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

The Saenger Theater (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

This weekend in New Orleans offers a diverse range of musical options. Classical music fans can check out the International Piano Competition finals, while jazz lovers will have the chance to see Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Saenger Theatre. Fans of 1970s rock can head to the UNO Lakefront Arena for Steely Dan Saturday night, while the New Orleans Daiquiri Festival will feature local funk, r&b, and New Orleans brass bands. Need to lighten the mood? The Megaphone Marathons 5 comedy festival showcases improv and sketch comics all weekend.

All Weekend

1. The Megaphone Marathons 5 – Tickle your funny bone all weekend long at The Megaphone Marathons. For the 5th year, The New Movement is bringing this week-long comedy festival to town, with 2-3 different shows per night featuring performers from New Orleans and Austin, Texas. Tickets, available in advance online, are $7 per show or $10 at the door.

2. International Piano Competition and Keyboard Festival – The 25th New Orleans International Piano Competition, held in conjunction with the Annual Summer Keyboard Festival, continues through this weekend at Loyola University’s Roussel Hall. The competition, hosted by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans, features 152 finalists from 26 countries, plus performances by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, and Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. A schedule of performances and ticket information is available at

Saturday & Sunday

3. 4th Annual New Orleans Daiquiri Festival – Now in its fourth year, the New Orleans Daiquiri Festival expands this weekend to a 2-day event featuring family activities, a make-your-own snowball stand, and live music performances from Hot 8 Brass Band, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, Tank and The Bangas, and many more. The event will offer both classic daiquiri flavors as well as craft cocktail versions, plus beer and a full bar. The festival runs Saturday & Sunday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. at 548 Marigny Street (Marigny & Decatur). Single day tickets as well as weekend passes are available for purchase at the New Orleans Daiquiri Festival website.

Saturday July 26

4. Steely Dan at UNO Lakefront Arena – 1970s jazz rockers Steely Dan reunite with a stop in New Orleans this Saturday night. Duo Donald Fagen and Walter Becker will perform at the UNO Lakefront Arena at 8 p.m., July 26. Tickets are available online from Ticketmaster.

Sunday, July 27

5. Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis performs with the 14-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra band this Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Saenger Theatre. The event is a benefit for the Tipitina’s Foundation, which promotes childhood music education and preserves the musical culture of New Orleans. Tickets are available in advance online and range from $40-$75, with VIP tickets also available for $150 each.

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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