Top 100 Events in the United States 2014

The festivals, industry conferences, and other gatherings in the United States that make the most impact year after year.

New Orleans #10 Festival, Parade & Holiday Event (new to the list) Founded in 1995, the magazine’s signature event marked its 20th anniversary with performances from headliners Prince, Lionel Richie, and Mary J. Blige in 2014. Held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the festival serves its main audience of African-American women with events such as a hackathon, “empowerment” panels, a fashion show, and a family day at a local park. More than 550,000 people attended this year. Next: July 2015
New Orleans
#10 Festival, Parade & Holiday Event (new to the list)
Founded in 1995, the magazine’s signature event marked its 20th anniversary with performances from headliners Prince, Lionel Richie, and Mary J. Blige in 2014. Held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the festival serves its main audience of African-American women with events such as a hackathon, “empowerment” panels, a fashion show, and a family day at a local park. More than 550,000 people attended this year. Next: July 2015
Photo: JR Tomason/Essence

As with all lists, this is subjective. To choose and rank the annual events, we considered several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and an event’s prominence within the communities it serves. The selections also were vetted by insiders in each category. For our second annual lists, we highlighted events that are at least 25 years old.

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