Weekend Picks: Fests from one side of the river to the other

This weekend, you can literally fest from one side of the city to the other.

by Mary Staes
October 12, 2018

Festival season is in full swing, and this weekend is no exception. With cooler temps and sunnier days, you can fest from one side of the city to the other, literally. This week’s fests focus more on neighborhoods than food, but don’t worry, there’s lot of food involved, too.

Gentilly Fest

One of the newer fests in town, Gentilly Fest started in 2007 to help first responders and small businesses in the area. It’s one you can bring the whole family to for free. The little one can play in the Kids Village, and ya mom n’em can set up their folding chairs to catch acts like Rebirth Brass Band, Kevin Styles and Partners-N-Crime on Saturday. Regina Belle closes out the show Sunday evening.

Where: Pontchartrain Park Playground, 5701 Press Drive.
When:  Friday, October 12th : Festival (6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
Saturday, October 13th : GENTILLY FEST PARADE (begins at 11:00 a.m.)
Starts at Walmart on Chef Menteur Highway and ends at Pontchartrain Park.
Festival (12:00 noon – 10:00 p.m)
Sunday, October 14th : Festival (12:00 noon – 7:00pm.)
Price: Free


Westbank Heritage Fest

NEW ORLEANS, LA – APRIL 29: Rapper Juvenile performs during Trombone Shorty’s Treme Threauxdown at Saenger Theatre on April 29, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

We know. If you’re not from the Westbank, you won’t go to the Westbank. But you might want to rethink that this weekend. Juvenile, Tucka, Donell Jones, Raheem Devaughn, and Denesia are just some of the performers hitting the stage at the Alario Center. Best of all, it’s free. Click here to check out our full writeup about it.

Where: The Alario Center, 2000 Segnette Blvd, Westwego, LA 70094
When:  Oct. 12, Oct. 13
Price: Free



Carnival Latino

Saturday’s celebration of Hispanic American heritage celebrates the city’s tricentennial as well as Hispanic Heritage Month. The day kicks off at 2 p.m. with Latin Rhythms at Washington Square Park. The event is free and open to the public from 2-6 p.m. It’ll feature Latin music, art and food from Los Jefes and Agave House. It’s not New Orleans without a parade, and one kicks off at 6 p.m. from the square, through the French Quarter and down Canal Street. Click here to see the route.

Where:  Washington Square Park, 700 Elysian Fields Ave.
When: Oct. 13, 2-6:30, parade to follow
Price: Free

Blues and BBQ Fest

It wouldn’t be right without a weekend fest centered around food. This one, sponsored by the same group behind the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival, adds in a kick of blues, too.

Guitar legend Jimmie Vaughan, blues belter Shemekia Copeland, and New Orleans’ own Walter “Wolfman” Washington are all hitting the stage.

A Praline and Crabmeat stuffed beignets are on display courtesy of Loretta’s Authentic Pralines during the Beignet Festival at the City Park Festival Grounds in New Orleans on Saturday, October 6, 2018. (Photo by Peter G. Forest) Instagram: @forestphoto_llc

Blue Oak BBQ, Dirty Dishes and Food Drunk are just some of the names serving up their delicious dishes at the 3-day festival. And if you couldn’t brave the lines last week at Beignet Fest, don’t worry. Loretta’s Pralines will be their with their praline and crabmeat beignets.

Where:  Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Ave.
When: Oct. 12-14
Price: Free


Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether...

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