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Things to Do

Weekend Picks: NOLA Navy Week, Overlook Film Festival, and More

A NOLA Navy Week vessel (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Springtime is our favorite season in New Orleans. And this weekend is looking good. NOLA Navy Week sails into New Orleans on Thursday, promising a weekend of fun. Horror film fans rejoice as the Overlook Film Festival premieres in New Orleans. There’s lots of live performances on the schedule, including RENT’s 20th anniversary tour, New Orleans Voices of Congo Square, and Purple Rain: The Music of Prince at the Orpheum. Stop into a few Tricentennial events happening this weekend, including a new exhibit at the Cabildo. We’ve got something for everyone this weekend – come on down and celebrate the Tricentennial with us.

Take a ride on a Tall Ship during NOLA Navy Week.


NOLA Navy Week – NOLA Navy Week has arrived, bringing the tall ships and navy vessels with it. From Thursday, April 19 to Sunday, April 22, head to Woldenberg Park on the Riverfront to watch the ships roll in, take tours of the navy vessels, and attend special events throughout the week. Watch as chefs battle it out at the Tabasco Kitchen Cookoff the morning of Sunday, April 22, then come back for the fireworks on the River later that day at 9 p.m. For more information, see here. And to see the top five things to do at NOLA Navy Week, check out our guide.

Overlook Film Festival – This four-day celebration of all things “horror” will take place in New Orleans from Thursday, April 19 to Sunday, April 22. The weekend will feature everything from horror films to live music to interactive events and more. Events will take place at festival headquarters, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel and film screenings will be held at Le Petit Theatre and the Cinnebarre Canal Place 9 theaters. Information on tickets and the festival schedule can be found here.

Italian Heritage Festival – Venture out to Kenner, just about 15 minutes outside of New Orleans for the Italian Heritage festival. It’s a family affair with live music, food, games, rides, and crafts. The Molly Ringwalds open up the festival on Friday night followed by other acts all weekend long including Spencer Racca, The Victory Belles, and more.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour (RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Photo Credit Carol Rosegg, 2017)

RENT – From Tuesday, April 17 to Sunday, April 22, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical RENT will stop in New Orleans as a part of their 20th anniversary tour. The musical follows the lives of seven artists in New York City and the challenges they encounter within a year. Performances are held at the Saenger Theater and tickets start at $30. Additionally, the first two rows of seats in the orchestra will be held for those who purchase tickets the day of the performance for only $25 each (2 ticket limit, cash-only). They will be available 2 hours before the performance, so plan to get there early.

Recovered Memories: Spain, New Orleans and the Support for the American Revolution – For the first time in 25 years, the Cabildo will house and premier a new exhibit, Recovered Memories: Spain, New Orleans and the Support for the American Revolution. This 7,000 square foot exhibition will feature hundreds of historic artifacts, documents, costumes, and works of art from Spanish and U.S. museums, archives, and private collections. It explores Spain’s influence on the development of New Orleans, its support of the American Revolution, and Spain’s lasting legacy on American culture. The exhibit opens April 20 and runs through July 8 at the newly revitalized Cabildo in downtown New Orleans.

The Orpheum Theater (Photo: Rebecca Todd)


New Orleans Voices of Congo Square – This Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m., the Orpheum Theater will host a first-time stage production of the culture of Congo Square. With vibrant costumes, live music, and colorful dance, you’ll be taken on a journey that tells the story of the Masking Black (Mardi Gras) Indians and how they’ve shaped the Carnival Traditions we celebrate today. Tickets start at $40.


Purple Rain: The Music of Prince – Head to the Orpheum Theater this Saturday, April 21 for Purple Rain: The Music of Prince presented by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. You can expect dynamic orchestrations of the beloved music of Prince complete with a full rock band and show lighting. Experience Prince’s music like never before with this symphonic tribute. Tickets start at $20.

Femaissance: Primavera – Join 50+ local female artists for the return of Femaissance on Saturday night beginning at 6 p.m. Celebrate female creators and explore what it means to be “muse-worthy” at this showcase of art. The event will be held at 1000 Royal St. in the French Quarter.

City Bark Dog Park (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)


***The Tricentennial Dog Parade has been cancelled due to expected bad weather***
Tricentennial Dog Parade – What better way to celebrate the dogs of New Orleans than with a morning walk. The Tricentennial Dog Parade, held at NOLA City Bark Dog Park, begins at 11 a.m. with registration at 10 a.m. Make sure your pups dress for the occasion in their best New Orleans-centric dog attire to enter in the costume contest. This event costs $40 to attend and tickets can be purchased here.


Head to the House of Blues on Friday for a Swinging NOLA Birthday Party to celebrate the Tricentennial. The Ibervillianaires headline the night with the Jen Howard Band opening the show at 7 p.m. Admission is $10. On Saturday night, catch Mia Borders performing at SideBar Nola on 611 S. White St. The performance begins at 9 p.m.

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