8 Things to Do This Weekend: Nov. 17 – 19

Here's a guide to help you plan your weekend.

Thanksgiving is only one week away, which means the holiday season is right around the corner. Along with a couple of festivals, we also found a few events to help you get into the holiday spirit a little early. Check out our top picks for what's happening around the area.

Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party

Friday, Nov. 17

Catch your first glimpse of dazzling light displays before Celebration of the Oaks officially opens to the public. The Preview Party kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at New Orleans City Park. Get in the holiday spirit with food and adult beverages from local dining and cocktail specialists. Guests also get exclusive access to the Botanical Garden and Train Route. Local musicians provide live entertainment at the event. Cocktail attire required. Must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets are $100 per person in advance and $120 per person on the day of the event.

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'The King and I' at the Saenger Theatre

Friday, Nov. 17 – Sunday, Nov. 19

Don’t miss Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Tony Award-winning musical centered around the relationship between a British schoolteacher and the modernist King of Siam. Five showings take place at the Saenger Theatre over the weekend. The “breathtaking and exquisite” show closes on Sunday. Visit the site for ticket information.

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Jingle Bells & Beer

Saturday, Nov. 18

Party in the park at Jingle Bells and Beer starting on Saturday at 7 p.m. at New Orleans City Park. This is one of the park’s events to kick off Celebration in the Oaks for a more young adult crowd. Enjoy a fun night with bar food, craft beer tasting and live music in a casual setting. Admission also includes rides at the amusement park. Tickets are $40 per person in advance and $45 per person on the day of the event.

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Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival

Saturday, Nov. 18 – Sunday, Nov. 19

You’re in for a smoking combo of brass bands and gumbo. Celebrate one of New Orleans’ favorite foods at the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival on Saturday and Sunday. There will be 14 different types of gumbo to try at Armstrong Park along with cooking demonstrations, a food court, live music and a gumbo symposium. Admission is free.

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Louisiana Renaissance Festival

Saturday, Nov. 18 – Sunday, Nov. 19

Step back in time to the 16th century at the Louisiana Renaissance Festival this weekend in Hammond. This adventure is full of entertainment, rides, educational demonstrations, shopping and food. The festival takes place Saturdays and Sundays from now through Dec. 10 from 9:45 a.m. until dusk. Single day tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children. Kids under age 6 enter for free. Multi-day passes are also available.

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Central City Boucherie Whole Hog Feast and Music Festival

Saturday, Nov. 18 – Sunday, Nov. 19

The Central City Whole Hog Feast and Music Festival is a two-day event built around a traditional Cajun boucherie at Central City BBQ. The preparation of the hog happens on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. during which guests can watch the full process of the boucherie while enjoying live music and Cajun food. On Sunday, attendees can taste dishes made from the hog starting at 10 a.m. along with more live music. General admission tickets cost $10. VIP passes offering a more hands-on experience costs $100.

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Celebration in the Oaks Family Party

Sunday, Nov. 19

Kids get the royal holiday treatment at this family experience. Kick off the holiday season on Sunday among the magical light displays at New Orleans City Park. Admission includes unlimited rides at the amusement park, unlimited kid-friendly food and fun live entertainment. Kids can take photos with characters around the park including Star Wars Troopers, ‘Frozen’ characters and a juggling elf. General admission starts at 6 p.m., but there’s also an option to purchase early admission to the event. General admission tickets are $30 per person in advance. Kids under age 2 get in free.

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New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins

Sunday, Nov. 19

The Saints head back to the Superdome this Sunday after extending their winning streak to seven games. This week the black and gold take on the Washington Redskins starting at noon. Head to Champions Square for live pregame entertainment. If you can’t get a seat at the game, we’ve got you covered with our list of great places to watch the Saints. Keep up with the full Saints schedule here.

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