Nov 20, 2023 - Things to Do

Thanksgiving things to do in New Orleans: Bayou Classic, a turkey trot and more

Photo shows a person with an extravagant hat at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans

The Fair Grounds Race Course hosts its annual Thanksgiving Classic on Thursday and draws attendees with elaborate hats. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

New Orleans keeps the party going Thanksgiving week with Bayou Classic festivities, horse racing at the Fair Grounds, one of the country's oldest turkey trots and more things to do.


πŸ₯‚ The Ritz-Carlton unveils its holiday lobby decorations at 2pm Tuesday with free music and a visit from Papa Noel. (Details)

πŸŽ„ Riverwalk's Christmas tree lighting ceremony is at 4:30pm Tuesday in Spanish Plaza. (Details)

πŸ’ƒ The 6th Annual DanceGiving has free dance classes Tuesday and Wednesday at Dance Quarter. (Details)


πŸ₯– Parkway Bakery has its Thanksgiving poboy on the menu for one of the last times of the year. (Details)

Thanksgiving Day

πŸ‘Ÿ The 116th Annual Turkey Day Race starts at 8am at Tad Gormley Stadium. (Tickets)

πŸ‘’ The Thanksgiving Classic horse race is at noon at the Fair Grounds. Don't forget your most spectacular hat. General admission is free. (Details)

🐴 The Human Horse Races start at 11am at Easton Park with costume contests, music and costumed-human races for all ages. Horse costumes and DIY headpieces are encouraged. (Details)

πŸŽ‰ The Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 3pm at the Caesars Superdome. (Route)


Photo shows Maxwell singing on stage
Singer Maxwell performs in 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

🎀 Maxwell performs at the Smoothie King Center at 10pm Friday with Leela James. (Details)

πŸ›οΈ The Black Small Business Showcase, part of Bayou Classic, starts at 10:30am at Hyatt Regency and features shopping with small Black businesses. (Details)

😈 The Krampus Dark Christmas Market starts at 10am Friday at Old Road Coffee. (Details)

πŸ₯ The Battle of the Bands and Greek Show, both Bayou Classic festivities, are at 6pm Friday at the Superdome. (Tickets)

βš”οΈ The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is all weekend in Hammond. (Guide)

🎡 Euclid Records' annual Black Friday sale starts at 10am. (Details)

πŸͺ“ Christmas tree farms open for the season Friday if you want to chop down your own tree. (Guide)


Photo shows dancers performing during the Bayou Classic
The Southern University Human Jukebox and the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band will perform during halftime of the 50th Annual Bayou Classic. Photo from 2022: John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

🏈 The Bayou Classic has Grambling and Southern facing off Saturday at the Caesars Superdome. The free fan festival starts at 9am, and the ticketed game is at 1pm. (Details)

πŸ–ΌοΈ The Holiday Arts Market is Saturday and Sunday at Marsalis Harmony Park, previously known as Palmer Park. It's the biggest arts market of the year. (Details)

πŸ˜ƒ Small Business Saturday: Several businesses are participating, including Blue Cypress Books, Crazy Plant Bae, Dirty Coast and Lionheart Prints. (Details)

🍺 Abita Brewing Co. hosts its fall craft market Saturday at 11am. (Details)


🧸 The Roosevelt has its first teddy bear tea of the season. (Tickets)

Also: See Gambit's event calendar for more ideas.


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