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Best Local Things to Do

Weekend Picks: Jazz Fest, Cinco de Mayo, and More

Jazz Fest
The gates on Gentilly Boulevard welcome Jazz Fest go-ers. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

This weekend in New Orleans, we’re heading out to Jazz Fest for weekend two. If you can’t handle four days of back-to-back festing, we’ve got you covered with lots of other events happening this weekend in the city. Enjoy an art stroll at Jammin’ on Julia, or map out your Cinco de Mayo plans with our guide. There’s plenty to do this weekend in NOLA – let’s get it started.

Jazz Fest (Photo: Paul Broussard)


New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – Weekend two of Jazz Fest is here, and we’re looking forward to the final four days of the fest. Performers this weekend include Widespread Panic, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews Band, Diana Ross, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with the Nevilles, and more. Before the fest returns for the weekend, check out our things to do between weekends one and two of Jazz Fest. Then, head out to the fest to celebrate the 50th anniversary one last time. Tickets are $75 through May 1 and $85 at the gate.

Vinsantos and LadyBEAST Present Marquee: A Night of Burlesque, Circus and Drag Cabaret – This show pays homage to New Orleans cabaret culture, featuring local drag queens and burlesque artists. Marquee features ensemble burlesque acts, circus, vaudeville, live music, and more. Catch the performances nightly at Le Petit Theatre from May 3-5 at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $25.


Kentucky Derby Watch Parties – Grab your fancy hat and head to one of these Kentucky Derby watch parties this Saturday. The Bombay Club will be serving mint juleps, food and drink specials, and cigar and bourbon pairings from 3-7 p.m. The Hot Tin at the Pontchartrain Hotel will also be hosting a viewing party starting at 2 p.m featuring Derby cocktail specials. Come dressed in your Derby best and catch sweeping views of the city from their rooftop bar.

Explore the galleries along Julia Street at Jammin’ on Julia (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Jammin’ on Julia – Take a stroll through the Arts District on Julia Street this Saturday evening. This free event will feature food and drink, music from Bon Bon Vivant, and the chance to visit numerous art galleries along Julia Street from 6-11 p.m. Before the event, head to South Market Live! from 6-8 p.m. for live music, food and drink specials at neighboring restaurants, and more. South Market Live! is located at 1000 Girod St.

Festival for a Cause – If you couldn’t make it out to Jazz Fest, look no further for a night of great local live music. Festival for a Cause will feature performances from Aylia, R&R Music Group, Joy Orleans, and others at the historic Carver Theater beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased online here.

Casa Borrega hosts a Cinco de Mayo celebration (Photo: Paul Broussard)


Cinco de Mayo – Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in New Orleans through various fiestas, block parties, and food and drink specials at local establishments. Enjoy parties at the Velvet Cactus, Araña Taqueria, Casa Borrega, and other restaurants all day long. Check out our guide to celebrating Cinco de Mayo in New Orleans here.

Enjoy fresh crawfish at Crawfish Fest (Photo: Paul Broussard)


NOLA Crawfish Festival – NOLA Crawfish Fest is held from Monday, April 29 to Wednesday, May 1, giving us a midweek festival that satisfies all of our crawfish cravings. Held at Central City BBQ from 3-10 p.m. daily, the festival includes a crawfish eating contest, a crawfish cookoff, and a musical lineup featuring Soul Brass Band. Tickets to the festival start at $40.

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