World’s Largest Toy Fair Moving From New York to Louisiana After 100 Years
The world's largest and most iconic toy fair is leaving the Big Apple and packing up for the Big Easy. Forbes reports The North American International Toy Fair announced that after more than 100 years in Manhattan, it is coming to Louisiana.
The trade group that hosts the fair said the move will happen in 2026 and will take place at the Ernest N Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The three-year agreement will start in 2026 and run through the 2027 and 2028 shows.
A Big Win for Louisiana
It’s no doubt a big win for the city that has been trying to lure back conventions since the pandemic in 2020 and a highly-publicized spike in crime in the city. City leaders and the convention and visitors bureau have been making a concerted effort to calm fears about safety. In some instances, the city and event organizers are teaming up to offer more police protection around the convention center during big events. There is also added law enforcement in the French Quarter while these events are going on.
Not Just Playing Around
The show features the world’s biggest toy manufacturers and it’s where media outlets from around the world focus on the new toys and tech coming to the market. Participants have complained about the shift from a Fall show to February saying that it’s too early in the year for stores to be thinking about holiday shoppers. Nevertheless, the microscope will be on New Orleans and buyers aren’t just playing around.
A notable line in the Forbes story explains why New Orleans was picked.
In explaining the selection of New Orleans, Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association, said the city has “state-of-the-art facilities including a brand-new airport, renowned restaurants, museums, music, an array of event spaces, and a strong collaborative partnership between the convention center, New Orleans & Company, and the business community."