The 4 days of French Quarter Fest came to a close on Sunday. Employing over 1,700 local musicians, the fest features genres from funk, R&B and jazz to rock, gospel and Zydeco. Over 1,500 volunteers and a variety of local companies handling sanitation, security, stages, sound, etc. insure that all of the money spent producing the festival remains within the local economy.
We started the day with Shrimp Ragivote over Fried Green Tomato ($9) from Tujague’s Restaurant. Of all the shrimp we’d eaten from various booths over the 4-day weekend, Tujague’s provided the plumpest, freshest, best prepared shrimp.
As John Boutté entertained the Jackson Square crowd with guest, Paul Sanchez, we ran into a friend. One of the best things about being able to gather again is running into people so we hung out for a while. We’d just stopped by Jacques-Imo’s Cafe for our third helping of Crab & Artichoke Citrus Salad ($9) when it started to sprinkle, so we ran into Photo Works Gallery and visited with more friends until we’d missed some of the shows we’d intended to catch.
So, it was back to eating – with our third Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($12) from Walker’s Southern Style BBQ. This time we added their tasty Street Corn in a Cup ($6). Cottage Catering provided our dessert of White Chocolate Bread Pudding ($6).
The Dixie Cups were bringing the nostalgia on the big stage when the skies darkened then suddenly burst into a pouring shower. The band tried to keep going with their hit, Going to the Chapel, but had to pull the plug as the rain intensified. People sheltered under chairs and tarps. We were tucked under a tree that offered little help so we made a run for it, passing people hiding under semi-trucks.
On our way to dry clothes, we ran into yet another friend and visited with them for a while. By the time the skies cleared, we decided to forget trying to catch any of our beloved Little Freddie King and skip to the Soul Brass Band playing at The Mint. Derrick Freeman and the gang kept the crowd energized as everyone regrouped. We’d just seen saxophonist James Martin leading his own band the day before.
There were plenty of musicians still playing throughout the city, but it was time for us to cross the Quarter to watch the Pelicans defeat the Suns in the play-offs! The music and entertainment continued there with the Pelicans Drum Line, the Pelicans Dance Team, and the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band. Again – a shower doused us – running the band off their stage. The sound crew wasn’t able to salvage the time for the rest of the concert but then a rainbow crossed the entire sky. Looking closely, it was possible to detect a second larger rainbow.
Rebirth was able to play a song during a game break as did Mia Borders, and Partners-N-Crime got the halftime crowd moving with Pump Tha Party.
After all that live music and fabulous food, it’s hard to believe that Jazz Fest starts this weekend!