This weekend in New Orleans promises to be full of family friendly activities, fun for all ages. Whether you’re a comic or sci-fi geek, love listening to live music or watching giant teacups dance on stage, want to party for a good cause, or you’re ready to gobble up your fill of king cake, this weekend offers plenty of entertainment.
1. Wizard World Comic Con – Whovians rejoice this weekend as Matt Smith, who portrayed the 11th Doctor in the wildly popular British tv series “Doctor Who,” makes a rare stateside appearance at this weekend’s Wizard World Comic Con at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
Other celebrities slated to be on hand include Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Jon Bernthal and Michael Rooker of “The Walking Dead,” comic book legend Stan Lee, “Star Trek” alumnus Wil Wheaton, and many more. Local fan groups including the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus will also be present to show attendees how to get involved in geeking out in the Crescent City on a regular basis. Convention hours are Friday, Feb. 7, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wizard World tickets are available in advance for a discounted price.
2. Tet Festival – Celebrate the Vietnamese New Year at the annual Tet Festival at the Mary Queen of Vietnam Church at 5069 Willowbrook Drive in New Orleans East. This cultural celebration will feature folk music, dance performances, some seriously good Vietnamese food, and a dragon race with fireworks to kick it all off on Friday night. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Vietnamese culture of New Orleans at this year’s Tet Fest, and it won’t cost you a dime. Tet Fest is from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday.
3. Beauty and the Beast at Saenger Theater – A little bit of Broadway and Disney magic make their way to New Orleans this weekend, as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast come to the Saenger Theater. All of your favorite characters from the animated film come to life on stage in a production that’s sure to enchant audiences of all ages. The show runs Wednesday, February 5 through Sunday, February 9.
Friday, February 7
4. 610 Stompers Annual Sweet 610 Debutante Ball – New Orleans’ favorite all-male dance troupe, The 610 Stompers, hosts its annual Sweet 610 Debutante Ball this Friday night to raise money for autism. This 1980s themed party promises to be epic, with an all-star 80s cover band created especially for this event, which includes the talents of Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes, John “Papa” Gros, Darcy Malone, plus special surprise guests. Tickets are $40 in advance and include open bar, free draft beer and food from more than 20 of the city’s best restuarants. Not able to attend? You can still donate to the Autism Society of Greater New Orleans through the event’s website.
Sunday, February 9
5. King Cake Festival – Ochsner Hospital presents the first ever King Cake Festival this year, which is free and open to the public. It takes place Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Champions Square at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with live music performances by local favorites Bonerama, Dr. Jazz and The New Orleans Sounds, Papa C & The Slammin’ Horns, Old Sole, Family Reserve and more. There will also be a Kids’ Zone with games, prizes and a photo booth. The entire event promises to be a day of family friendly fun, with proceeds benefiting babies and children at Ochsner.
Lagniappe: Soul Rebels + Mississippi Rail Company at Tipitina’s – Local favorites the Soul Rebels Brass Band and Mississippi Rail Company play Tipitina’s on Friday, another local group which blends rock ‘n roll, folk, and blues together to create a toe-tapping mix that would seem equally at home in a 1920s jukejoint as it does today. Doors open at 9 p.m., with showtime at 10 p.m.. Tickets are available for $15.