Saturday / Bug out: The anniversary of the Beatles’ concert in City Park (Sept. 16, 1964) arrives next week. But the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium celebrates a different kind of Beetlemania this Saturday and Sunday. That’s when visitors can get their first glimpse of the institution’s new Tyrant ground beetles, a uniquely patterned South Asian insect that resembles a domino. The Insectarium also has a new kind of cockroach on display (like we need another one!). The Domino cockroach mimics the spots of the ground beetles. The buggy lookalikes will be feted with beetle games, beetle races, beetle presentations, beetle juice and, in the lobby, beetles playing guitars a la John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Saturday / The Beat goes on: The National Beat Poetry Festival moves to the Big Easy when more than a dozen poets and authors perform at Born to the Beat from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Morning Call in City Park. The National Beat Poetry Festival is a series of literary events around the country from August through September that celebrates the expression of the Beat Generation poets and writers. Local Band the Shiz will perform, while poet Megan Burns of the Blood Jet Series, comedian and writer Alex Jennings, and poet Nordette N. Adams will emcee the afternoon. Other poets and writers who arrive before 3 p.m. can sign up for open mic.
Saturday / River frolic: The third annual Downriver Festival celebrates the mighty Mississippi with music, food, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and more, all taking place free from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Old U.S. Mint and French Market. The fete, put on by The Louisiana State Museum, Friends of the Cabildo, French Market Corporation, and New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, spins a “Rum & Sugar” theme this year, with sweet music from performers such as Sunpie Barnes, Eddie “Lil Fats” Domino, the Honey Island Swamp Band and a secondline finale led by the Kinfolks Brass Band that will begin at the Mint and end at the recently opened Crescent Park on the Mississippi River.Slow Food New Orleans has taken charge of the culinary stage for the festival, located in the French Market farmers market, with food demonstrations, organic arts and crafts, and live Caribbean music by guitarist Blake Amos. Click here for Sharon Litwin’s interview with Doc Hawley about the inaugural Downriver Festival.
Saturday / Actor Wendell Pierce celebrates his new memoir, The Wind in the Reeds, at An Evening with Wendell Pierce and Phyllis Montana-LeBlanc. Doors open at 6 for the 7 p.m. performance at the historic Carver Theater. Tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the door. A portion of proceeds benefits the Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood Association.