Saturday is always the busiest day of the 4-day French Quarter Fest. All of the 20 stages and 50+ food booths were open and crowded. We started with the quieter sounds of Sarah Quintana before moving on to rocking and rolling with Irene Sage Band. When it comes to covers of anything by Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac, Irene Sage is still the only singer that fills me with joy.
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles filled the big stage with beaded and feathered Mardi Gras Indian suits. I especially loved the Big Chief’s rendition of Indian Red.
Lunch was another Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($12) from Walker’s Southern Style BBQ – one of my favorite fest foods. Continue reading
As I mentioned in my last post, New Orleans has been staying home since before St. Patrick’s Day and it’s been a huge adjustment for this community-oriented tourist destination. This time of year, there are well-attended festivals and second line parades every week. The constant flow of visitors and convention attendees fill our hotels and flood our streets, restaurants, bars, parks and venues. I’ve accepted the loss of it all fairly well but today would’ve been the first day of my favorite festival of the year, French Quarter Fest. Continue reading
French Quarter Fest ended with a cool and breezy day perfect for picnicking and dancing to local favorites. We started early at Jackson Square with a refreshing Crab & Artichoke Citrus Salad ($8) from Jaques-Imo’s Cafe then beat the lines for Muriel’s Crawfish & Goat Cheese Crepe ($7). Keyboardist Kashonda Bailey of the all-female Pinettes Brass Band had let us know she’d be playing with MainLine so we made our way toward the stage near the Aquarium to check them out. Continue reading
Celebrating Louis Armstrong’s birthday, Satchmo Summerfest kicked off with a sometimes rainy Friday lineup of live music on multiple stages and food. Tents offered shade from the sun and shelter from the showers. Inside the air conditioned Old U.S. Mint, people enjoyed symposiums on Armstrong and related topics.
The day started with The Roots of Music parading down Esplanade. 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
The rain held off for the first day of the 8th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve attended every year for the live music, food booths, local artists (most of whom have oyster-inspired pieces of art, housewares and jewelry) and food demonstrations. Like many of our festivals, the event is meant to give back to the local community – this time through several non-profits aimed at coastal restoration. They provided oyster shell recycling bins to help build coastal reefs – so even throwing away your trash properly helped the coastline. Continue reading
As usual, it was hot-as-heck for Satchmo Fest but the music and food were worth the sweat. Celebrating the life and contributions of Louis Armstrong, the festival moved to Jackson Square this year. Like last year, they charged a $5 admission – a move that still has its kinks (like local employees and neighbors can’t just walk in to grab a plate or a cocktail). The festival featured 2 stages with one focusing more on traditional jazz and the main stage offering a few more-modern takes on Satchmo’s sound. Continue reading