Nearly three dozen parades span across New Orleans and its surrounding areas.
Ready or not, some of Carnival’s largest superkrewes get ready to roll this week. Nearly three dozen parades span across New Orleans and its surrounding areas. Looking for things to do this weekend? We narrowed down eight events for you to check out.
Greasing of the Poles 2019
Friday, March 1
Local celebrities will help kick off the annual Carnival tradition, the Greasing of the Poles, on Friday. Festivities start at 10 a.m. at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans, 300 Bourbon Street. This year’s theme, “Hail to Half a Century!” pays homage to the landmark hotel celebrating 50 years. Renowned actor Bryan Batt will serve as master of ceremonies. Festivities include appearances by Carnival royalty from Zulu and NOMTOC, plus other special guests. Other entertainment includes performances from Leroy Jones and the Original Hurricane Brass Band and Robin Barnes. The fabulous and fun ladies of The Merry Antoinettes, Oui Dats de la Nouvelle Orleans, Pussyfooters and Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale will join members of the We Heart Veterans non-profit organization for several surprise moments. Greasing of the Poles is free and open to the public. For prime viewing, spectators should plan to arrive early.
Zulu Coronation Ball 2019
Friday, March 1
The annual Zulu Coronation Ball is the huge party for the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club traditionally held on the Friday night before Mardi Gras. This year’s R&B legends performing on the main stage during the event include R&B songstress Monica and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jeffery Osborne. D-Nice & Friends are also set to hit the stage following the coronation.
French Market Mardi Gras Mask Market
Friday, March 1 – Sunday, March 3
Families can head to the French Market District this weekend for a free festival all about masks. The annual Mardi Gras Mask Market features 12 artisan mask vendors from around the country in Dutch Alley. The event also has live music on tap including Big Queen Mary Kay and the Original Wild Tchoupitoulas Indians, Soul Brass Band and the Marc Stone 3, among others. The event happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at French Market District’s Dutch Alley at the intersection of N. Peters Street and St. Philip Street.
Saturday, March 2
Endymion is known for booking big names for its huge Endymion Extravaganza taking over the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday. Lionel Richie, Chicago and Flo Rida headline one of the largest indoor parties of the Carnival season. The acts take the stage following the massive parade. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
FOX 8 has exclusive live coverage of the Endymion parade and Extravanganza. FOX 8 Morning Edition anchors John Snell and Nancy Parker hosts the broadcast, and FOX 8 Carnival expert Arthur Hardy joins as a special guest. Live coverage starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Looking for more parades? Nearly 30 parades roll across the metro area before we hit the home stretch of Carnival. See our parade guide.
Saturday, March 2 – Sunday, March 3
Big Freedia headlines two Carnival weekend shows dubbed “Freedia Gras.” Special guests New Orleans-born rapper Pell and KP perform on Saturday. Sweet Crude joins Big Freedia on Sunday. See the “Queen of Bounce” at One Eyed Jacks. Both shows start at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $30.
Hustle! with DJ Soul Sister at Ace Hotel
Saturday, March 2
Looking for another spot to party after parades? The award-winning DJ Soul Sister throws down another edition of her 15-year running dance night featuring underground disco and rare groove. The Mardi Gras weekend edition of her Hustle! series pops up at Three Keys at Ace Hotel at 11:30 p.m. The set also features special guest Kon, aka Soul Sister’s favorite DJ artist, hailing from Boston. Entry free with RSVP.
Bacchus Bash 2019
Sunday, March 3
Mannie Fresh, Bag of Donuts and The TopCats will headline Bacchus Bash 2019 on Sunday at Generations Hall. The free, annual block party kicks off at noon. The indoor/outdoor party showcases several stages, some of the city’s best local bands and great drink specials. While the event is free and open to the public, VIP tickets are available for $100 each. See the full lineup here.