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

Mahalia Jackson Theater
The Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts (Photo: Paul Broussard)

This weekend in New Orleans offers a variety of festive fun, with plenty of things to do all weekend long. Take in some culture as Africa Umoja brings the music and dance traditions of South Africa to New Orleans, or view some of the best photography that New Orleans has to offer as PhotoNOLA kicks off. Prepare to be wowed as the feline performers of The Amazing Acro-Cats take the stage at The Marigny Theatre. Jam out this weekend with Morning 40 Federation at Hamp Fest at One Eyed Jacks and Anders Osborne at Tipitina’s.

All Weekend

1. Africa Umoja – The international touring show Africa Umoja celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of apartheid in South Africa through music and dance all weekend long at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. The show offers a glimpse into the history of the country’s music and dance, featuring everything from traditional Zulu music and gumboot dancing to contemporary pop and gospel. Performances run Dec. 4-16. Tickets are available for advance purchase.

2. PhotoNOLA – The ninth annual PhotoNOLA photography festival takes place Dec. 4-7, with exhibitions continuing throughout the month. This weekend’s events include a series of educational workshops and lectures, plus book signings and the opening night PhotoGALA on Thursday, Dec. 4 at the New Orleans Museum of Art. A full schedule of events and exhibits can be found at

3. The Amazing Acro-cats Meowy Catmas – The Amazing Acro-Cats return to the The Marigny Theatre (behind the AllWays Lounge) to perform a holiday-themed spectacular Dec. 5-21. The one-hour show features more than a dozen fabulous felines performing tricks, plus the world’s only cat band, The Rock Cats, will perform. Adult tickets are $19 and children 12 and under are $16. Use the discount Code “MeowyChristmas” when ordering advance tickets online to take advantage of the opening weekend price of $16 for everyone.

Friday, December 5

4. Hamp Fest – Morning 40 Federation headlines the annual HIV/AIDS awareness event at One Eyed Jacks, which will offer HIV testing on site. Doors open at 9 p.m.; tickets are available in advance for $15.

Friday & Saturday, December 5-6

5. Anders Osborne Holiday Spectacular – New Orleans rocker Anders Osborne brings his annual Holiday Spectacular back to Tipitina’s this weekend, with shows at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday night, complete with special guests. General admission tickets for the Friday and Saturday night shows are available for $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

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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