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. 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
French Quarter Fest is easily my favorite festival of the year, which is saying something since we have hundreds of them. With over 20 stages playing indigenous music and 60 local food booths, the festival employs over 1,700 local musicians playing genres from funk, R&B and jazz to rock, gospel and Zydeco. The over 1,500 volunteers and various local companies handling sanitation, security, stages, sound, etc. and more insure that all of the money spent producing the festival remains within the local economy.
I was working on a TV show Thursday so I missed the first day of festivities – which really hurt when I saw the tailor-made-for-me music line up. We started Friday with the Soul Rebels. The fun and funky brass band 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
The last day of French Quarter Fest was just as gorgeous as the first 3. Sadly, for locals, the day started with the sad news that former Saint, Will Smith, had been shot 7 times leaving 3 children and a wife (who sustained 2 shots) behind. He had posted on Instagram, “Having a blast at the #fqf2016” earlier. Many of us wore Saints gear and checked for updates as the story evolved from one of random violence to something more thought-out and personal.
As for festing, we started the day with a Softshell Crab Po-Boy ($10) from Jack Dempsey’s then tried Love at First Bite’s Crawfish Pasta ($8) and my favorite, the Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($8) from their partner, Walker’s Southern Style BBQ. We hit the Abita stage in time for party-band, the Bucktown All-Stars. Their playful covers included “Rubber Band Man” complete with a dance of silly, stretchy poses. 85 year old Joyce La Nasa joined on tambourine wearing her signature white gloves. Continue reading
Saturday was another beautiful day at French Quarter Fest. After 2 days at the upriver stages, we spent the third day hopping between the 2 less crowded stages at the historic U.S. Mint. The traditional Storyville Stompers Brass Band started our day with local standards like, “I’ll Fly Away.” We had the breakfast platter ($8) and some donuts at nearby Wink’s Bakery then headed back for The Revealers’ reggae beats.
Day 2 of French Quarter Fest supplied more beautiful weather, fabulous food and some of our region’s best music. Nightingale-voiced Sarah Quintana started our day with her Miss River Band. She played whimsical, ethereal originals and a wonderful cover of “Natural Woman.” Brunch was a Crawfish and Goat Cheese Crepe ($7) from Muriel’s Jackson Square, Two Pieces of Fried Chicken with Potato Salad ($8) from McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’ and Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade ($6) from Wink’s Bakery. 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