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New Orleans Weekend Picks: Oyster Fest, Taste at the Lake, Roar

Give May a proper sendoff with New Orleans events happening this weekend. New Orleans Oyster Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday – proceeds benefit local estuaries and wildlife programs so arriving hungry is a befitting requisite. Also on the food front this weekend: Taste at the Lake and the Eat Local Kickoff Party, both on Saturday.

The sounds of chamber music waft through the city as part of Birdfoot Festival, while the Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble brings globally sourced sounds to the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall. And cinemaphiles, behold! Indywood Theater sinks its teeth into Roar, the infamous and astonishing movie starring 150 untamed animals, plus Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith.

All Weekend

1. New Orleans Oyster FestivalWoldenberg Park is your oyster this weekend, where you’ll find competitions for both eating and shucking these sought-after bivalves. The free fest features 20 of the city’s top restaurants plus live music from artists like Treme Brass Band.

birdfoot festival
Chamber music at Cafe Istanbul as part of Birdfoot Festival. (Photo courtesy Birdfoot Festival on Facebook)

2. Birdfoot Festival – Spread across venues citywide, Birdfoot Festival celebrates chamber music in a variety of ways. Attend the free poetry and spoken word event at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Contemporary Arts Center or opt for one of two final concert performances on Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices vary.

Saturday

3. Eat Local Kickoff Party – Formally register with the Eat Local Challenge ($30) for access to the kickoff party, happening Saturday at the Zeitgest Multi-Discplinary Arts Center. The challenge pits you against your appetite: can you eat locally sourced food that is grown, caught, or raised within 200 miles of New Orleans for 30 days? (We think yes.)

4. Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble Spring Concert – Including performance selections native to countries like Argentina, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Israel, Hungary, and many others, the Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble’s spring concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall. Tickets are $15 at the door ($10 for students and seniors).

5. Taste at the Lake – One ticket (starting at $40) gets you a taste of food from more than 30 restaurants at this 21-and-up event. Beer, wine, and live music are all part of the experience, too. Taste at the Lake runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the West Lakeshore shopping center in Lakeview.

Lagniappe

Roar at Indywood Theater The cast and crew of this incomprehensible ‘80s movie were subject to more than 70 documented attacks from lions, tigers, elephants, and other untamed creatures. Griffith was mauled by a lion; the film’s director, Jan de Bont, received 220 stitches from another attack. The bizarre film plays at Indywood all weekend. Tickets are $7. BYOB!

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