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GoNOLA Recommends: 5 Things To Do In New Orleans This Weekend

Street Performers at French Quarter Festival (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

This weekend in New Orleans, the French Quarter takes center stage, as locals and tourists alike flock there for four days of French Quarter Festival fun. On Saturday, champion eaters from around the world compete at the Old U.S. Mint in the Quarter to show off who can eat the most crawfish, while further down the river, locals celebrate their community at the first ever 9th Ward Festival. Friday night brings great Louisiana music to the Uptown neighborhood as Lost Bayou Ramblers headline Tipitinas and Brass Bed and indie rock takes the stage at Gasa Gasa.

French Quarter Fest Second line
A second line kicks off French Quarter Festival. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

All Weekend

1. French Quarter Fest – This weekend, April 10-13, New Orleanians celebrate the 31st annual French Quarter Festival. What started as a post-World’s Fair attempt to bring locals back to the French Quarter has grown into a massive affair, spanning four days with over 150 musical performances on 20 stages throughout the Quarter. French Quarter Fest is more than just music, however. Be sure to check out our picks for must-eat food as well as the special events going on throughout the Quarter this weekend as part of the celebration. New Orleans’ biggest free festival is open to the public.

Friday, April 11

2. Brass Bed, Cardinal Sons, Vox & the Hound at Gasa Gasa – Need a more intimate setting than French Quarter Fest to check out live music this weekend? Head Uptown to Gasa Gasa at 4920 Freret Street to check out indie rock band Brass Bed, with opening acts Cardinal Sons and Vox & the Hound. This gem of a venue has some of the best acoustics in town. Doors open at 9 p.m., and tickets are available in advance for $10.

3. Lost Bayou Ramblers, Feufollet at Tipitina’s – The Grammy-nominated Cajun rock band Lost Bayou Ramblers plays Friday night at Tipitina’s Uptown (501 Napoleon Ave). Opening acts Feufollet and Sweet Crude represent the new generation of Acadiana inspired rock and roll. Doors open at 9 p.m., with show at 10 p.m. Tickets are available in advance and at the door for $12.

Saturday, April 12

4. World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest at Old U.S. Mint – Take a break from stuffing your face during French Quarter Fest to watch other people stuff theirs, as “major league eaters” chow down to see who can peel and consume the most crawfish in 10 minutes. The World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest features three rounds of crawfish competitions with mudbugs from three states, plus plenty of local celebrities. The event takes place Saturday, April 12 at 1 p.m. at the Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Avenue).

5. 9th Ward Festival – In the true spirit of community, the 9th Ward Festival celebrates one of New Orleans’ most diverse neighborhoods with an all day block party featuring crawfish, live music, and DIY exhibits from community members and local businesses. Organizers invite anyone to bring a table to the event to set up and show off their art, ideas and causes. The event takes place April 12 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. at 4219 Urquhart Street.

Mallory Whitfield is an artist, speaker, and author based in New Orleans. In 2016, she was honored to be included in the 19th class of Gambit’s 40 Under 40, which salutes the brightest innovators, artists, and professionals in New Orleans. She currently hosts the Badass Creatives podcast, which features marketing and business advice for creatives, as well as interviews with a diverse range of handmade artists, performers, makers, and creative entrepreneurs. During Mardi Gras, you can usually find her parading with Noisician Coalition in Muses or with The 501st Legion in Tucks.

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