The French Market District: A Quieter Corner of the French Quarter
The French Market District spans 6 blocks, from the Shops at the Upper Pontalba on Jackson Square to the Farmers and Flea Markets across from the Old U.S. Mint. Stroll the Shops at the Colonnade on Decatur Street, offering everything from local artwork, jewelry, and apparel, to souvenirs, confections, and cafés and restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating. Admire public artwork, fountains, and parks; just behind the shops, take a walk up to the Mississippi River boardwalk to enjoy a respite from the hustle of the French Quarter and to hop on the red riverside streetcar.
Entertainment abounds in the French Market District, whether it is indoor educational programming at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park Visitor Center in Dutch Alley, or outdoor live music at The Market Café and Gazebo Café. Street performers inhabit our plazas, sidewalks, and Farmers Market stage, where cooking demonstrations also occur each weekend.
The French Market District plays host to festivals and events year round, including these highlights:
Joan of Arc Parade
Mardi Gras Mask Market
America’s Food Fest
French Quarter Festival
French Market’s Creole Tomato Festival
Bastille Day celebrations, including the French Market Waiters Race
- August & September:
Special programming for the city’s “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” campaign
Boo Carré Halloween and Harvest Festival
French Market’s Annual Tree Lighting
St. Nicholas Day Fair and other special holiday concerts & events, including Christmas New Orleans Style chef cooking demonstrations
For over 200 years, the historic French Market has been an enduring symbol of pride and progress for the people of New Orleans. While the Market has existed on the same site since 1791, each new decade and governing flag has brought dramatic changes to the Market and helped to secure its special place in the hearts of the people of New Orleans.
What began as a Native American trading post on the banks of the mighty, muddy Mississippi River on the site chosen for the City by the French, has become a cultural, commercial and entertainment treasure which the Crescent City proudly shares with the world.
Today, America’s oldest public market has assumed a leading role in the local economy as well, providing consistently increasing revenues for city government while putting millions of dollars back into the local economy.
Washington Artillery Park. Formerly Founders Park, this park, offering the City’s best view of Jackson Square and exceptional Mississippi River views, pays tribute to the 141st Field Artillery of the Louisiana National Guard. The mounted canon is a model of the same canon used in the Civil War.
Joan of Arc Statue, New Place de France. A 1958 gift from the people of France to New Orleans, located at St. Phillip and Decatur Streets . The statue is a replica of the Emmanuel Frémiet's in Place des Pyramids in Paris.
Latrobe Park sits behind The Gazebo Café, with views of the French Market arch at Ursulines Street. This shady, fountain and sculpture-filled park is dedicated to architect Benjamin Latrobe. The park sits on a former waterworks designed by Latrobe, who died in New Orleans in 1820 from yellow fever while working on the project.
Dutch Alley, Named for Mayor Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, this corner of the French Market features public art, the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, and scenic walkways that lead to the Mississippi riverfront, the Riverfront streetcar line, and the French Market parking lot.