We began day 2 of Satchmo Summerfest – a celebration of Louis Armstrong’s birthday – with the official Summerfest second line parade. Just like with The Roots of Music the day before, rain doused the parading brass bands, dancers, and convertible-riding royalty. But, we’re a rain-or-shine kinda town so even with the grey-skied downpour, the colors were vibrant, the music was infectious, and energy was high. And this time I was equipped with rain boots for the big puddles and the slush of grassy mud. Or muddy grass. Definitely mud.
Our first bite of the day was the savory, spicy Collard Greens ($8) from Praline Connection. John Boutté (of HBO’s Treme fame) sang passionately on the Barracks Street Stage as we waited for our Charbroiled Jerk Chicken w/ Dirty Lamborghini Rice ($13) from Theaudric’s Real Clever Cuisine. Continue reading
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
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
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
Friday, more of the eventual 20 stages of indigenous music and over-50 local food booths opened for French Quarter Fest. My favorite festival of the year, it’s also one of the city’s most profitable – generating an economic impact of $190 million in 2019.
We walked past the dance lessons in full swing at the French Market before starting our day near the Aquarium with Valerie Sassyfras of America’s Got Talent fame. Her memorable original, Girl’s Night Out, may not have gotten her past the second week of competition, but it made her a cult celeb.
Miss Sassyfras put on quite a show. Continue reading
I missed many things during the pandemic, but most of them are available at French Quarter Fest, my favorite festival of the year. The 20 stages of indigenous music and 60 local food booths provide the best of our city’s offerings and it was great running into friends after so long – and seeing so many people wearing Pelicans basketball gear!
We started our day by the Aquarium with Margie Perez serenading a brunch-time crowd of visitors and locals from tiny tots to great-grandparents. Continue reading
Though the Chris Owens Easter Parade is visually stunning, the Gay Easter Parade takes Easter bonnets to a whole new level. Miss National Apollo 2022, Gia GiaVanni’s hat was as wide as the car that rolled her through the French Quarter. I ran into 2 people wearing my own fabulous pink and orange hat.
Dancers and walking krewes included Mystic Krewe of P.U.E.W.C., Lords of Leather, Flaming Flagetts, Big Easy Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Krewe of Goddesses. When it comes to this parade, photos are truly worth thousands of words – so enjoy! Continue reading
Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras in French – splits the city into parade-goers and costumers. Parade-goers go to the Krewe of Zulu and Krewe of Rex parades, with diehards staying for the truck parade. We’re costumers so we spent the day wandering the French Quarter and Marigny taking in all the fun and fabulous ideas people came up with this year.
Last year was so quiet so it was wonderful to see all the colorful silliness and ingenuity on display. There were a lot of Ukraine costumes this year. Continue reading