This was my first time attending the Downriver Festival, now in it’s 3rd year at the U.S. Mint. The free fest offered lectures and historical walking tours focused on the importance of the Mississippi River and its contributions to the city’s culture. There were also food demonstrations and plenty of live music. We caught part of the Panorama Brass Band and missed most of Eddie “Lil Fats” Domino before settling in for the Colin Lake Band.
Colin Lake moved to New Orleans from Seattle but he’s become a bluesy, soulful part of the New Orleans music scene while fronting his band from a chair with various guitar-like instruments on his lap. The day was beautiful and balmy, perfect for an outdoor concert. The band played covers and fun originals. I loved watching the beat get into local tour guide, Christine Miller of Two Chicks Walking Tours but the highlight for me was when a tiny tot went to the front of the stage and offered Cheerios from a plastic baggie to Colin Lake. Colin accepted the tiny fistful graciously and went on playing.
The food offerings for the rest of us were minimal as well but hit some important favorites – boiled seafood, sno-balls and stuffed crepes. We left before the Honey Island Swamp Band took the stage but it was nice to spend a sunny day with the mostly local crowd.