This weekend in New Orleans, we’re having flashbacks to Mardi Gras. Between the St. Patrick’s Day parades and block parties, it feels a little bit like Mardi Gras Part II. Start your weekend early with the first concert in this year’s Wednesday at the Square. Enjoy all the tacos and tequila you can handle on Thursday with Top Taco at Woldenberg Park. Or dive into the history of the Black Masking Indians with the Black Masking Cultural Festival. Head out to the St. Patrick’s Day festivities all weekend long. Lastly, check out the new production of Phantom of the Opera that’s showing at the Saenger Theater until next weekend.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations – With St. Patrick’s Day this Saturday, we’re celebrating all weekend long in New Orleans. Kick the weekend off early on Thursday with the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club block party. On Friday, the parades begin with the Molly’s at the Market & Jim Monaghan’s Parade at 6 p.m. followed by a Saturday filled with more parades and block parties. Parasol’s, Tracey’s, and Pat O’Brien’s will each be hosting celebrations all day long that include food and drink specials. The Irish Channel Parade rolls at 1:30 p.m. and the Downtown Irish Club Parade at 6 p.m. Get your green out, and come enjoy the St. Patty’s Day festivities.
Phantom of the Opera – The beloved story that is the Phantom of the Opera comes to the Saenger Theater this week with a new scenic design. One of the largest productions on tour now, the show is a spectacle in itself that can’t be beat. Performances start Wednesday, March 14 and run until Sunday, March 25. Ticket prices vary.
Black Masking Cultural Festival – This Thursday, head to Crescent Park for the first-ever Black Masking Cultural Festival. This festival celebrates the contributions of the Black Masking Indians, known as the root of the second line and brass band culture in New Orleans. At the festival, kids can get their faces painted while enjoying arts, crafts, and more. You’ll be able to interact with the tribes and learn about their heritage at this free festival. The festival starts at 3 p.m. and all proceeds go toward the Feather Fund which helps to preserve the culture of the tribes.
Wednesday at the Square – Wednesday at the Square officially kicks off this Wednesday, March 14. This free concert series hosted each year by the Young Leadership Council brings local artists to the stage at Lafayette Square each Wednesday in the spring. Grammy winners the Lost Bayou Ramblers with Mia Borders open the season this Wednesday with their performance beginning at 5 p.m. Food and drink will be on site and available for purchase.
Top Taco – Get ready for the biggest taco celebration in town. This Thursday marks the second year of Top Taco, a festival featuring food from over 50 New Orleans-based restaurants as well as 40 different spirits and beverages. You’ll have the chance to judge the tacos and crown winners in five categories: Top Creative Taco, Top Traditional Taco, Top Creative Tequila Cocktail, Top Margarita, and the Ultimate Top Taco Award. The festival is held at Woldenberg Park and begins at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $69 and proceeds benefit One Heart NOLA, which serves foster children in the New Orleans area.
Pines of Rome and Béla Fleck – The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is back from their Carnegie Hall debut, ready to premiere their Tricentennial Concerto commission with Grammy Award-winning banjoist Béla Fleck. Expect to hear Fleck’s Banjo Concerto as well as other traditional and folk melodies from around the world. Catch the show at the Orpheum Theater on Thursday, March 15 or Saturday, March 17. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and ticket prices start at $20.
St. Joseph’s Day – Celebrate St. Joseph’s Day on Monday, March 19 by visiting an altar. This year, the Rouses at 701 Baronne St., St. Mary’s Assumption Church, and Avo Restaurant each have altars of their own. Find out more here.