With 2 days of music and food, the French Quarter’s Satchmo Summerfest celebrates New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong’s birthday. The festival started with The Roots Of Music parading to the Old U.S. Mint, home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet.
The band is a wonderful reminder of the importance of keeping the city’s traditions and culture alive. Grammy Award-winning snare drummer of Rebirth Brass Band, Derrick Tabb, co-founded The Roots Of Music non-profit program providing hundreds of at-risk youths (8-14 years old) with instruments, education, tutoring, meals and a ride home. Continue reading
With a parade, 2 festivals, and fireworks – things felt almost back to normal this Independence Day weekend in New Orleans. Our normal is always a bit festive. The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market featured (limited) food booths, virtual events, and trails of specialty menu items at participating bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter. I was able to get my annual favorite – the Pontchartrain from George’s Produce ($10) – sliced tomato topped with lump crabmeat and remoulade sauce.
The first NOLA Zydeco Fest took place next door on the lawn of the U.S. Mint, home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. 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
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
New Orleanians know that there’s no possible way to attend even half of our city’s events and festivals – even just the free ones. Summer is the “off-season” and yet our city remains action-packed. On top of Beatles Fest and The Running of the Bulls – it was my birthday this past weekend! Normally, I throw myself a small gathering but since we’d just had a wedding, it seemed like a bit much. Instead, I practiced all my favorite birthday traditions. Continue reading
I’m not in the habit of promoting big chain retailers when I so firmly believe in shopping local, but I just checked out the new and seriously improved Riverwalk and loved it. With 75 retail and food offerings, Riverwalk is the first outlet mall in the U.S. established in a city setting. But because the city is New Orleans, the mall has beautiful views of the mighty Mississippi and cruises can dock at it’s door. They even offer tax free shopping for international shoppers. What was once basically an air conditioned way to get from Canal Street to the Convention Center could now become a “destination shopping” venue. Continue reading
The Creole Tomato Fest continues to evolve in its 28th year. Now that the Cajun-Zydeco Festival has moved to next weekend, the Tomato Fest has moved almost entirely to the French Market, but this year the layout was a lot easier to manage (thank goodness). With more manageable lines and crowds, we ended up eating far more starting with a beautiful Creole Tomato, Burratta Cheese & Pesto Sauce ($6) from The Three Muses. Continue reading
One of my favorite things about spring in New Orleans is all the festivals. Every “hump day” is Wednesday at the Square with free music as well as restaurant booths providing wonderful fest food with proceeds benefitting the Young Leadership Council (YLC). Oh – and plenty of Abita beer and cocktails. The YLC seeks to build leadership while taking on projects that strive to improve the quality of life in NOLA. This week’s show opened with Andrew Duhon. Continue reading
Sunday was the 5th Annual Po-Boy Festival and the second time I attended. Located on Oak Street in Uptown, the festival stretches from Carrolton to the levee and features 3 music stages, an arts and crafts alley for early holiday shopping, dancing lessons for kids with DancingMan504, a book fair, a dunking booth and a cornucopia of Po-Boys to choose from. Though there were booths featuring everything from Bacon Fried Hot Dogs to Paté and Pickled Veggies, the Po-Boy was king for a day with restaurants from all over the city bringing their best interpretations to sell and compete. Continue reading