Halloween kicks off the weekend in New Orleans, and the events only ramp up from there. Cultural festivals abound this weekend, with Bayou Bacchanal, Taste of Africa Mini Fest, Algiers Folk Art Festival, and Day of the Dead celebrations all right here in the city. Oak Street Po-Boy Fest and National Sandwich Day at Gallier Hall celebrate the beloved po-boy, and Wine on the River is a tasting event like none other. Here’s where we’ll be this weekend.
Halloween night in New Orleans is like nowhere else on Earth, and despite it falling on a Thursday, we take Halloween seriously with plenty of parties, haunted houses, and fun for kids and adults alike. Stop by a haunted attraction or two before the spookiest time of year is over. Here’s what to do on Halloween Night in New Orleans.
National Sandwich Day – Celebrate National Sandwich Day early on Friday, Nov. 1, with a free po-boy from Parkway Bakery & Tavern. For the fourth year in a row, Blue Plate Mayonnaise, Chisesi Brothers Meat Packing Co. and Leidenheimer Baking Company are partnering to celebrate National Sandwich Day by feeding the masses and bringing awareness to hunger and homelessness in the New Orleans area. All are welcome to stop by Gallier Hall starting at 11 a.m. for a ham, turkey, or roast beef po-boy until sandwiches run out. There will also be a specialty Cajun turkey Philly po-boy with grilled onions, peppers, provolone cheese, and roast beef gravy created by Parkway Bakery and Tavern’s Justin Kennedy. Suggested donations are $1 for regular po-boys and $5 for the specialty po-boy. All proceeds will benefit the New Orleans Women and Children’s Shelter.
Old Nobodaddy at the Starlight – The Starlight Lounge on 817 St. Louis St. welcomes Old Nobodaddy, a nine-piece band whose music is equal parts gospel choir, gothic Americana, folk, rhythms, and roots. Stop by for this theatrical performance, which starts at 10 p.m. Admission is free.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Bayou Bacchanal – Bayou Bacchanal celebrates Caribbean culture in New Orleans this weekend with two days of events. Kick things off with the All-White Affair at Cozie’s Sports Bar and Grill in Gretna on Friday, and on Saturday, head to Crescent Park for the 17th Annual Bayou Bacchanal Carnival. Starting at 11 a.m., enjoy live music, food and drinks, and dancing. Fest-goers are encouraged to come dressed in traditional carnival attire. Throughout the Carnival, donations will be collected to benefit Hurricane Dorian victims in The Bahamas. Admission to both events is $15.
Day of the Dead Celebrations – Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebrates our ancestors from October 31 to November 2 every year. The New Orleans Healing Center is hosting its Day of the Dead/ Fet Gede on Friday, Nov. 1 from 5:30-11:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear black and purple and to bring an offering for the altar. Our Voice Nuestra is hosting a Day of the Dead Party at The Roadhouse at Creole Gardens on Saturday, Nov. 2. Register here for event details. Casa Borrega is hosting a Day of the Dead Batucada on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 7-11 p.m. The party will feature food and drinks, as well as music from Brazilian Band Amigos do Samba. Costumes are encouraged. All events are free to attend.
Uncorked! A History of Wine in New Orleans – The Historic New Orleans Collection presents the sixth edition of its culinary symposium series with seminars on the history of wine drinking. Hear from a panel of experts in “Serving Wine: Then and Now” and enjoy a reception and wine tasting afterwards. The event begins at 10 a.m. at 533 Royal St. Admission is $60 per person.
Algiers Folk Art Festival – The Algiers Folk Art Festival is a community celebration of local food and art vendors. The all-day festival features live music, food trucks, and an arts market from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Algiers Folk Art Zone and Blues Museum. Entrance to the festival is free.
Wine on the River – Sip and sample wine on the river at Woldenberg Park this Saturday from 3-6 p.m. Over 90 wine, beer, and spirits vendors will be present at the event, with food from Oceana Grill, Barrow’s Catfish, Fogo de Châo Brazillian Steakhouse, Bobby Hebert’s Cajun Cannon, and more. Tickets are $49 and include 30 beverage samples, an event souvenir tasting glass, a passport brochure, and a donation to Boys and Girls Haven. Entertainment includes performances from Caren Green and Erica Falls. Designated drivers can also attend for $20.
Taste of Africa Mini Fest – The Taste of Africa Mini Fest is an annual celebration of African culture in New Orleans. Live music, dancing, drumming, and food and drink are highlights of the festival. The music lineup features artists from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, including Nigeria, Guyana, and Togo. The festival is held at Culture Park, 3000 Franklin Ave. from 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. General admission tickets are $10 with VIP options available.
First Saturday Gallery Opening – Head to Julia Street for First Saturday Gallery Openings this Saturday from 6-9 p.m. Go for a self-guided art stroll and browse Ariodante Gallery, Arthur Roger Gallery, Beata Sasik Gallery, and others. This event is free and hosted by the Arts District of New Orleans.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Bloody Mary Festival – The largest event of its kind, The Bloody Mary Festival brings together the most innovative and crafty Bloody Mary mixes, curated by its team of Bloody Mary aficionados and made by local bars and restaurants. Guests will have the opportunity to taste them all before voting for their favorite via the “People’s Choice Award.” A panel of industry judges will also select the “Best Bloody Mary in New Orleans.” Tickets to the festival include all participating Bloody Marys, tastes of local food and beverage products, temporary tattoos, and more. The festival is Saturday and Sunday at The Howlin’ Wolf from noon to 4:30 p.m. both days. Tickets are $35.
Oak Street Po-Boy Fest – We’re drooling just thinking about all the options at this festival; Eggplant Parmesan po-boy, Hot Boudin Patty Melt po-boy, Slow Roasted Duck po-boy, Strawberry & Nutella Tiramisu po-boy, and Belly of the Beast po-boy are just a few of the dozens of offerings. The music lineup includes local favorites like John Mooney, Funk Monkey With Arsene DeLay, and a surprise band. Oak Street Po-Boy Fest is held at Oak Street and S Carrollton Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the festival is free, but you’ll need a $5 wristband to purchase po-boys.