I arrived early for my Jazz Fest book signing and started the day with Glen David Andrews in the Blues Tent. The tents are known for crowds who enjoy sitting in the shade and resting but Andrews got everyone on their feet, hands in the air. His soulful rendition of When Doves Cry turned out to be the best musical performance of the entire day.
The Soul Rebels had everyone dancing at the Congo Square stage. We all put our hands up as numbers for 504, a song celebrating our beloved area code. Continue reading
French Quarter Fest is my favorite festival of the year. The 4-day free festival features local food booths and music on 23 stages throughout the Quarter. The weather was glorious, 77 and sunny with a breeze coming off the river. If the Thursday crowd was any indication of attendance, this year will be a record breaker. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit missing the days when many of the attendees were as local as the festival itself. Seems the secret is out. I was no help – live Tweeting all day to share my wonderful time with the world. Continue reading
Rain threatened the parades all day but the 33rd annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade and the Gay Easter Parade benefiting Food for Friends rolled as scheduled. Renowned burlesque dancer and club owner Chris Owens still performs nightly (despite rumors of her being in her 80’s) and hosts a fun, fabulous parade. Both parades offer bands, colorful floats, beads, stuffed animals, candy, seersucker suits, floral dresses and elaborately decorated Easter hats. The Gay Easter Parade has also raised nearly a quarter million for charity over the past 14 years. Continue reading
This was my 5th Got Gumbo? event benefitting the United Way and it’s one of my favorite annual evenings. At the Royal Sonesta, 15 restaurants provided up to 4 dishes each to compete for Best Traditional Gumbo, Best Seafood Gumbo, Best Exotic Gumbo and Best Vegetarian Gumbo as well as the People’s Choice for Best Dessert, Best Float (decorated table display) and Best Gumbo. That’s 15 restaurants, each with multiple chefs, competing in up to half a dozen categories each so you can eat yourself silly surrounded by fun table displays and charitable gumbo-lovers (United Way receives the $25 ticket price as well as the bar). And, of course, there’s a band – Rick Trolson’s New Orleans Po’Boys. Continue reading