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Best Local Things to Do

Weekend Picks: Krewe of Boo, Ballet Hispánico, Mac N’ Cheese Fest & More

Krewe of Boo (Photo: Paul Broussard)

This is the weekend you’ve been waiting for. With so many festivals and Halloween right around the corner, you’ll be booked all weekend long. Kick off the weekend with a sultry performance from jazz singer Robin Barnes at the Historic New Orleans Collection on Friday night. Then, map out your weekend festival itinerary starting with Praise Fest all weekend long. Saturday brings the first annual NOLA Mac N’ Cheese Fest, as does it also bring the first annual Cochon de Lait Festival. If you need a festival breather, spend your evening indoors with Ballet Hispanico. See Halloween New Orleans-style at Krewe of Boo Saturday night. Your weekend forecast in NOLA is looking good.


Praise Fest – The gospel music experience known as Praise Fest is back this weekend, Friday to Sunday from 11 am. to 6 p.m. daily. Free and open to the public, the 9th year of this fest brings performances from Chiara Gray, Donnie Bloden, Jr., and other gospel superstars. The fest takes place at the corner of Orleans Avenue and Jefferson Davis Parkway. Head out to the bayou for what’s sure to be a great time.


Robin Barnes at The Historic New Orleans Collection – Delight in the sounds of jazz singer and native New Orleanian, Robin Barnes. Her performance is part of the Concerts in the Courtyard series at the Historic New Orleans Collection and will begin at 6 p.m. at 533 Royal Street. Admission is $10 and includes three drinks. It’s free for Historic New Orleans Collection members. 

The Big Cheezy is a vendor at NOLA Mac N’ Cheese Fest (Photo: Paul Broussard)


NOLA Mac n’ Cheese Fest – Mac n’ cheese, please! The one dish we all know and love gets its own fest. That’s right, this year marks the inaugural NOLA Mac N’ Cheese Fest in Armstrong Park. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., try out the classic dish from one of the fest’s 15 vendors. If you can’t decide for yourself, leave it up to the judges, who will crown an overall winner and a kid’s choice award winner for best mac n’ cheese. With music playing all fest long, this festival is sure to become a New Orleans classic. John Papa Gros & Chief Monk Boudreaux kicks off the music lineup at Mac N’ Cheese Fest.

Feast on all of the cochon you can at this year’s first Cochon de lait festival. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Cochon de Lait Festival – Endless cochon de lait, you say? That’s what you’ll find at Cochon de Lait Festival in its inaugural year. Located in Palmer Park on the corner of S Claiborne and S Carrollton, the free fest will have 17 food vendors, four live local bands, including Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Soul Rebels and an arts market. The festival benefits COPS2, which supports police officers assigned to the Second District of New Orleans. Be sure to bring your appetite to the Cochon de Lait Festival this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ballet Hispánico – Fusing Latin-American culture with contemporary dance, Ballet Hispánico is a feast for the eyes and the soul. This one-night-only performance from the touring group features a tribute to Cuban dance and a flamenco-inspired piece complete with colorful red costuming. You won’t want to miss this opener to the New Orleans Ballet Association’s 2017-2018 season at 8 p.m. at Mahalia Jackson Theatre. Arrive early to take a walk around Armstrong Park at dusk before taking your seats. Tickets start at $25.

Krewe of Boo – Kick off the countdown to Halloween with Krewe of Boo, New Orleans’ official Halloween parade. Beginning at Elysian Fields at 6:30 p.m and parading through the French Quarter towards the Convention Center, Krewe of Boo gives us a taste of Mardi Gras with a spooky twist. Catch candy, doubloons, and special throws all while taking in the spectacular floats from Kern Studios. Krewe of Boo’s throws are all eco-friendly with most being sourced from Louisiana.

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival (Photo: Rebecca Todd)


Oak Street Po-Boy Festival***postponed to November 12 due to inclement weather*** Pace yourself with Mac N’ Cheese and Cochon de Lait, because another festival this Sunday celebrates a New Orleans favorite: the po-boy. Buffalo chicken, crawfish boudin, slow-roasted pork, and soft shell crab are just some of the po-boy options from the 29 vendors at this festival. If you want to indulge, you’ll have to snag a $5 wristband to purchase po-boys. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., head out to Oak Street, soak up the music, and get your fill of po-boys for the month.

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