Thursday – Sunday / JAM-balaya : About a one-hour drive away, Gonzalez, Louisiana, “the Jambalaya Capital of the World,” will once again host its annual festival dedicated to the Creole dish around the Gonzalez City Hall and Civic Center. The central Jambalaya Fest events will, naturally, be the jambalaya cook-off, with more than 100 contestants, as well as the music lineup — featuring sets from more than 20 bands including the Bucktown All Stars, Lil Bayou Band, and Phunky Monkeys. Other festival activities include a carnival, a car show, a run, and an arts and crafts show.
Admission (at the gate) is $20 for the carnival, $25 for the cook-off, and full weekend carnival passes are $55. Hours vary by day.
Friday / The reel thing : The New Orleans Film Society continues its outdoor summer movie series, Moonlight Movies, with a free screening of Jim Henson’s 1980s musical adventure fantasy film (produced by Sci-Fi legend George Lucas), Labyrinth, following the odyssey of an evil king (David Bowie) and teen (Jennifer Connelly) through a supernatural labyrinth. The screening begins at 8:15 at The Brick Yard (Chartres at Montegut, in the Bywater). It is free and open to the public.
Friday – Sunday / It’s all Greek to me: While Greek and New Orleans cultures aren’t necessarily two that are commonly associated with one another, the unconventional duo have a more intertwining history than one might anticipate. Holy Trinity Church — celebrating 150 years in New Orleans — is, after all, the First Greek Orthodox church in the Americas.
This weekend, the Holy Trinity Church and Hellenic Cultural Center (1200 Robert E Lee Blvd) co-host Greek Fest NOLA,a three-day celebration of Greek culture in New Orleans at the Holy Trinity Cathedral (1200 Robert E Lee Blvd.), which happens to be adjacent to the Bayou, in case you want to travel by kayak. Festival highlights include authentic Greek foods such as baklava, gyro, souvlaki, spanikopita, and pastitsio; Hellenic dancing; live Greek music; a toga contest, a climbing wall; and an “Olympic” race. Hours vary by day. The festival is free and open to the public.
Saturday / Shane’s shout out : DJ ?uestlove at the Masquerade Club at Harrah’s Casino, 10 PM, $20
One of the hardest working men in showbiz, DJ ?uestlove returns to the city this weekend to spin his wildly eclectic vinyl collection at Harrah’s Masquerade Club. The Roots drummer has been known to throw some of the best dance parties around, mixing everything from “Rock Around the Clock” to show tunes to Kanye West into his set. ?uestlove will be back in town for Essence Fest in July, playing a set with The Roots as well as a DJ set at Tipitina’s.
Sunday / A spot of tea: Ashe Cultural Arts Center will host its third annual afternoon tea party, Co-founder and Executive Director “Carol’s TEA-riffic Party on the Boulevard” from 3 – 6 PM at the Ashe building (1724 OCH Blvd.). Guests can sample teas and pastries from throughout the African diaspora while enjoying entertainment provided by singer, cellist, lyricist Monica McIntyre. All-inclusive tickets are $30.