4th of July 2024: In-Depth Guide

An eclectic gumbo of culture, history, and mouthwatering eats, visiting the Big Easy is always a worthwhile idea. Visitors looking to sprinkle a bit of spice into their Independence Day plans should plan for a New Orleans 4th of July.

Follow along as we outline every last New Orleans 4th of July celebration.

View a vivid fireworks show from an old-fashioned paddle wheeler on the Mississippi River, or stuff yourself silly full of BBQ at a City Park picnic. Explore the French Quarter via historic carriage, or get down with some R&B classics at the Essence Festival.

From animal-filled swamp adventures to patriotic displays of passion, there’s something for everyone when you spend the 4th of July in New Orleans! Keep reading to discover how to have the best 4th of July yet in the Crescent City.

New Orleans Attractions

Savor every last drop of creole flavor when you spend your entire Fourth of July weekend exploring everywhere, from Bourbon Street to the Bayou. Fly through the swamp on a family-friendly airboat tour, or amp up the Southern charm with a horse-drawn carriage. There’s no wrong way to spend your time in the Paris of the South.

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Gators, turtles, and eagles, oh my! Encounter every manner of swamp creature on your Airboat Adventures tour. Gear up for a wet and wild experience through the real Louisiana when you spend hours exploring the marshland and learning about this unique habitat. 

Embrace the historic charm of the Big Easy when you book a French Quarter Carriage Tour. Trot through the famous Marigny Neighborhood, spot Napoleon’s house, or snap a selfie in front of the illustrious Saint Louis Cathedral. Cover over 300 years of architecture, culture, and music from the comfort of your carriage. 

French Quarter Carriage Ride - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
photo credit: Royal Carriages via Facebook

Make the most of your holiday weekend in NOLA with an action-packed Go New Orleans All-Inclusive Pass. Choose from 1 to 5-day options and tackle over 20 premier attractions, including the National WWII Museum, the New Orleans Jazz Museum, Voodoo tours, and more. 

Commemorate our Nation’s birthday with plenty of rousing river fun on a Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Cruise. Choose from a historic or Jazz cruise option, and revel in the glamor and romance of an authentic riverboat cruise. 

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Chow down on a Cajun-themed buffet as you listen to the riveting local narration. Then, take in the French Quarter, the Port of New Orleans, and even experience a shore excursion at the Jean National Historical Park. 

Large cruise boat named Creole Queen on the water with a bridge and a bright blue sky behind it in New Orleans, Louisiana
photo credit: Paddlewheeler Creole Queen via Facebook

4th of July Events New Orleans

Plan a Park Picnic

Kick up your feet for an afternoon of Big Easy feasting and fun when you stake out a premier picnic spot. Whether you sprawl out at City Park or Woldenberg, you are guaranteed to witness spectacular riverfront and fireworks views. Lucky visitors to Woldenberg Park can bring a blanket and get cozy on the grass or make the most of ample park bench seating. Snap a photo or two of the interesting sculptures that dot the docks. 

But before the independence day festivities commence, get your fill of NOLA-certified food and drinks. Keep with the spirit of the red, white, and blue with some finger-licking good ribs, pulled pork, and sweet corn spoonbread from Central City BBQ. 

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Or spoil your group with an enviable spread of muffaletta pasta salad, sugar cane slaw, and crab and corn beignets from Picnic Provisions. Add on some cocktails or bubbles to enhance your imbibing before the fireworks begin around 8:30 p.m.*

*Please note specific showtime TBD

photo credit: Picnic Provisions & Whiskey via Facebook

4th on the River

Patriotic music, luminous firework displays, and the majestic beauty of the Mississippi River. Don your flag-themed apparel and get ready to commemorate New Orlean’s Go Fourth on the River’s 32nd anniversary.

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This epic event dazzles yearly and promises extravagant fireworks set against the city’s historic riverfront. Grab a prime viewing spot early as the official show will start at 9 p.m.

photo credit: David Young via Facebook

4th Fest in Crescent Park

Verdant greenery, blooming flowers, and awe-inspiring river scenery make Crescent Park a go-to destination for New Orleans residents in the know. Considered part of the French Market District, this area is overflowing with Big Easy Pride.

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After a triumphant day of hitting up the various shops and vendors in the market, stay put for a carousing evening in the park.

4th Fest features live music, themed food, and drink and concludes with the infamous Dueling Barges fireworks display over the Mississippi River*. 

*More details for this event TBA

photo credit: The Crescent Park via Facebook

Creole Queen 4th of July Fireworks Cruise

Usher in another successful National Birthday Party when you spend Independence Day with royalty. The Creole Queen 4th of July Fireworks Cruise is the perfect way to celebrate liberty, freedom, and the American way! Dine on a delicious buffet of BBQ favorites, get down to the musical stylings of a DJ, or sway the night away with a live jazz band. 

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Wander through the Paddlewheeler’s many rooms, experiencing everything from the dulcet tones of a piano to festive libations from the open bar. Moan over mouthfuls of barbeque chicken and bread pudding with whiskey sauce.

Finally, wind down your night of Yankee Doodle fun with enchanting cityscape views and an electrifying firework finale*. 

*Please note that you must make an advanced reservation for this special holiday cruise.

photo credit: Paddlewheeler Creole Queen via Facebook

Audubon Zoo and Aquarium

Do you need to keep the kiddies entertained before the big bonfire or fireworks blow out? Opt-in for a day of animal adventure when visiting the Audubon Zoo or Aquarium. Explore the World of Primates, and catch glimpses of gorillas, lemurs, and mandrills. Or dive into the mysterious expanse of ocean diversity at the Aquarium with sea otters, penguins, and jellyfish. 

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Stopping by on the holiday weekend? Keep things fresh by adding Cool Zoo to your general admission ticket. Little guppies of all ages will love splashing around the 750-foot lazy river, alligator water slide, and spider monkey soakers. Please note that Cool Zoo is a weekend-only activity. 

photo credit: Audubon Zoo via Facebook

Essence Festival of Culture

Music, comedy, and plenty of black joy are on the menu for this year’s Essence Festival of Culture. Beginning on the 29th of June, and running through the third of July, this prominent festival seeks to uplift, inspire, and entertain black women.

Held at the Caesar’s Superdome, multi-generations of women can expect performances by heavy hitters such as Missy Elliott, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Jon, Ludacris, and more.

photo credit: Cambria Hotel New Orleans Downtown Warehouse District via Facebook

Wondering how the Big Easy celebrates Uncle Sam? New Orleans loves a good party, and our Nation’s birth is no exception. 

Come July; feisty patriots will find plenty of American pride and Cajun culture in Crescent City. 

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Cruise around the real Louisiana on an authentic airboat, or learn all about the origins of Jazz. Hang out in City or Crescent Park to observe the thrilling Dueling Barges fireworks show or spy on Sand Tiger Sharks at the Audubon Aquarium.

From bold stars and stripes to brave hearts, nothing beats the 4th of July in New Orleans! But don’t just take our word for us. Plan your getaway today!

Tell Us, What’s Your Favorite Way to Spend the 4th of July in New Orleans?

Do you know where you’ll watch the New Orleans 4th of July fireworks?

Have any secret or exclusive celebrations in NOLA to add to our list?

Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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