The festival is an annual four-day celebration held in late March, which showcases national and regional scholars, writers, and performing artists. Programs include panel discussions, theatrical performances, a one-act play competition, lectures, literary walking tours, musical performances, and a book fair. Festival activities revolve around Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré. With the growth of the Festival in recent years, activities have expanded to nearby sites, including the Cabildo of the Louisiana State Museum, the Historic New Orleans Collection, the Palm Court Jazz Café, and the Contemporary Arts Center.
The Festival is governed by a volunteer board of directors composed of teachers, writers, book-sellers, city government personnel, corporate representatives, and television consultants.
This annual four-day fete honors the legendary playwright--who considered New Orleans his "spiritual home" -- and the literary heritage he inspired.