My family is safe after Hurricane Irma but it was a long, scary weekend. Luckily, New Orleans always has plenty of distractions. Friday, I performed with the Pussyfooters at 7th annual Gleason Gras. Presented by former Saint, Steve Gleason, and What You Give Will Grow in the Superdome’s Champions Square, the event raises awareness and money for ALS and the Gleason Family Trust. The show included Jon Cleary, Colin Lake and Rebirth Brass Band as well as performances by the 610 Stompers and the Pussyfooters! We danced, ate, took photos with the Lombardi trophy and had a great time for a great cause.
Saturday was a 2 Fest day. First was Downriver Festival, celebrating the cultural and environmental impact of the Mississippi River region. Soul Brass Band played as DancingMan504 and Spidey504 put on a show under a shady tent next to the U.S. Mint.
Then we headed to Burger Fest for more music, artisan booths and food. Sponsored by People United for Armstrong Park, the festival supports the free Jazz in the Park concert series in Armstrong Park as well as Covenant House’s Sleep Out against Homeless Campaign. Under the Mandeville Shed in Crescent Park on the riverbank, breezes cooled us as we tried the gargantuan Superdome Burger from Millie’s Soul Food. Their pecan, bacon burger looked intriguing but our first burger was too big to try another. Instead, we got a plate of greens with red beans and rice from Praline Connection and a fresh, hand-crushed Strawberry Orangeade from Cool Fruit Sensations then finished with a decadent brownie covered with praline from Miss Muffin.
For supper, we went back to Downriver Fest for Shrimp and Beef Ya-Ka-Mein from Miss Linda, the famous and award-winning Ya-Ka-Mein Lady. We also had her Shrimp and Crawfish Mac & Cheese then finished our festing with Jamaican Chicken with White Rice and Steamed Veggies from Palmer’s Cuisine. I always love our festivals but I was doubly grateful for the distraction as the storm passed over my family and their home.