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Best Local Things to Do

Weekend Picks: Art for Art’s Sake, Gleason Classic, and More

Beignet Fest (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Every weekend this fall brings your choice of festivals. Start the weekend with Gentilly Fest, then head over to Beignet Fest on Saturday. Follow the crowd from Magazine Street to downtown for Art for Art’s Sake. Ponderosa Stomp returns this weekend after two years, bringing all the music you could ask for in a series of performances at the Orpheum Theater. Oktoberfest kicks off Friday for the first of three weekends of German food and culture. The Gleason Classic offers much more than just a 5k. Before the weekend gets started, stop by the botanical garden in City Park for “Evenings with Enrique” on Wednesday, or Fat Harry’s on Thursday to help raise funds for hurricane relief. Where do we start? Let the weekend begin!  


Gentilly Fest *Please Note that Gentilly Fest has been canceled on Saturday and Sunday due to tropical storm Nate.Deep fried ribs and smoked turkey legs? Yes, please! All weekend long enjoy the food, music, and community that comes along with Gentilly Fest. This free festival enters its 10th year and serves as a fundraiser for First Responders as well as local community programs. Grab your blankets, lawn chairs, and appetites and head down to Pontchartrain Park for what’s sure to be a good weekend.    

Ponderosa Stomp – The 13th biannual Ponderosa Stomp Festival kicks off Thursday and runs through Saturday. This festival celebrates music through performances, a record show, gospel brunch, and a music history conference. Featuring a large lineup of artists, the performances will take place at the Orpheum Theater. Information on the festival’s other events including schedule, location, and ticket prices can be found on the festival’s website.

Oktoberfest (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)


Oktoberfest – This Friday and Saturday kicks off the first weekend of Oktoberfest, celebrating German culture with food, beer, music, and activities. This year’s Oktoberfest presented by Deutsches Haus moves to 1700 Moss St. in Mid-City. If you can’t make it out this weekend, not to worry – Oktoberfest spans three weekends, on Fridays from 4p.m. to 11p.m. and Saturdays from 1p.m. to 11p.m. Tickets are only $8.


Gleason Classic – Strap on your running shoes and head to the Team Gleason House for the world’s longest 5k. The start time for the race is 8:45 a.m., but if running isn’t your thing, then stick around for yoga, meditation, and a twerk-out session with the queen diva herself, Big Freedia and Mark Berger of HigherPower NOLA. It wouldn’t be a New Orleans race without music and food to follow, so you can expect that at this event too. Entry fees are $45 until October 6 and events will be held at 3525 Bienville St. in Mid-City. The Gleason Classic supports the Gleason Initiative Foundation and raises awareness for ALS.

Bread Pudding Po-Boy Beignet at Beignet Fest (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Beignet Fest*Please Note that Beignet Fest has been rescheduled to December 2 due to tropical storm Nate.* A whole day dedicated to this New Orleans classic – yes, please. Beignet Fest is back for its second year with 13 vendors offering everything from sweet to savory beignets, even including some vegan options. This free festival takes place at the City Park Festival Grounds on Saturday from 10a.m. to 6p.m. and benefits the Tres Doux Foundation, which supports children with developmental delays. Bring the whole family with you for the live entertainment, which features the Imagination Movers at noon.

Art for Art’s Sake (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Art for Art’s Sake*Please Note that Art for Art’s Sake has been postponed to a later date due to tropical storm Nate.Celebrate art in New Orleans with Art for Art’s Sake this weekend. You can start by exploring on Magazine Street and then heading downtown. Art for Art’s Sake on Magazine will feature over 50 shops and restaurants as well as music and wine from 5p.m to 9p.m. Gallery openings will be featured alongside shopping. Stop by the opening of Magazine Street’s first photography studio, by long-time New Orleans artist, Zack Smith at 4514 Magazine St. The opening will be commemorated by the premier of “The Battlefield Oak.”, a landscape photography series. If you make your way downtown, start at the Contemporary Arts Center for the opening reception, then head to Julia Street, and browse the downtown arts market.


“Evenings with Enrique” at the New Orleans Botanical GardenThe Helis Foundation’s Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden welcomes everyone to enjoy a Wednesday afternoon amongst the sculptures. Admission is free on Wednesdays from 10a.m. to 5p.m. and the garden will extend its hours to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in October. Guests can enjoy local musicians, guided tours, and food from La Cocinita available for purchase. This event takes place at 5 Victory Avenue in City Park.

United for Puerto Rico, Hosted by Fat Harry’s – If you’ve been looking for a way to give back to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico, Fat Harry’s is the place to be this Thursday. From 7p.m. to 11 p.m., Fat Harry’s on 4330 St. Charles Avenue will donate 20% of its profits to hurricane relief efforts for Unidos Por Puerto Rico. Drinks will be offered at happy hour prices, and food specials will also be available. Come by, stay awhile, and make your dollars count.

Lauren Saizan is a graduate of Loyola University and a lifelong New Orleanian. Currently the Associate Editor of GoNOLA, when she’s not writing or editing, you can find her dancing in the studio or traveling the world.

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