The time is ripe in New Orleans for music, dancing, film, love and especially tomatoes. But then again, when is it not (well, except for tomatoes, those don’t do well in winter)? Lucky for anyone who is in New Orleans this weekend, there will be all of the aforementioned fun to be had with four festivals and a dance-dosed bar crawl. The only conundrum is how to choose, which is a constant dilemma in New Orleans. There are worse positions to be in.
Saturday, June 9:
1. 610 Stompers Uptown Ball Crawl – If you’re anything like me, you’ve totally bought into the 610 Stompers, admiring them from afar so much as to consider showing up to their auditions in drag after months of practicing their extraordinary moves. Well this Saturday, whether you’re a man, woman, extraordinary or ordinary, you can at least party with the Stompers complete with private dance routines at their Uptown Ball Crawl starting at Grit’s. In doing so, you’ll be pleased to know that your $35 cover charge goes to helping the Roots of Music Crusader Band march in the Rose Bowl parade. This is what you call a win-win. And if the below video isn’t enough to persuade you, then I give up.
Sunday, June 10:
2. New Orleans Loving Festival – The New Orleans Loving Festival is just what it sounds like – a celebration of all-inclusive, equal-opportunity, unconditional love. The festival headquarters is at the New Orleans Healing Center, kicking off on Thursday, June 7 with events all weekend. There will be captivating film screenings, discussions, music and comedy at Café Istanbul. The festival is absolutely free and open to anyone!
3. NOLA Youth Film Fest – New Orleans has become a hub for the film industry, with sets dotted throughout the city, even earning the label “Hollywood South.” Aspiring filmmakers are reaping the benefits of all the cinematic activity, and the youth are no exception. In fact, they have a film festival of their very own this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the UNO Performing Arts Center. Entrants from several local high schools will be competing in a range of categories including documentaries, fiction films, music videos and animated shorts. Come see the young talent so you can say you knew them before they were cool.
Saturday and Sunday:
4. Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Fest – Before you write off Cajun or Zydeco as music that’s created in backwoods Louisiana by dentally challenged hillbillies with excessively ridiculous accents, hear it live and then draw conclusions. We suspect if you haven’t already caught on to the musical treasure of Louisiana’s indigenous genres, that it won’t take long after hearing the real deal. The music – including Cajun legend D.L. Menard and Lost Bayou Ramblers – the food and the arts will be in full force from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday at the Old U.S. Mint.
5. French Market Creole Tomato Fest – Many in New Orleans have said recently that they’ve never had a juicier, more succulent tomato in all their life, which is, if for no other reason, why everyone should come to the 2012 Creole Tomato Festival at the French Market. The soil and tropical climate of New Orleans make these Creole Tomatoes so plump and beautiful and the festival will showcase them in all their glory. Besides both inventive and classic New Orleans dishes featuring the tomato, there will be cooking demos and a Creole Tomato parade, because what New Orleans celebration is complete without some kind of procession?