8 things to do this weekend: Jan. 24 – 26

Dixie Beer is back! Plus, some local Mardi Gras krewes host some fun events before parades get rolling.

There's a lot on tap this weekend, including a long-awaited homecoming for a local favorite. Plus, some local Mardi Gras krewes host pre-parade events. Looking for things to do this weekend? We narrowed down eight events for you to check out.

'Miss Saigon' at the Saenger Theatre

Friday, Jan. 24 – Sunday, Jan. 26

A new production of the long-running show “Miss Saigon” plays at the Saenger Theatre as part of the Hancock Whitney Broadway in New Orleans series. The epic story follows a young Vietnamese woman named Kim who falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris, but they are torn about by the fall of Saigon. For three years, Kim goes on an epic journey to find her way back to Chris. Tickets start at $30.

Show times this weekend are as follows:

  • Friday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

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Blush Ball 2020

Friday, Jan. 24

Popular Mardi Gras marching group the Pussyfooters hosts their annual Blush Ball at Generations Hall on Friday. The “party with a purpose” features performances from the Phunky Monkeys and DJ Ally Bea. Guests will also see two special performances from the Pussyfooters. General admission tickets are $40. Organizers say proceeds from the event benefit Metro Centers for Community Advocacy, an agency assisting domestic violence victims in the New Orleans metro area.

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Dixie Brewery Grand Opening

Saturday, Jan. 25

Dixie Brewery is set to officially open its doors to its new 85,000 square foot facility in New Orleans East. The brand new state-of-the-art location, at 3501 Jourdan Road, opens to the public on Saturday. The kid and canine-friendly brewery offers guests many options to stay entertained including both guided and self-guided tours, a museum, taproom, beer tastings, outdoor beer garden, bocce ball courts, walking path and a full-service kitchen. Hours on grand opening day will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Read more about what to expect at the new Dixie Brewery here.

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Krewe of Freret Ball

Saturday, Jan. 25

It’s the season for Carnival balls, and the Krewe of Freret hosts its annual black-tie ball at the Cabildo in Jackson Square on Saturday. Dance the night away with entertainment by Khris Royal and Dark Matter before the royal crowning of the 2020 king and queen. Tickets to the 2020 ball are $105, which includes light bites and open bar.

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Tucks Annual Umbrella Walk & Gumbo Gras

Saturday, Jan. 25

Join the Krewe of Tucks for the third annual Umbrella Walk and Gumbo Gras at Audubon Park, Shelter No. 10 on Saturday. Organizers add new kid-friendly features to the event this year, including an umbrella decorating section. Plus, the Umbrella Walk will also feature a decorated wagon parade. A savory gumbo cook-off is also part of the pre-Mardi Gras bash. Registration begins at 9 a.m. before the walk begins at 11 a.m. Two jazz marching bands, carnival dance groups and circus performers will lead the Umbrella Walk. General admission for adults is $25. Children ages 13 and under are free. Organizers say proceeds from the event will benefit special needs children and adults with ALS in the New Orleans community.

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NOBA's 50th Anniversary Evening of Stars

Saturday, Jan. 25

The New Orleans Ballet Association celebrates its golden anniversary of Evening of Stars with a program of stunning classical masterpieces. Performances come to life on stage at the Mahalia Jackson Theater at 6 p.m. on Saturday. International ballet stars will perform selections from classical masterpieces like “Le Corsaire,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Giselle,” along with contemporary works. The evening also includes a tribute to New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint. Tickets start at $20.

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Big Easy BBQ Festival

Saturday, Jan. 25 – Sunday, Jan. 26

The Big Easy BBQ Festival, formerly the River Bend BBQ Festival, returns with a new name and a new location. The event brings bands, beer and barbecue to Laketown in Kenner on Saturday and Sunday. Festival hours on Saturday are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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Exotic Animal Racing 2020

Saturday, Jan. 25

Exotic Animal Racing returns to the Fair Grounds on Saturday. The popular racing event features unique animals like ostriches, zebras and camels racing throughout the day, along with thoroughbred racing. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the first race starts at 3 p.m. Baton Rouge-based cover band After 8 Band entertains in the Club House from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. General admission tickets are $5. Club house admission is $10, and children ages 12 and under enter for free.

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