Essence Fest is here! And since 4th of July is on Thursday, it all rolls up into one big celebration. Of course, you can catch the exhibitions at the Convention Center for free all weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival, but if you don’t want to brave downtown, there’s still plenty to do.
Here are our picks for the first weekend of July:
Fri. July 5, 2018
What: Second Annual Black Masking Cultural Festival
When: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Stallings Playground
Numerous Mardi Gras Indian tribes plan to be at the fest, including the Golden Feather Hunters, Flaming Arrows, Washitaw Nation, Golden Sioux, Creole Wild West, Wild Magnolias Monogram Hunters, Cheyenne Tribe, and Young Seminole Hunters. Click here for more information.
What: Second Annual Creole Food Festival
When: 3-7 p.m.
Where: Mardi Gras Museum of Costume and Culture
Creole is a style of cooking that blends French, Spanish, West & North African, Amerindian, Haitian and Portuguese. This festival brings together chefs, cuisines and beverages from the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America. Click here for more information.
Sat. July 6, 2019
What: NOLA Car Show Meetup
When: 8-11 a.m.
Where: New Orleans Lakefront
Come on out to the Lakefront on July 6th anytime from 8am-11am to show off your car, truck, motorcycle or race car and hang out with fellow car guys/gals of the New Orleans area! Click here for more information.
What: Big Freedia and Ben & Jerry’s Present: A Sweet NOLA Partnership
When: 2 – 5 p.m.
Where: Republic NOLA
You best’a believe the Queen Diva is getting her own flavor of ice cream! The Booty Bouncing Beignets flavor of Ben & Jerry’s is dropping Saturday and you can be one of the first to experience the wiggle! The proceeds are going to benefit No Kid Hungry LA, Liberty’s Kitchen, and Upturn Arts. Click here for more information.
Sun. July 7, 2019
What: Women’s World Cup Championship Watch Party
When: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Wrong Iron on the Greenway
Price: Free to attend
Watch the women of Team USA battle it out against the Netherlands in search of back-to-back titles. Come early and grab your seat with $8 16oz. Bloody Mary’s and some Fete au Fete or bring your food in. Click here for more information.
What: Essence After Dark: Beats & Bounce
When: 10 p.m. – 3 a.m.
Where: Republic NOLA
Price: Tickets start at $75
Close out the Essence Fest with a show DJ’d by Mannie Fresh, and performances by Big Freedia and the Soul Rebels Brass Band. Click here for more information.