Popular festivals & events in the USA

In a country as big and diverse as the United States, there's no shortage of incredible festivals and events to work your way through. From vibrant Pride marches and heritage celebrations to the parades, parties and pizazz of events like New Orleans's Mardi Gras, here are some of the USA's most popular festivals and cultural events.

1. Pride New York

The Big Apple is one of the most LGBTQIA+ friendly cities in the world, so it’s only fitting that it also hosts one of the world’s largest and liveliest Pride celebrations. As well as a huge Pride march through the bustling streets of Manhattan, you can also enjoy the PrideFest street fair, a two-day music festival known as Pride Island, vibrant rooftop parties, a political rally, and so much more.

2. New Orleans Mardi Gras

For around one month every year, the energetic streets of New Orleans come even more alive with a chaotic collision of lively music, colourful costumes, carnival masks, spicy food and joyful people at Mardi Gras.

There are many parties and masquerade balls throughout the month, but the main event is called Fat Tuesday (‘Mardi Gras’ means ‘fat Tuesday’ in French), which takes place on the last day of the carnival. Fat Tuesday always falls on the day before Ash Wednesday (or the first day of Lent), and is traditionally a chance to have one last hurrah before fasting begins in the lead-up to Easter.

3. Cinco de Mayo

Colourful street parades, tasty tacos and tequila? Don't mind if we do! Cinco de Mayo is an annual festival celebrated on 5 May to mark the day when an army of 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated the French Empire in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico. It also celebrates the overall awesomeness that is Mexican culture. While you'll find festivities in Puebla City, there are also heaps of festivities in cities throughout the States, particularly around the US-Mexico border.

4. Jazz & Heritage Festival

Celebrate all things jazz and culture at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In fact, you’ll be treated to a lot more than just jazz with 12 stages of music ranging from Cajun to gospel and Caribbean to funk. If you can’t make the festival, fear not.

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