Join the fun at the eighth annual Gentilly Fest from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; and from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, at Pontchartrain Park at the corner of Press Street and Prentiss Drive. The three-day event will open with a performance by T Cherrelle and will close with James Andrews.

The festival features second- lines, music, food, stilt walkers and artists. The main stage and gospel tent will showcase New Orleans musicians, and the Kids Stage will offer performances by talented local children.

Main stage performers include the Key of G’s; Kevin Styles; John Pierre & Expressions Band; Sass & Soul singers Sharon Martin, Leah Chase and Germaine Bazzle featuring Carl LeBlanc’s Band; and Tank and The Bangas.

The gospel tent, sponsored by St. Thomas Community Health Center, will feature choirs from throughout the city, including churches, the Zulu Ensemble, the Zion Harmonizers, Jamey St. Pierre and the Honeycreepers, Naydja Cojoe and the Rebirth Brass Band.

Also included are a video gaming center, face painting, rock climbing, storytelling and free medical screenings by the Daughters of Charity Health Services.

No pets are allowed on the festival grounds. Gentilly Festival Inc. is a nonprofit organization. For information and a list of festival sponsors, visit www.gentillyfest.com.

National Night Out

Neighborhood groups are organizing annual Night Out Against Crime gatherings to take place Tuesday. If you want Crimestoppers party supplies for your gathering, Oct. 7 is the deadline to fill out the form. For information, visit www.crimestoppersgno.org.

The Seabrook Neighborhood Association will hold its Night Out gathering from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission building, formerly Milne Boys Home, 5420 Franklin Ave.

Help Nyx cancer

Help the local chapter of the American Cancer Society by taking part in the Krewe of Nyx’s annual Purses and Pearls luncheon and fashion show at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at the Sheraton New Orleans hotel, 500 Canal St.

The event will especially help Hope Lodge, which offers accommodations for patients during cancer treatment.

“When cancer strikes, it sets in motion a number of needs for patients and for caregivers,” said Julie Lea, Nyx captain and president. Named for the goddess of night, Nyx will parade Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Bryan Batt will emcee the fashion show, including clothing from The Chatta Box, Serenity Collection Red Carpet and Destination Maternity.

Tickets are $75 for open seating and $100 for reserved seating. For tickets and table and sponsorship information, contact Gigi Saak at (504) 606-9669, email PursesNPearls@yahoo.com, or call Shaney Woods, event chairman, at (504) 491-3809.

‘Taste of Italy’

The American Italian Cultural Center will present the dining experience “A Taste of Italy” from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Piazza d’Italia, 537 S. Peters St. A patron party starts at 6 p.m.

Enjoy Italian food, music, art by Franco Allesandrini and entertainment by The Yat Pack, the New Orleans Opera Association and a jazz quartet. Tickets are $65 in advance and $75 at the door. Patron party tickets are $150. Discounted parking for those with tickets will be available at the Lowe’s Hotel.

Marcia Kavanaugh and Jennifer Van Vrancken will chair the event. For information, call the cultural center at (504) 522-7294.

Mid-City Porch Crawl

The seventh annual Mid-City Porch Crawl will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Redemption restaurant, 3835 Iberville St. Gather for conversation, food and drink, then head out to party on area porches.

The event benefits the Mid-City Neighborhood Association and area projects. Tickets are limited and are $40 for members, $50 for nonmembers and $25 for designated drivers. If tickets are available on event day, they will cost an additional $10. For information, visit www.mcno.org.

Algiers Point tours

The Algiers Point Association’s 42nd annual Fall Home Tour will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, and Sunday, Oct. 18, featuring historic homes and churches. Participants will meet at Vine and Dine, 141 Delaronde St., near the Algiers ferry terminal.

The base ticket price is $15 when purchased in advance through Saturday, Oct. 10. For information, visit www.algierspoint.org.

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at jensencolumn@gmail.com.