If you’re looking for something to do this weekend in New Orleans, you’re in luck! The fall festival season kicks into full gear with Gretna Heritage Festival all weekend long. Celebrate the arts with gallery openings and more during Art for Art’s Sake on Saturday night, and check out the regional premiere of a new play, Shiner, at AllWays Theatre. Amanda Shaw and Charmaine Neville perform Thursday night at Cafe Istanbul for a good cause, and New Orleanians have their first chance to get in the mood for Halloween at the Vampire 5K on Saturday night.
1. Gretna Heritage Festival – Gretna Heritage Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend as it takes over 25 city blocks of downtown Gretna, featuring six stages of live music that include headliners the Gregg Allman Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Other highlights include an Italian Village, German Beer Garden, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks and more. The festival can be easily accessed from downtown New Orleans via a ferry ride from the Canal Street Ferry Dock to the Gretna Ferry Landing. Single day tickets and weekend passes are available in advance at GretnaFest.com.
2. Shiner at AllWays Theatre – The NOLA Project presents Shiner, a play by up-and-coming American playwright Christian Durso that tells the story of two teenagers coping with life, love, puberty, and the death of Kurt Cobain in the early 90s. Shiner makes its regional premiere at the AllWays Theatre on Oct. 1 and runs through the 18th. Advance tickets are on sale now.
Thursday, October 2
3. Women Performing for Women – Cafe Istanbul hosts a fundraiser for Hagar’s House, a local sanctuary for women and children, this Thursday night from 6:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., featuring performances by Amanda Shaw, Charmaine Neville, the Pussyfooters and other talented women of New Orleans. Tickets are available at Eventbrite for $40 per person, or $75 per couple and include food, which will be provided by local restaurants including Brisbi’s, The Ruby Slipper, Katie’s, Mona’s, Neyow’s, Please U Diner and Gracious Bakery.
Saturday, October 4
4. Art for Art’s Sake – Art galleries and museums around town will stay open late for the annual Art for Art’s Sake event this Saturday night, from approximately 6 p.m. til 9 p.m. In the Warehouse District, check out plenty of artsy happenings on Julia Street, including PARK(ing) Day installations, in which artists transform parking spaces into public art exhibits. On Magazine Street, participating merchants kick off the New Orleans arts season with music, wine, gallery openings and shopping. Complimentary shuttles will transport patrons up and down Magazine Street.
5. Vampire 5K – Get in the Halloween spirit with the Vampire 5k fun run at Zephyrs Stadium in Metairie, starting at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday evening. Register in advance to run as a “Vampire” or a “Citizen” – the run kicks off at dusk, with an after-party to follow.