Fall festival season is in full swing here in New Orleans, leaving us with no other option than to head out and let the good times roll. Everywhere you look, there’s live music, food, and fun, whether it be at Praise Fest on Bayou St. John, in Lafayette Square for the Blues & BBQ Festival, or at Congo Square for NOLA Reggae Fest. Krewe of Boo rolls in the French Quarter on Saturday night, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow opens in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. If that’s not enough, Film Fest opens on Wednesday night and continues into next week with a fantastic lineup of films you won’t want to miss. We’re on a roll this weekend in New Orleans.
New Orleans Film Festival – New Orleans Film Festival brings over 230 films to New Orleans from October 16-23. The festival kicks off this week with Marriage Story, a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as they struggle to keep their family together. Other highlights this weekend include Waves, a film about a suburban African-American family as they navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of loss, and Burning Cane, a film set in rural Louisiana about a woman who struggles to reconcile with her alcoholic son and troubled preacher. Panel discussions, parties, and more are all a part of this festival. See the full schedule as well as ticket prices here.
Praise Fest – Praise Fest celebrates Gospel music with a free festival on the banks of Bayou St. John. From Friday to Sunday, enjoy music from over 30 different artists, including Eric Waddell & The Abundant Life Singers, Ron Hadley & The Worship Squad, and various school and community choirs. The fest takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival – The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is a free festival held at Lafayette Square from October 18-20. Tab Benoit, Tucka, Erica Falls, Little Freddie King, and more will bring the soul to this festival while you feast on the best barbecue in town. Ride your bike to the festival to participate in the bicycle valet program. Enjoy the festival from 5-8:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Noises Off – A play within a play, Noises Off presents a group of actors rehearsing for a flop called Nothing’s On… and let’s just say, hilarity ensues. Catch it at Le Petit Theatre before it closes this Sunday. Tickets start at $25.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – The NOLA Project kicks off its 2019/2020 season with an outdoor, immersive production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans City Park. Come hear the spooky tale of Ichabod Crane and the infamous Headless Horseman just after dusk. To complete the experience, food trucks and a fully-stocked bar will be on site. This production runs October 16 to November 10. Tickets are $30.
Midnight Brunch – We take our brunch seriously here in New Orleans, and Jack Rose and Stein’s Deli have partnered up to take brunch to the next level this Friday (or, Saturday morning). From 11:59 p.m. to 2 a.m., enjoy a four-course brunch at Jack Rose featuring a “Koshuterie” Board, smoked salmon, Rachel Hash with pastrami, poached egg, and swiss, and Challah French Toast. Cocktails will be flowing at this event, which also includes a performance by the Klezmer All-Stars and Panorama Jazz Band. Tickets including tax and gratuity are $75.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
NOLA Reggae Fest – Congo Square hosts NOLA Reggae Fest, a two-day festival with food, art, and plenty of live music. This year’s lineup includes DJ Raj Smoove (New Orleans), Indie Allen (Jamaica), DJ OJay (Nigeria), and much more. Over 60 different vendors from around the country will be participating in this 2nd annual festival. Tickets are $5 on Friday and $10 on Saturday. Festival hours are Friday, 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, 12-8 p.m.
Asian Pacific Foodie Night – This Saturday from 5-10 p.m., head to the Gretna Farmers Market pavilion to sample cuisine from 16 local Asian food vendors. Pho, bahn mi, rolled ice cream, ramen, bubble tea, and Indian food are some of highlights, with cuisine from Pho Bistreaux, Mr. Bubbles Café, Tava, Union Ramen, and more. Beer and wine sales from the event will benefit the West Bank Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana and Responsibility House. This event is free, but attendees are encouraged to register in advance.
Boo Carré – Trick or treat in the French Market this Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by Dutch Alley for live music from Kinfolk Brass band and others, kid’s activities, and more. While you’re there, explore the area and stop by these French Market artisans.
Krewe of Boo – Mardi Gras might be a little over 100 days away, but parades roll for every occasion in New Orleans. The spookiest of them is Krewe of Boo, a Halloween-themed French Quarter parade with larger-than-life floats, specialty throws, and costumed riders. This year, the parade rolls on Saturday, Oct. 19 and kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Elysian Fields Avenue and Chartres Street.
Exotic Memory – New Orleans artist Rebecca Rebouché presents Exotic Memory, a collection of new original paintings on canvas. The night will feature a dreamy menagerie of visuals, sounds, and scents to delight the senses. Admission is free, and the exhibit is at Malallieu Harmony Church on 818 Sixth St. from 7-10 p.m.
Trinity Irish Dance Company – Dazzling audiences from around the globe, Trinity Irish Dance Company stops in New Orleans for one night only on October 19. Catch the rapid-fire rhythms of traditional Irish dance combined with contemporary American innovations at this show. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $35.
Windy City BBQ Beatdown – The Saints may be on the road this week, but the real party is still right here in New Orleans. From 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., stop by Port Orleans Brewing Co. for the Windy City BBQ Beatdown. Five Hogs for the Cause teams will be serving barbecue and small bites paired with beers from Port Orleans, and the Saints vs. Bears game will be on the big screen. Proceeds will benefit Hogs for the Cause, which helps families of children with pediatric brain cancer. Admission is free.
Haunted Attractions – We’re getting closer and closer to Halloween, making it the perfect time to check out New Orleans’ best haunted attractions. For haunted house lovers, stop by the Mortuary or New Orleans Nightmare. Scout Island Scream Park is back with its fright zones, but bring the little ones before sunset for a family-friendly experience. Discover more NOLA Haunted Attractions here.