Oktoberfest and Halloween in the Big Easy

1896-blog-octAhhhhh, October! Mardi Gras happens in February, but the festival season starts to really take off in early fall. The weather has cooled off to a lovely 80 degree average, so outdoor festivals are comfortable. We eagerly await two big events, Oktoberfest and Hallowe’en!

You wouldn’t expect New Orleans to do Oktoberfest on a small scale, and we don’t! Taking place over three weekends at the Deutsches Haus (which is easily reached via a 25 minute bus ride from 1896 O’Malley House), Oktoberfest is a celebration of German heritage, which includes delicious Bavarian foods like Sauerbraten,  Bratwurst, Krautwickel and Sauerkraut, among others. Don’t miss the giant pretzels! You’ll enjoy rivers of beer and tastes of German wines and liquors – have you ever tried Buttershot Schnapps? Mmmmmmm, tasty! There is even a Kinderecke, or Kid’s Corner, to entertain the wee ones. Depending on which weekend you attend, events include the 4th Annual Dachshund Dash, a Swordfighting Performance, Disco Amigos, a 5K run, the Beer Holding Contest, and the 610 Stompers, billed as “Ordinary Men, Extraordinary Moves”. Here’s a sample:

Oktoberfest will be held Friday and Saturday, October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27.

Halloween is celebrated in a big way in N.O., just like everything else! The spooky festivities start on October 24th in the Vieux Carre as the Krewe of Boo rolls the Halloween Parade! This amazing spectacle combines fantastic floats with incredible, locally-produced throws (candy, souvenir cups, coffee pacs, light-up medallion beads, VooDoo doll pins and magnets, children’s grab bags, Chee Wees and MORE!). This year’s parade King is the dashing and handsome Sidney Torres IV. The parade runs from Chartres and Elysian Fields, down Decatur/Peters, up and down Canal, then up Tchoupitoulas, St Joseph and Convention Center and then on to Mardi Gras World, where the Monster Mash After-Party will start at 9pm.

From October 29-November 1, 2015, New Orleans celebrates Halloween LGBT Style with events over the course of the “extended weekend”. 2015’s theme is “Fall of the Pharaohs,” and means that we will see a lot of beautiful Cleopatras and hunky pharaohs haunting the the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets in the French Quarter. Events include: Thee Lazurus Ball, Silent Auction and Wine Raffle on Thursday, Republic New Orleans with DJ Grind on Friday, Contemporary Arts Center with DJ Gauthreaux on Saturday and a Brunch, Jazz and Gospel Entertainment at House of Blues, followed by a Second Line on Sunday.

The big night itself, October 31st, is a fun time for all. Take part in Haunted Tours, Cemetery tours in the “Cities of the Dead”, VooDoo Shops, and street parties, especially on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny and the French Quarter – people watching will be the best pastime, as locals and tourists alike dress in the most outlandish costumes to celebrate!

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