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Best Local Things to Do

Weekend Picks: King Cake Festival, An Evening of Stars, and More

king cake donuts
King cake donuts at King Cake Festival (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

This weekend in New Orleans, we’re enjoying a ballet benefit at the Mahalia Jackson Theater, going out to support the Pelicans, and eating all the king cake we can handle at King Cake Festival. After last Sunday’s unjustified heartbreak in the NFC Championship game, we deserve it. Here’s our picks for a great weekend ahead.

The New Orleans Museum of Art (Photo: Kelsey Campion)


The Orléans Collection – Catch the final moments of the Orléans Collection before it closes at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) this Sunday, Jan. 27. The exhibition is a collection of the Duke of Orléans’ (1674–1723) artwork including works from Veronese, Valentin, Poussin, Rubens, and Rembrandt that formerly graced the walls of the Palais Royal in Paris. Admission is free for NOMA members, $15 for non-members plus an $8 entrance fee. The museum opens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Crescent City Farmer’s Market (Photo: Justen Williams)


Crescent City Farmer’s Market – If you’re keeping up those healthy habits in the new year, head to the Crescent City Farmer’s Market this weekend at the downtown (750 Carondelet St. at Julia St.) or Rivertown (Williams Blvd. at the River) markets where you’ll find fresh and local and produce, along with recipes to go with all your goodies. The downtown market will be open from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and the Rivertown market will be open from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Note that due to the government shutdown, local nonprofit Market Umbrella is matching benefits for SNAP recipients. Market Umbrella will double purchases up to $20 at all seven Crescent City Farmers Markets. Shoppers can use their EBT card for $20 and receive $40 in tokens to purchase fresh foods.

*Editor’s Note: New Orleans and Company has launched a food drive for TSA employees, U.S. Coast Guard members, and others affected by the partial federal shutdown. Those wishing to contribute can drop off items at the tourism headquarters at 2020 St. Charles Ave. Monday – Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Food items should be non-expired and in their original packaging. Household goods like paper towels and toilet paper will also be accepted. No energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, or homemade goods will be accepted. Second Harvest Food Bank will distribute the donations.

The Company Burger Downtown (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Burger Proof Tasting Experience – The Company Burger Downtown (611 O’Keefe Ave., Unit C7) is hosting a unique dessert tasting experience this Saturday from 1-4 p.m. For $16, experience house-made desserts paired with a flight of spirits and a pour of stout. The menu includes Coke Cake paired with Russell’s Reserve ‘Burger Proof’ Bourbon, Carrot Cake paired with Cane Land Spiced Rum, and Brownie paired w/ Burger Proof Double Barrel-Aged Stout.

The Smoothie King Center, home to the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Pelicans vs. Spurs – If you haven’t made it to a Pelicans game yet this season, now’s the perfect time to go. Pels games are lots of fun – fast-moving, high-energy, and a perfect outing for the whole family. This Saturday, the Pels take on the San Antonio Spurs at 5 p.m. at the Smoothie King Center. Tickets start at $15.

An Evening of Stars – Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Ballet Association with An Evening of Stars. This special event featuring some of the world’s most distinguished artists will honor those who have made NOBA’s vision possible with a star-studded evening. The performance begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the performing Arts. Tickets start at $20.

King Cake Festival (Photo: Paul Broussard)


King Cake Festival – Cream cheese-filled, bananas foster-style, or traditional – this festival has all the king cakes you can  imagine. On Sunday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., head to Champions Square for the King Cake Festival, which benefits Ochsner Hospital for Children. If you can’t decide which to try, let the judges decide for you in the king cake competition featuring categories like ‘best non-traditional’ and ‘most likely to replace a meal.’ Come hungry. Until then, enjoy king cake at one of these spots in NOLA. Admission to King Cake Festival is free, and tasting tickets can be bought here.

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