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Weekend Picks: First Mardi Gras Parades, Tricentennial Kick-Off Celebrations & More

The Phunny Phorty Phellows welcome Carnival season (Photo: Paul Broussard)

A new year, a new chance to have tons of fun in NOLA. Though it might be difficult to say goodbye to all the holiday cheer in New Orleans, you can’t be sad for long with Mardi Gras right around the corner. In fact, this weekend brings the first parades of the season with the Phunny Phorty Phellows Parade and the Joan of Arc Parade. Head to the Riverfront on Saturday for some Mardi Gras-themed fireworks and welcome the official start to the year of the Tricentennial. If you love tamales as much as we do, stop by the first ever Tamale Festival on Saturday in the Marigny. All weekend long you’ll have a chance to check out With Wizard World at the Convention Center and meet a host of celebrity guests. It’s a busy weekend here in NOLA, and that’s just how we like it. Happy new year, y’all!


New Orleans Tamale Festival – It wouldn’t be the new year in NOLA without new festivals lined up. This year brings the first ever tamale festival on Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m at Poor Boy’s Bar on 1328 St. Bernard Ave. Make your way there to sample a variety of tamales from all over the city while enjoying live music. If you’re brave enough, enter the tamale eating competition to be crowned tamale king or queen. The festival is free and open to the public.

Phunny Phorty Phellows Parade (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Phunny Phorty Phellows Streetcar Ride- The first weekend of January means the first parades of the season, and we couldn’t be more excited. Loading up on the streetcar at South Carrollton, the krewe heads rides all the way down St. Charles Avenue and back throwing the first beads of the season. Dress up in your most satirical costume and see the krewe as they ring in the Mardi Gras season beginning at 7 p.m. sharp on Saturday.  

Joan of Arc Parade – Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc parades on the birthday of Joan of Arc every year, January 6. Catch the parade celebrating this French war hero as it runs through the French Quarter for its 10 year anniversary. The walking parade features a medieval-themed procession and is the first parade of the new year, so make sure you’re in your spot to catch the spectacle at 6 p.m. sharp.

Fireworks on the Riverfront (Photo: Paul Broussard)  


Tricentennial Kick-Off Celebrations – It’s officially the year that NOLA turns 300, and this weekend marks the kickoff. On Saturday, head to the Riverfront for the King’s Day Celebration which will include Mardi Gras-themed fireworks at 9 p.m. Then on Sunday, head to St. Louis Cathedral for a Tricentennial Mass at 11 a.m. Brace yourself, because this is just the beginning of a year-long celebration.


Wizard World – This popular convention is making a stop in New Orleans this weekend. At Wizard World, you’ll have the chance to meet celebrity guests like Stan Lee while celebrating the best in pop culture with movies, comics, games, panels, and more while among fellow fans. The convention takes place downtown at the Convention Center and ticket prices vary. Show hours are Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

East of the Mississippi – Head to the New Orleans Museum of Art this weekend for one last chance to see East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography before it closes on Sunday. This exhibition features some of the earliest photographs ever made. On Saturday, join curator Russell Lord for a Noontime Talk to learn more about the exhibit. Admission to the museum is $12 for adults.

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