French Quarter Fest ended with a slightly warmer version of the same glorious weather we’d had all weekend. The Friendly Travelers started our day with standards like Down By The Riverside, then took the crowd to church with praise music. The lead singer came out to the crowd and got people on their feet and holding hands. Toward the end of the set, the band played an original from their upcoming album. It was gorgeous and moving and the crowd did something I hadn’t seen before at any fest – they gave a standing ovation in the middle of a set for a song no one knew.
Thursday and Friday, we hung out mainly at the Abita Stage. Saturday, we stayed at The Mint, enjoying 2 stages, the jazz museum and interviews with some of the fests’ musical artists. Sunday, we hit the whole French Quarter. We stopped by some of the smaller stages like Bamboula 2000 on the Morris Bart Stage and Adam Crochet on the Songwriter Stage. Local favorite street musicians Tanya & Dorise had quite a crowd on Royal Street. An erase-board announced that their next performance of A Stairway to Heaven would be at 2.
After grabbing some yummy Jambalaya at Kingfish, we wandered into the Children’s Headquarters, a shaded area with a children’s band, crafts and activities, robots and 3D printers. Then we walked past the Aquarium for Mini Steak Sliders with BBQ Butter from Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Little Freddie King played the Abita Stage and pulled out all the stops. Not only did he do his splits move but he invited Big Chief Juan Pardo and another member of the Golden Comanche Mardi Gras Indian tribe to join him onstage. Meantime, the band’s sponsor, Zapp’s Potato Chips, handed out bags in a variety of flavors.
We dropped by the Decatur Street stages and got Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade from Wink’s Bakery then headed back to The Mint’s stages for Soul Brass Band. The band managed to marry Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice with Prince’s When Doves Cry then dove into Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused. They also played local standards making them one of the most versatile groups I’d seen all weekend.
Then it was time for a Crawfish Family Platter from Rouses Crawfish Boil. We were still eating when Stooges Brass Band took the stage to close out the fest with a raucous dance party that included their hit Wind It Up. Plum Street Snoballs was out of my favorite, Nectar Cream. In fact, they were out of all of their cream flavors. So, I tried my first Pineapple Snowball. Nectar Cream is still my favorite, but it was a sweet way to end 4 days of local music and food in the French Quarter.