Mardi Gras float artists Chelsea Kamm, brown hat, Joey Mercer, yellow mask, and Travis Keene, purple hoodie, help construct a house float designed by Caroline Thomas, enjoying a piece of pink King Cake, for ÒHire a Mardi Gras ArtistÓ a project of the Krewe of Red Beans. Residents who live in Orleans Parish and donate to the project are entered into the raffle to get one of the house floats and this float went to a raffle winner in the Fairgrounds neighborhood of New Orleans. The grassroots effort hopes to build 40 house floats for every $15,000 donated. The donations go towards supplies and hiring float artists, many who are out-of-work because of the cancellation of Mardi Gras and Carnival parades due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the three artists putting the float together many other artists helped sculpt and construct the birds and flowers for the float. This float celebrates local wildlife and is called ÒThe Birds of Bulbancha.Ó Bulbancha is Choctaw word meaning Òplace of many tongues,Ó and was the name the indigenous people called the trading port in what is now New Orleans before the arrival of European colonists. The birds include a Great Egret, the centerpiece sculpture, and panels of a Great Blue Heron, Brown Pelican, Whooping Crane, and Roseate Spoonbill. Photos by @MattHintonPhoto for @VeryLocalNOLA
#HireAMardiGrasArtist @Redbeansparade #KreweofRedBeans @c_to_the_line #NewOrleans #Louisiana #Carnival #neworleanslouisiana #nolalife #herenowlouisiana #gonola #onetimeinnola #itsyournola #showmeyournola #nola #followyournola #exploreneworleans #ilovenola #VLNOLAÊ#VLNOLAMardigrasÊ#kreweofhousefloatsÊ#mardigras2021 @kreweofhousefloats

What’s happening in (virtual) New Orleans this weekend: Jan. 15-17

Another wave of COVID has much of the country on lockdown, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had online until we’re pandemic-free Here are some of the events we’re most looking forward to in Virtual New Orleans this week.

by Matt Haines | January 14, 2021

Another wave of COVID has much of the country on lockdown, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had online until we’re pandemic-free Here are some of the events we’re most looking forward to in Virtual New Orleans this week:


Capturing New Orleans: Photographer Charles Lovell in Conversation with Gwen Thompkins | 11 a.m. | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Free
Charles M. Lovell, recipient of the 2020 Michael P. Smith Award for Documentary Photography, is a longtime photographer who began practicing full time in 2015 following a career as a museum professional and gallerist. His work has been shown in over 25 solo and over 60 group exhibitions and can be found in multiple museum and archival collections. Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran, and host of WWNO’s Music Inside Out. This event is hosted by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Danny Barker Festival | 11:30 a.m. | Facebook Live | Donations encouraged
The Danny Barker Guitar and Banjo Fest is back for a second day. The New Orleans Jazz Museum is virtually hosting the three-day event this year. Today includes interesting interviews and some amazing performances. You can see the agenda for Day 2 here!

NOMA Book Club Curatorial Program | Noon | Online (link sent after emailing) | Free
The New Orleans Museum of Art Book Club meets monthly to discuss fiction and nonfiction books related to art in NOMA’s collection and exhibitions. The selection for January is Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel. Learn more about this month’s meeting as well as meetings planned for future months here.

Virtual Happy Hour at Garden District Book Shop | 5 p.m. | Facebook Live | Free
Each week during the pandemic, the Garden District Book Shop has hosted a virtual happy hour featuring New Orleans authors and literary lovers. This week the Shop is joined by author Greer Macallister — author of multiple historical fiction novels including her newest release, The Arctic Fury. Bring a drink and your questions to this live streaming, interactive event!

NOMA Reset: Freedom at the Mat | 6 p.m. | Online (link sent after registering) | Free
Join NOMA for a new series of virtual workshops that focuses on mindfulness, creativity, comfort and reflection. NOMA Reset programs provide a much-needed infusion of relaxation and wellness by engaging our collective and individual wellbeing. The second NOMA Reset: Freedom At The Mat program will be facilitated by Olivia F. Scott, creator of Freedom At The Mat, and will feature the Steve Lands Band. Learn more here.

Rupaul’s Drag Race S13 Virtual Viewing Party | 7 p.m. | Zoom (link sent after purchasing ticket) | $5
Join drag queen Laveau Contraire and friends every week as they watch Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 13 live on Zoom! Tune in for banter, commentary, and performances from the queens. Participate in the chat to let your voice be heard and discuss the show.

Fridays from the Funky Uncle! | 7 p.m. | Twitch, YouTube Live and Facebook Live | Tips encouraged via PayPal, GoFundMe or Venmo
“Friday’s From the Funky Uncle!” is a webcast featuring New Orleans Funk Musicians playing live to raise money for all members of the entertainment community in New Orleans who are in need. Check here later in the week to see who’s on the docket this Friday night!

New Orleans Pelicans vs Los Angeles Lakers | 9 p.m. | ESPN; Fox Sports; 100.3 FM
Continuing their roadtrip in the City of Angels, the Pelicans go to battle against arch nemesis Anthony Davis.


Coffee Talk with SAGE New Orleans | 10:30 a.m. | Online (link sent after registering) | Free
SAGE New Orleans is a nonprofit composed of concerned residents and older adult service providers created to address the challenges facing LGBT older adults in the New Orleans area. They’re holding a weekly chat every Saturday morning. Click on “Get Tickets” (they’re free) to receive your link to the event.

Danny Barker Festival | 11:30 a.m. | Facebook Live | Donations encouraged
Today is the Danny Barker Guitar and Banjo Festival’s third and final day — hosted by the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Today includes interesting interviews and some amazing performances. You can see the agenda for Day 3 here!

NOLA Aikido Presents a Physical Distancing Seminar | Noon | Zoom (link sent after registering) | Donations suggested
NOLA Aikido has kicked off the new year with several virtual seminars! This week features a class by John Peng Sensei who has served as the dojo-cho of the Seattle School of Aikido for over the past 10 years. He’ll be teaching a one-hour class that focuses on practice you can do while staying distanced. You can learn more about what the class will entail here!

Online Yoga Session | Noon | Zoom | Free
Balance Yoga & Wellness has a full slate of sessions — many of which take place online! Join AJ Durand for this 75-minute yoga class, but also be sure to check out everything they have to offer here (including an online “Practical Magic Bootcamp” that also begins this weekend).

Porch Fest! | 4 p.m. | Facebook Live | Tips encouraged
Anais St. John and Harry Mayronne Sr. are back for another round of Saturday tunes — their 40th edition! This week’s theme features the best of the divas of jazz.


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The Radiators — Three Nights in Concert! | 8 p.m. | (link sent after purchasing ticket) | $34.99 for one show; $89.99 for all three!
The Radiators will keep their tradition alive virtually in 2021 as they broadcast from the world famous Tipitina’s for THREE NIGHTS, beginning January 15! Each show will feature two full sets of the classic fish-head music that has echoed through the venerable club and rocked countless crowds for generations.


The Broad Theater Hosts Virtual Cinema | All Week | Kino Marque and Vimeo | Purchase tickets (see below)
Broad Theater is open for business, but if you’re not ready to step into a theater just yet, they’re partnering with Kino Marquee Vimeo, who are bringing you a rotating selection of movies directly to your home. There are multiple ways to stream the movie (which can be purchased at any time and watched for five days after the purchase). This week there are three selections and you can click on the following links to find out how to purchase tickets for Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, and Call Me Brother.

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra with Tank and the Bangas | Ongoing | Website (link sent after ticket purchased) | $15
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has a full season of music planned for the year! This is one of their Orpheum Session Series concerts and features none other than GRAMMY nominee Tank and the Bangas. It’s going to be a unique and awesome concert, and it becomes available on January 15. Like the rest of the Orpheum Session Series, the concert is available on demand any time after that!


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New Orleans Saints Playoffs! | 5:40 p.m. | NFL Network, WVUE Fox 8, WWL 870 AM / 105.3 FM, the Saints app | Price Varies
It’s New Orleans Saints playoff time! After a convincing win against the Chicago Bears, now it’s time to host Tom Brady and the Buccaneers!

New Orleans Pelicans vs Sacramento Kings | 9 p.m. | Fox Sports; 100.3 FM
After a strong start, the Pels are on a bit of a skid. Let’s cheer them on as they try to turn it around in the middle of this California road trip on Sunday night against the Sacramento Kings!


See? There’s tons going on! If you can afford it, please be sure to tip the band/performers/DJ/teachers/etc. Many of them are battling lost gigs as a result of the pandemic, and are working very hard to keep us entertained during the unique times.

Remember, send me an email if you have an event you’d like me to add for next week’s round-up!



Matt Haines

Matt Haines

Matt Haines lives in New Orleans and writes about all the cool stuff.
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