Published On: Fri, Jan 12th, 2018

What’s New in New Orleans for 2018

If there’s one thing that New Orleans is great at, it’s throwing a party.

So it should come as no surprise that the Crescent City will be celebrating its 300th birthday in style.

In fact, New Orleans has already been declared one of the best places to visit this year by such distinguished names as Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s Travel and Rough Guides.

From official tricentennial celebrations to upgrades and additions to existing attractions, the following are just a few of the best things to look for in New Orleans in 2018:

The Big Easy Hits the Big 3-0-0

While it may not look a day over 200, New Orleans really will turn 300 years-old this year. To commemorate the occasion, the Historic New Orleans Collection has announced an entire year of custom programming to celebrate.

Highlights include a bilingual exhibit that explores the city’s first few decades and a collaborative effort with the City of New Orleans 2018 Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee called Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium.

Other special birthday events include an exhibit on the influence of Catholicism on the city and a display detailing the prominent role women have played in shaping New Orleans. Jazz fans will be stoked to learn that a new saxophone sculpture will also be unveiled.

A full listing of NOLA2018 events can be found here.

Mardi Gras to the Max

While Mardi Gras is only a small piece of the puzzle that makes this city so special, it wouldn’t be a discussion of yearly events here without touching on this one-of-a-kind festival.

Carnival season is already in full swing (it kicked off on Twelfth Night, January 6th) and the fun will rapidly escalate before coming to a crescendo on Fat Tuesday, February 13th. As always, the season will be full of revelry and parades, with many Mardi Gras processions expected to incorporate the city’s tricentennial into their annual themes.

READ MORE: New Orleans is Much More than Mardi Gras

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

King Cakes are the official sweet treat of Mardi Gras and, for the fifth year in a row, the King Cake Festival (January 28th) will put this doughy delight on its rightful pedestal. Attendees will be able to sample dozens of King Cakes from local New Orleans bakeries with prizes up for grabs across a spectrum of categories.

Additional Art

The New Orleans Museum of Art will be expanding its splendid Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in 2018. The grounds will be enlarged by six acres, which will provide space for an amphitheater, pedestrian bridges and several new sculptures. The best part? Just like the current garden, it will be absolutely free to enter.

And up until February 25th, art lovers will be able to catch the citywide art installation called Prospect.4. The fourth installment of this triennial exhibition is The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, taking inspiration from the beauty of the lotus plant.

WATCH: New Orleans Welcomes You!

More Flights

It will be easier to reach New Orleans in 2018 as several airlines have announced new lift. German carrier Condor will be offering two flights a week this summer between New Orleans and Frankfurt, while Southwest will be flying a new nonstop service on Saturdays from Sacramento, California to New Orleans.

Spirit Airlines has also announced a new nonstop flight from Columbus, Ohio to the Big Easy.

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