Summer is coming: Events for students staying in NOLA

Hannah Erbrick, Arcade Editor

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Maybe you’re taking a class, working or have an internship. For whatever reason, you’re staying in New Orleans for the summer. If you’re worried about getting bored, don’t – festival season is just beginning, and New Orleans will be ripe with things to do this summer. Here are just a few to get you started.

Kick off the summer with New Orleans Pride weekend from June 7 to 9. The parade is June 8, but there will be events all weekend long, including an LGBTQ-catered New Orleans Babycakes game. If you’ve been to Southern Decadence at the beginning of the school year, you’ve only had a taste of New Orleans’ reputation as “the number one festival destination for LGBTQ travellers.”

To wrap up Caribbean heritage month is the 2019 NOLA Caribbean Festival, June 22 and 23 from 5 to 10 p.m. at Central City BBQ. Two-day tickets are $15 and include access to live music and DJ performances, art and food vendors and special events like salsa dancing. Grab some great food and celebrate New Orlean’s Caribbean influence.

Female-centric celebrations aren’t just for Women’s History Month. Festigals is an annual festival aimed at empowering women from all backgrounds and bringing focus to issues that affect them. It runs from June 21-23 at the Jung Hotel and Residences.

One of New Orleans’ best known festivals is ESSENCE Fest, a huge annual celebration of Black beauty, music, art, entrepreneurship and overall excellence. It takes place in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome from July 4 to 7 and will host artists such as Missy Elliot, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams and many others. This is ESSENCE Fest’s 25th anniversary, so expect nothing short of amazing.

Summer birthdays rejoice, because there’s no better time to celebrate a 21st birthday than Tales of the Cocktail, a week dedicated to “the art of the drink.” Running from July 16 to 21, Tales of the Cocktail is primarily marketed towards those in the bar industry but is open to anyone interested. Favorite events include prix fixe tasting menus at great restaurants around town and the Bar Room Brawl, which pits six bartenders against each other in a mixology tournament.

Just before school starts back up, the Red Dress Run, a charity run hosted by New Orleans Hash House Harriers, returns. On Aug. 10, the day will begin with hundreds of runners decked out in red taking the streets of the French Quarter. Registration is $65, but if you’re not a runner, don’t worry. Celebrations continue throughout the day and are open to anyone wearing a red dress.

These are just a few of the ways you can enjoy New Orleans this summer. Heat and humidity aside, there’s hardly a better place to celebrate a great school year.