The 35th annual French Quarter Fest was rained out Saturday, which is a crying shame. Many of the biggest acts were set for that day including Grammy-winners, Rebirth Brass Band. It was supposed to be a day of having to make hard choices about what to miss, but a massive storm wiped the day away.
Sunday was sunny, windy and super-chilly (50’s). Sarah Quintana’s teeth were chattering and her trumpet player was trying to keep at least one hand warm enough to play. But Sarah Quintana (with her nightingale’s voice) and the Miss River Band managed to put on a beautiful show. Bruce Sunpie Barnes joined Continue reading
Day 2 of French Quarter Fest brought more nice weather, though things got dreary toward the end of the day foreshadowing the oncoming storm. And the latest oil spill in the river gunked up the banks and halted riverboat cruises and ferries. But, the day was terrific – starting with Cha Wa, a Mardi Gras Indian band. Lead singer J’Wan Boudreaux is the grandson of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and is one of our city’s many reassurances that our music and culture are being passed down to a worthy generation. Continue reading
With over 20 stages of regional music and MANY local food booths throughout the Quarter, French Quarter Fest (FQF) is easily my favorite fest of the year – which in saying something in a city with literally hundreds of annual festivals. This is the Fest’s 35th year and things keep getting bigger and more crowded, but it’s still free and that’s amazing. The weather was perfect – upper 70’s, breezy and sunny. The Irene Sage Band was playing Led Zeppelin when we arrived. I’ve written them into my next Charlotte Reade Mystery so it was a fun way to start the day. Continue reading
Usually, the only weather concern for Satchmo SummerFest is the oppressive heat and humidity but this year brought a huge rain storm that dumped over half a foot of rain in under an hour, overwhelming the pumping systems and flooding the entire city. That said, we did manage to have some fun at the fest before the weather came through. The distinctively dulcet voice of John Boutte serenaded us as we sampled the food booths starting with a Debris Po-Boy from the Rib Room – which we topped with horseradish mayo to bring out the flavor. Next we tried the Deep Fried Seafood Stuffed Bell Peppers and the Fried Green Tomato and Shrimp Remoulade Salad from Café Dauphine. We washed it all down with a cold Purple Haze Abita beer. Continue reading
Celebrating Louis Armstrong’s August birthday, Satchmo SummerFest is often the sweatiest festival of the year, but rain cooled the day. The rain also left the grassy yard of the U.S. Mint a muddy mess. But much of the fest is tented and Friday was a great kickoff to the fest with food and beverage booths, non-stop live music on multiple stages and symposiums on Armstrong and related topics. We stopped by The Preservation Brass entertaining a crowd then started our day with a Soft-shell Crab Poboy served on Dong Phong Bread with Pink Sauce from Ajun Cajun and a Royal House Chopped Salad with Fried Oysters. Continue reading
I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Williamsburg, VA as a “celebrity” at a signing convention. Fighting the “REAL MONSTERS” of childhood illness, breast cancer and more, Scares That Care! selects 3 families a year with financial burdens brought on by these issues. For the price of admission, participants are offered everything from classes and workshops to a Kids Zone with movies, books, board games, coloring books, costumes, crafts and a selfie station. The staff of the DoubleTree were all in the spirit, wearing costumes of favorite horror characters. As we all arrived, there was a screening of Piranha at the inviting indoor/outdoor pool and “Scaryoke” started up in the bar. Continue reading