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Best Local Things to Do

Weekend Picks: NOLA Caribbean Festival, Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, and More

The Caribbean Festival takes place June 20-23, 2019. (Photo: Justen Williams)

Summertime means the city slows down just enough for us to enjoy all the things we love a little more. This weekend is no different. If you’re in need of some female empowerment, you’ve come to the right place. Festigals kicks off the weekend with their celebration of all things gals. NOLA Caribbean Fest infuses the city with vibrant sights, sounds, and Caribbean tastes all weekend long.

Wednesday marks Juneteenth, the abolition of slavery in Texas, and the city will commemorate the day with events throughout the city.Get a glimpse of Mardi Gras in the summer with the Krewe of Freret Summer Strut Parade. Catch some theater at the 42nd Street performance at Tulane University. Get a taste of France with the Summer Wine festival on Saturday, or get out your dancing shoes out for Cajun Zydeco festival. Commander’s Palace kicks off their Sips of Summer series this week, and Flamingo-A-Go-Go is celebrating National Flamingo Day with special events. Who’s ready for the weekend?


FestiGals – Participate in a weekend full of events at FestiGals, a festival celebrating women in New Orleans. Weekend highlights include the Women Celebrating Women’s Conference on Friday and the Step Up Second Line Parade through the French Quarter on Saturday. Find more information on the schedule of events and tickets here.

Celebrate Caribbean culture at Bayou Bacchanal in New Orleans every November. Photo: Justen Williams

NOLA Caribbean Festival – With 10 events over four days (June 20-23), NOLA Caribbean Fest is back in a big way. Enjoy brunches, a pool party, a Haitian music concert, followed by the Caribbean Festival, held at Central City BBQ from 5-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The festival will include over 25 Caribbean food and drink vendors in addition to music, dance, and arts and crafts. Tickets to the festival are $10 for one day and $15 for both days.  

42nd Street – Brought to you by the Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, 42nd Street tells the story of famed director Julian Marsh mounting a musical extravaganza during the height of the Great Depression. Catch the performance from June 20-23 at Dixon Hall on Tulane University’s campus. Tickets start at $38 for adults and $28 for youth.


Krewe of Freret Summer Strut Parade – You don’t have to wait until next February to get a taste of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The Krewe of Freret’s annual Summer Strut Parade is a second line down Freret street, culminating in a concert at Gasa Gasa this Saturday. The strut begins at Calhoun and Freret Streets at 7 p.m., and the concert to follow will feature performances from Sweet Crude with special guests Valerie Sassyfras and Khris Royal. Tickets to the concert are $15.

Summer Wine Festival – Celebrating white wines from France, the 2019 Summer Wine Festival will feature live musical entertainment, over ten different food vendors and six different spirit and beer vendors, and giveaways. The festival is on Saturday, June 22 at Canal Place and tickets are $65.

Dancing at Cajun-Zydeco Festival. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)


Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival – The 13th annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival is back this weekend at Louis Armstrong Park. From 11 a.m. To 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, enjoy music from Lost Bayou Ramblers, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Dwayne Dopsie, and other Cajun/ Zydeco all stars. In addition to the music, sample Louisiana seafood and Cajun food staples like boudin and alligator. The festival will also feature an arts market. Admission to the festival is free.  

Colorful flamingos bask in the sun on the water’s edge.


National Pink Flamingo Day – Celebrate National Pink Flamingo Day this Sunday at Flamingo A Go-Go. At Flamingle Brunch on Sunday, guests are welcome to bring their dog for a Best Flamingo/Summertime Dog Attire Contest where the winner will receive free “pup eats” for a year (a punch card of 12 puppy plates). Other Flamingo-related events throughout the weekend include Flamingle Friday, which will feature a DJ and drink specials served by the Audubon Zoo’s animal care team. A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will be donated to the Zoo Conservation Outreach Group in support of the Chilean Flamingo Conservation Monitoring Program.


Juneteenth – This Wednesday, June 19, is Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. The holiday is being celebrated in New Orleans through various events. The Ashé Cultural Arts Center presents “Let’s Talk – The International Day of Drumming and Healing” from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at locations throughout the city. Events include the Citywide International Day of Drumming & Healing Ceremony at historic Congo Square at 3 p.m. and a Juneteenth celebration at Blackstar Café featuring the Black Masking Indians, food, live music, and children’s activities. The schedule of the day’s events can be found here.   

The Newcomb Art Museum is also hosting a Juneteenth event on Wednesday from 5-8p.m. Free and open to the public, the event will feature live music, discussion sessions, and catering from Liberty’s Kitchen.

Sips of Summer – Enjoy the first Sips of Summer at Commander’s Palace this Wednesday, June 19. Titled “Rosé Sippers and BBQ Reds,” this event features a tasting of 42 different wines alongside tasty bites and snacks. The event is from 5-6:30 p.m., and tickets are $49.

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