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Best Local Things to Do

Weekend Picks: Louisiana Derby, St. Joseph’s Parade, and More

The Louisiana Derby (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

This weekend in New Orleans, it’s almost impossible not to have a good time. With a mix of plenty of free and ticketed events, everyone can join in on the fun whether at a festival, parade, dance performance, film screening, concert, or seminar. Here are our picks for the weekend.

The Broad Theater (Photo: Paul Broussard)


PATOIS: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival – The 15th PATOIS New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival opens this Thursday, March 21 with the 2019 Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary The Infiltrators and closes with Betty, They Say I’m Different, a profile of Betty Davis on Sunday, March 24. The festival will feature 16 titles including two narrative and six documentary feature films, and seven short film premieres and screenings, as well as in-depth discussions featuring nationally and locally recognized guests, artists, activists, and community leaders. All screenings are held at the Broad Theater. Tickets start at $10

Book of Saints – This original full-length ballet from Teresa Fellion first premiered in 2017 and is back at the Marigny Opera House from March 21-24. The two-act contemporary ballet tells the stories of three saints: Teresa of Avila, Sebastian Martyr, and Francis of Assisi complete with an original score. Tickets start at $32


Per(Sister) in Song – In celebration of Women’s History Month, enjoy this performance featuring a mix of women musicians (Lynn Drury, Sarah Quintana, Queen Koldmadina, Spirit McIntyre, Margie Perez, and Keith Porteous) as they perform brand new songs inspired by the stories of individual PerSisters. Catch the performance at the Newcomb Art Museum Friday at 6 p.m. Free

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey’s ‘Revelations’ (Photo by Krautbauer)


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – This historically African-American, world-renowned dance company stops at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for not one, but two performances this spring. Program A on March 22 features Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, while Program B on March 23 features works from contemporary choreographers Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, and Jamar Roberts. Tickets start at $35

New Orleans Bourbon Festival – The New Orleans Bourbon Festival is back from March 20-23 with seminars, tastings, and a host of other events. Check out the schedule here. Tickets start at $25


Fête Française – Enjoy this outdoor neighborhood festival on March 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fun for all ages, the festival celebrates its 20th year with French food, music, an arts market, an auction, and games and activities. Stop by the festival at Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans at the uptown campus off of Magazine Street. Free

The Louisiana Derby (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Louisiana Derby – Grab your fancy hat and head out to the Fairgrounds for the 106th Louisiana Derby, the state’s premier horse racing competition. Racing begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 23. Tickets start at $10

St. Joseph’s Parade – The Italian-American Club hosts the St. Joseph’s Parade, which begins at the intersection of Convention Center Boulevard and Girod Street at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 and goes through the French Quarter. With sixteen floats and nine marching groups, this parade is a great way to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day. Free

national WWII museum planes
The National World War II Museum (Photo: Rebecca Todd)


Taste of New Orleans Fashion Week – New Orleans Fashion Week has officially moved to the fall (September 22-28, 2019), but you don’t have to wait until then to start celebrating. The weekend kicks off with a Taste of Fashion Week Saturday at 7 p.m. at the NOPSI Hotel. Register and attend the event for free here. On Sunday, don your white attire and head to the Edgar Degas House for a “White Haute Affair,” another free party (register here). The final event, Wardrobe: An Evening of WWII Vintage Fashions, is Monday at the World War II Museum. The event features a fashion show, lecture, and shopping, and tickets are $35.


SOCA FÊsTE – Head out to Deja Vieux Food Park for this celebration of food, music, and Caribbean culture on Sunday from 4-10 p.m. Tickets are $10

Food and drink vendors at Wednesday at the Square (Photo: Paul Broussard)


Wednesday at the Square – Enjoy midweek fun at Wednesday at the Square, back for 10 weeks of back-to-back live music, food, and fun. The series kicks off this Wednesday with headliner Big Sam’s Funky Nation (6:30 p.m.) plus opener RumpleSTEELskin (5 p.m.). Head to Lafayette Square from 5-8 p.m. and enjoy this locals’ festival. Free

Black Bourbon Society Sip and Smoke Dinner – Enjoy special events curated by the Black Bourbon Society during New Orleans Bourbon Festival this weekend. The Sip and Smoke Dinner at Whiskey & Sticks includes whiskey tastings and cigar pairings, as well as cocktails, desserts, and more. The event begins at 9 p.m. Thursday, March 21. Tickets are $44.54

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