• The city looks forward to several new developments this year, including a new airport, cocktail museum, children’s museum and more.
• Summer is a great value-added time in New Orleans and the perfect time to plan the ultimate getaway.
• The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) officially opened the six-acre expansion of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in May. The expansion features new sites for sculpture, an outdoor amphitheater and stage, pedestrian bridges and walkways, a new gallery and an outdoor learning environment.
o The sculpture garden is free and open to the public seven days a week.
• Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has delayed their May opening and is now on track to open the new 972,000 square-foot facility this fall.
o This new, world-class terminal complex will completely replace the current facility.
o The $1 billion project includes in-line baggage screening, a consolidated security checkpoint to three concourses and 35 gates, a 2,200-car parking garage and more concessions options located down the concourse center aisles.
o Food and beverage concessions and news, gift and specialty treat retail concessions will feature a mix of local brands representative of Louisiana and New Orleans as well as national brands that appeal to both the local and visiting passengers, including Shake Shack, Mondo, Leah’s Kitchen and Midway Pizza.
o The new facility is expected to increase the airport’s economic impact by approximately 20% in the next five years and will support 64,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in local spending.
• The 25th annual ESSENCE Festival returns to the Crescent City for a weekend of contemporary African American culture and music, July 4th – 7th. The festival is set to bring some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop, R&B and Jazz.
o Headliners of this year’s festival include Missy Elliot, Mary J Blige, NAS, Pharrell Williams and many more.
• Celebrate Independence Day New Orleans-style with the 28th annual Go 4th on the River Dueling Barges Fireworks Show, an incredible display of fireworks over the Mississippi River.
o This event is free and open to the public.
• San Fermin in Nueva Orleans will host the 13th annual New Orleans “Running of the Bulls” downtown, July 12th – 14th.
o The Big Easy Rollergirls and various other roller derby leagues act as bulls on Saturday’s “bull run”, chasing participants throughout the city’s Central Business District.
• The 8th annual Bastille Day Fête will celebrate the French national holiday, July 12th – 14th, at the New Orleans Museum of Are (NOMA).
o The festival will take place inside NOMA and will feature live music, dancing, French cooking demonstrations, guided gallery visits, French-themed kid’s activities and more.
• The 17th annual Tales of the Cocktail will take place July 16th – 21st, for the spirit industry’s premier cocktail festival.
o Tales of the Cocktail will bring a series of seminars, tastings, demonstrations, spirited dinners, networking, special events and much more.
o Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a non-profit organization that educates, advances and supports the global hospitality industry and creates a lasting impact in host communities.
For a full list of events, click here.
• The French Ministry of Culture included The Degas House in the Maisons des Illustres, a prestigious French designation which recognizes the famous museum and bed and breakfast as a French landmark.
o The Maisons des Illustres honors homes for their historical value and for the people who lived in them. Their network includes the homes of writers, musicians and composers, actors, scientists, designers and world leaders.
• Virgin Hotels New Orleans will open their latest lifestyle hotel in the city’s Warehouse District located at 550 Baronne Street in 2021. The project officially broke ground in May.
• Local hospitality group Leblanc + Smith has added The Corsair Hotel to their portfolio, a boutique-style hotel, featuring 15 rooms including four suites, a restaurant, a pool, pool bar and lobby bar. The Corsair will be located Uptown on Saint Charles Avenue and is expected to open Fall 2019.
• HI New Orleans, the latest development from Hosteling International, will open this year at 1028 Canal Street. The hostel will feature 24 private rooms, 122 dorm beds, a large common space, public café and community room.
Restaurants and bars
• Coquette’s co-chefs Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus are opening a new restaurant, Thalia, in the Lower Garden District in the coming months. The 37-seat restaurant will be an establishment for the neighborhood and will have a focus on community and sustainability.
• Chef Donald Link opened his latest concept, Gianna, an Italian restaurant.
o James Beard Award-winning Chef Rebecca Wilcomb is the executive chef of Gianna, located at 700 Magazine Street in the city’s Central Business District.
• Jewel of the South, the latest concept by bartender’s Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich, recently opened on St. Louis Street in the French Quarter. The bar features a thoughtfully curated cocktail menu as well as a small plates from the kitchen.
New direct flights
• Spirit Airlines announced a new daily nonstop service to Nashville International Airport beginning on October 10th, 2019.
• Air Transat announced a new nonstop service to Montréal-Trudeau International Airport beginning in November 2019. The flight will be offered twice weekly.
Meetings and conventions
Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) includes:
• Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. (DST) Biennial August National Convention | July 11th-14th
o Events include 22 service projects benefitting local non-profits in honor of Delta’s 22 founders.
o Women representing more than 900 chapters in the United States, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the U.S. Virgin Islands are expected to attend.
o Projected attendance: 20,000
• Herbalife International of America, Inc. Nutrition Extravaganza | July 22nd-29th
o Herbalife is a global nutrition company that is valued at over $4 billion.
o Herbalife has distributors in over 90 countries and sponsors over 190 athletes.
o Projected attendance: 30,000
• MechaCon Anime Convention | July 26th-28th
o Some of this year’s events will include cosplay contests, cosplay chess and a burlesque show.
o All proceeds will go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation benefitting fallen public defenders.
o Projected attendance: 5,000