This weekend was the 27th annual Creole Tomato Fest and the 7th Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival. I had been looking forward to the festivals for 2 main reasons – the amazing Heirloom Tomato Salad I get every year from Covey Rise Farms and the Sliced Creole Tomatoes topped w/lump crabmeat and Remoulade Dressing ($7) from George’s Produce. If I had kids, I would love this fest for its many activities for children. The Tomato Fest has miniature golf, circus arts, crafting, storytelling, swing dance lessons, face painting and a “decorate a secondline hanky” booth.
There are cooking demonstrations all day from places like Muriel’s, one of my favorite restaurants, and the French Market‘s World Famous N’Awlins Cafe and Spice Emporium. Creole tomato offerings are likewise prepared by both local restaurants and vendors at the French Market. Giant misting fans, shade booths and thousands of tomato-shaped fans kept everyone cool.
There were 3 stages for the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival as well as 30 artisan booths selling everything from clothing and jewelry to paintings and household items. There were also 15 food vendors and inside the air conditioned Old U.S. Mint there were interviews of some of the festival’s performers.
All of that said, Covey Rise Farms was a no-show this year making me doubly glad we’d stopped at K.Paul’s on the way for a Dancing Shrimp, Fresh Tomato and Provolone Cheese Salad ($13.95). Then the line for the George’s Produce Sliced Creole Tomatoes topped w/lump crabmeat was terribly long – which might have been worth doing except the booths were crammed so tightly up to the French Market that the whole area was a pushing and nudging mess. Spoiled as we are for festivals, we ended up giving up and grabbing food from Verti Marte. It was a great fest, but for my favorites – better luck (and floor plan?) next year.