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Arts & Culture

GoNOLA Recommends: 5 Things to Do in New Orleans This Weekend

Capitalize on the gorgeous spring weather with plenty of outdoor events happening in New Orleans this weekend. NOMA starts its Movies in the Garden series with the adventure classic Raiders of the Lost Ark on Friday, while the Congo Square Rhythms Festival and a gardens tour through the Garden District (where else?) provide even more chances for a weekend spent al fresco. Tattoo enthusiasts can attend Folklore & Flash, the grand opening of The New Orleans Tattoo Museum -– an ambitious new space that blends art gallery and museum elements with a working tattoo studio. The Patois Film Festival, in its final weekend, is another eclectic choice.

This weekend, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival celebrates the music and culture of the African diaspora at Armstrong Park. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber and


1. NOMA Movies in the Garden – In an homage to the summer blockbuster, the New Orleans Museum of Art Spielberg will present three Steven Spielberg films, beginning with Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Festivities (live music, food trucks, art activities, and a cash bar) begin at 5 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. screening time. Tickets are $10 (or free with NOMA admission).


2. The New Orleans Tattoo Museum Grand Opening – Located near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and O.C. Haley Boulevard, the new Tattoo Museum will celebrate its grand opening in an event titled Folklore & Flash. Starting at 6 p.m., museum curator and historian Doc Don will present a Q&A session; live music, cocktails, and exhibit tours follow. The event is free when you register in advance online.

3. Secret Gardens Tour – Choose from a self-guided or private guided tour through some of the most bountiful gardens in the Garden District. The all-day event (from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.) takes patrons through 15 different gardens with proceeds benefiting brain and spinal cord injury recovery efforts. Live music, food trucks, and a garden-themed boutique complement the blooms. Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online.

All Weekend

4. Congo Square Rhythms FestivalNew Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents the music and culture of the African diaspora at this free festival in Armstrong Park. This year’s festival highlights the Mardi Gras Indians, honoring Emile “Bo” Dollis’s recent passing through the music of his collaborator, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, his son, Bo Dollis Jr., and the Wild Magnolias.

5. Patois Film Festival – Artists and activists jointly founded this festival (reflected in its full name, Patois: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival). Check out the festival in its final weekend at venues like Indywood Cinema and the Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Arts Center – topics of screenings include sex worker rights, indigenous rituals in modern Mexico, and challenges facing the transgender community. View the complete schedule online.

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