NEW ORLEANS WILL Revel, Rain or Shine

With more than 140 festivals per year, there is no way around the occasional “super weekend” with major events taking place simultaneously in the city, as it was with French Quarter Festival and the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana IndyCar race. Even the rain-filled weekend didn’t stop people from exploring these two iconic New Orleans experiences.

More than 385,000 people attended French Quarter Fest, braving rain and wind to listen to more than 1,700 Louisiana musicians performing throughout the historic neighborhood. What’s more, hotel occupancy was at 98 percent throughout the four-day festival.

french quarter fest freddie king

Overcast weather was no match for Little Freddie King at French Quarter Festival. (Photo courtesy Zach Smith Photography on Facebook)

French Quarter Fest by the Numbers

  • 20,000 – pounds of boiled crawfish that Rouses sold,
  • 45,000 – pounds of sugar Plum Street Snoballs used to make their festival syrups
  • 450 – guests who attended the opening night gala at Antoine’s, benefiting local nonprofit the Roots of Music
  • 60,000 – people who used the festival app to navigate the 23 stages at the festival

IndyCar Races to the Finish Line

Drawing comparisons to the Portland International Raceway in its track design, NOLA Motorsports Park impressed commentators covering the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana. Weather was a factor, requiring drivers to shorten the number of laps to 47, but it still drew resounding positivity from fans online and on social media. James Hinchcliffe, driving a Honda IndyCar, won the race.

Providing visitors and residents with not only a major festival but also an inaugural IndyCar race on the same weekend shows the city’s commitment to always providing a good time and capacity for hosting simultaneous major events. The effort proved successful – hotels were nearly full, restaurants stayed busy and thousands of locals and visitors enjoyed a particularly exciting mix of fast-paced entertainment and live music. It was another incredible weekend in the books for the hospitality and tourism economy.