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People in dance outfits dance in the street in a parade in New Orleans.

Thanksgiving events happening this week in New Orleans, mapped

Grab a turducken po-boy and get out there.

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Compared to holidays like Halloween or Mardi Gras, New Orleanians don’t go particularly hard on Thanksgiving. But that doesn’t mean we won’t cook up a mean turkey-and-sausage gumbo and throw a parade. Here are six events to check out in the Big Easy during the holiday weekend.

Know of an event that you don’t see here? Drop a comment below, and we’ll add it to our list.

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1. Bayou Classic Parade

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You won’t find giant inflatable turkeys or department store mascots at the Annual Bayou Classic Parade. But you will find some of the best high school and college marching bands, dance teams, and flag corps in the country strutting their stuff, along with an assortment of floats. The parade is one of many events celebrating the Bayou Classic, an annual game between rival HBCU football teams. The Southern University Jaguars and Grambling State Tigers face off in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, November 30 at Elysian Fields Avenue at N. Peters Street and finishes on Loyola Avenue at Perdido Street.

A group of people on a parade float in a parade in New Orleans. The women are wearing elaborate crowns. The parade float has a mural of a city with palm trees on it.

2. Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

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1751 Gentilly Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 944-5515
Visit Website

You didn’t think New Orleanians would let a holiday go by without drinking and dressing up, did you? Thanksgiving at the race course is a local tradition, one made even sweeter by the presence of an outlandish chapeau. There’s free slot play, giveaways, and lunch specials—plus the Thanksgiving Handicap and a $75,000 purse. Thoroughbred races start at 1:30 p.m.  Admission is free, and children are allowed.

3. Celebration in the Oaks

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City Park
New Orleans, LA

More than 1 million holiday lights bedeck City Park’s live oaks, many of which are more than 600 years old. The botanical gardens, amusement park, and Storyland all get a special holiday treatment for Celebration in the Oaks, which kicks off November 29 and runs through New Year’s Day. Admission is $10.

4. New Orleans Saints versus the Atlanta Falcons

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1500 Sugar Bowl Dr
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 587-3663
Visit Website

It’s shaping up to be a magical season for the Saints, who are 7-2 right now. This should make their match-up against the Carolina Panthers that much more exciting. Whether you watch from the Superdome, a sports bar, the tailgating area at Champions Square, or the comfort of your living room couch, this is a game you shouldn’t miss.

A large sports arena at night in New Orleans. The arena is dome shaped and illuminated with orange light. The arena is surrounded by various buildings and green space.

5. New Orleans Athletic Club’s 111th Annual Turkey Day Race

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5400 Stadium Dr
New Orleans, LA 70124
(504) 483-9363
Visit Website

The oldest ongoing foot race in the country kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 28 at Tad Gormley Stadium. There’s a 5K and a half-mile race for kids, and both courses wind through City Park. Yes, some people will inevitably dress up as turkeys, but it’s all for a good cause (proceeds benefit Spina Bifida of Greater New Orleans).

1. Bayou Classic Parade

New Orleans, LA 70117
A group of people on a parade float in a parade in New Orleans. The women are wearing elaborate crowns. The parade float has a mural of a city with palm trees on it.

You won’t find giant inflatable turkeys or department store mascots at the Annual Bayou Classic Parade. But you will find some of the best high school and college marching bands, dance teams, and flag corps in the country strutting their stuff, along with an assortment of floats. The parade is one of many events celebrating the Bayou Classic, an annual game between rival HBCU football teams. The Southern University Jaguars and Grambling State Tigers face off in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, November 30 at Elysian Fields Avenue at N. Peters Street and finishes on Loyola Avenue at Perdido Street.

2. Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

1751 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70119

You didn’t think New Orleanians would let a holiday go by without drinking and dressing up, did you? Thanksgiving at the race course is a local tradition, one made even sweeter by the presence of an outlandish chapeau. There’s free slot play, giveaways, and lunch specials—plus the Thanksgiving Handicap and a $75,000 purse. Thoroughbred races start at 1:30 p.m.  Admission is free, and children are allowed.

1751 Gentilly Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70119

3. Celebration in the Oaks

City Park, New Orleans, LA

More than 1 million holiday lights bedeck City Park’s live oaks, many of which are more than 600 years old. The botanical gardens, amusement park, and Storyland all get a special holiday treatment for Celebration in the Oaks, which kicks off November 29 and runs through New Year’s Day. Admission is $10.

City Park
New Orleans, LA

4. New Orleans Saints versus the Atlanta Falcons

1500 Sugar Bowl Dr, New Orleans, LA 70112
A large sports arena at night in New Orleans. The arena is dome shaped and illuminated with orange light. The arena is surrounded by various buildings and green space.

It’s shaping up to be a magical season for the Saints, who are 7-2 right now. This should make their match-up against the Carolina Panthers that much more exciting. Whether you watch from the Superdome, a sports bar, the tailgating area at Champions Square, or the comfort of your living room couch, this is a game you shouldn’t miss.

1500 Sugar Bowl Dr
New Orleans, LA 70112

5. New Orleans Athletic Club’s 111th Annual Turkey Day Race

5400 Stadium Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124

The oldest ongoing foot race in the country kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 28 at Tad Gormley Stadium. There’s a 5K and a half-mile race for kids, and both courses wind through City Park. Yes, some people will inevitably dress up as turkeys, but it’s all for a good cause (proceeds benefit Spina Bifida of Greater New Orleans).

5400 Stadium Dr
New Orleans, LA 70124