louisiana crawfish festival

Thursday through Sunday

Louisiana Crawfish Festival: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, also 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; Sigur Center, 8245 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette. Louisiana crawfish dishes, live entertainment, rides and arts crafts all are offered at the festival. $5 admission. louisianacrawfishfestival.com.

hogs for the cause

Friday and Saturday

Suuuuuu-eeee! For two days, it will barbecue, brews, big fun and a great way to raise money to help sick children when Hogs for the Cause heats up at the Festival Grounds at City Park. The weekend of cooking competition is a celebration of the wonders of pork, plus it raises funds for pediatric brain cancer patients, starting at 3 p.m. Friday, also 11 a.m. Saturday, Festival Grounds, City Park, 1701 Wisner Blvd., New Orleans. $25 and up admission. hogsforthecause.org.

festa italiana

Friday through Sunday

The celebration of all things Italian continues, and this weekend it’s Festa Italiana, the Italian Heritage Festival in Kenner’s Rivertown. The rich and enduring culture of this European country is the focus for three days of music, food, activities and live performance. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., also Saturday noon to 10 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.; Rivertown, Williams Boulevard at the Mississippi River, Kenner. $5. italianheritagefestival.com.

cochon cotillion


An evening of porcine partying is in store at the Cochon Cotillion 20, the Bridge House/Grace House Carnival ball spoof benefit, with mini parade, silent auction, music and food. Taking bows over this event will be Mary Matalin and James Carville as the royal couple. Costume, tacky attire requested. $100. 7 p.m., Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans. (504) 821-7134. bridgehouse/.org/support-us/events/cochon-cotillion.

brunch fest nola


New Orleans really knows how to throw a brunch, and when the pets are the beneficiaries, the Crescent City turns it out. Brunch Fest NOLA is a celebration of the midmorning (or midafternoon) meal with food, music, even a bloody mary contest on tap for this first-ever to-do, with funds benefiting the Louisiana SPCA. Kids and pets are welcome, as is festive attire. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., City Park, New Orleans. la-spac.org/brunchfest.

‘pioneers of gay carnival’


The Louisiana State Museum will present the panel discussion “Pioneers of Gay Carnival: A Conversation with the Legends.” The LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana is co-sponsoring the free event. Discussions will address culture, Carnival, the formation of gay krewes, organization of gay groups, and AIDS and gay presence in traditional krewes. Writer/photographer Howard Smith will moderate the panel, which will include those who participated in the development. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave., in New Orleans.