On Friday the NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival kicks off its end-of-summer treat that will run through Saturday. The FREE event features pop-up shops, food trucks, musicals performances and more. Head to Duncan Plaza, 343 Loyola Ave., to get in on the action:

Friday, Aug. 23

4:00                         Dama Vicke (Miami, FL)

5:00                         Lilli Lewis Project (New Orleans)

6:00                         Mista Kim (Delarge) (New Orleans)

7:15                          CASME’ (New Orleans)

Saturday, Aug. 24

11:00                        Elements of Radio (Miami, FL)

12:15                        In his Company (Covington, LA)

1:15                          Caroline Ayers (Washington, DC)

2:30                        Hanna Belle (Red Lick, MS)

3:30                        The Captain Ledge Band (Wilburton, OK)

4:15                         The Grayhawk Band (New Orleans)

5:30                        Michael O’Hara/The Sheik (New Orleans)

6:45                        Henry Turner, Jr. & Flavor (Baton Rouge)

On Saturday at 9 a.m. Geoffrey Meeker will open the newest location of French Truck Coffee inside the Whole Foods Market (3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd.) in Metairie as part of the Friends of Whole Foods Market program. Meeker, the owner and founder of French Truck, will toast the opening with a signature French Truck espresso. Free tasting samples of French Truck Coffee will be offered throughout the event. There will be live jazz music and an opportunity to take photos with the famous, yellow French Truck.

Next Wednesday Chef Eric Cook will continue his on-going summer cocktail and dinner series, this one themed Day of the Dead at Gris-Gris (1800 Magazine St., 272-0241, grisgrisnola.com) featuring tequila based cocktails  made with  Milagro Silver, Reposado and Anejo.  Seatings are offered at 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. for $35 per person and includes cocktails/tastings and appetizers.

Drag queens are definitely have a moment. Next Friday and Saturday (Aug. 30 and 31) Broussard’s Restaurant (819 Conti St., 581-3866, broussards.com) will host its 2nd annual Queen B Drag Brunch in celebration of Southern Decadence weekend. The Southern Barbitchuates will perform both days. The popular drag show will bring its decadent style of entertainment to two extraordinary shows each day, one at 11a.m. a second at 1:30 p.m. Regular brunch hours will be in effect from 10a.m. to 3 p.m. The special Drag Brunch features a prix fixe menu for $49, plus tax and tip, with the option of bottomless mimosas or rosé for $14. The menu includes a choice of starters: Andalusian gazpacho, Broussard’s Caesar, Creole turtle soup, or bacon sticky buns. Choices of entrees are veal grillades, Southern-fried chicken and waffles, or crawfish and brie quiche. To finish off this decadent brunch, the kitchen offers blueberry and mint cobbler, almond bread pudding or banana foster cheesecake. The bar will offer two specialty cocktails for $10 each: Bust a Move, made with gin, crème Yvette, grapefruit and sparkling rosé and Express Yourself, an espresso, vodka and Bailey’s cocktail.


Have a great weekend, everyone. Use it to celebrate the people and the community you love.