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 is my favorite festival of the year. In it’s 34th year, the 4-day free festival features local food booths and music on 23 stages throughout the Quarter. Thursday’s weather was beautiful, 72 and sunny with a breeze coming off the river. We arrived in time to see Cha Wa, a Mardi Gras Indian band in the tradition of The Wild Magnolias. They played many favorite “Indian” songs including Let’s Go Get ‘Em, Shoo Fly and Indian Red. During the break, we filled up on a chicken plate from Mona’s and my favorite fest food – a Cochon de Lait Po-Boy from Walker’s Southern Style BBQ (AKA Love at First Bite). 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
With more reasonable crowds and lots of favorite local musicians playing, Jazz Fest’s final Sunday was a balmy-weathered blast. Big Chief Kevin Goodman & the Flaming Arrows were on the Jazz Fest Heritage Stage and I spotted Alphonse “DooWee” Robair, my favorite Mardi Gras Indian artist, dancing among them. We started the day with a delicious Cochon de Lait ($9) from Love at First Bite and a Nectar Creme from Plum Street Snoballs ($4). When I worried I wasn’t going to get a “local” pour of the sticky, sweet syrup, the woman next to me in line laughed, “If you ordered Nectar Creme, they already know you’re a local.” True Dat. Continue reading
Football has returned to the Superdome with the Saints preseason game against the Titans. But this year is different. After 8 years on the waiting list, my newlywed-husband’s season tickets finally came through and we have a new address – a seat, row and section in the Dome. It got me thinking again about why football matters. As they unfurled the giant American flag, I was proud that football is a uniquely American sport. The whole world agrees that “football” is soccer and that soccer is a way better game, but every time I see those helmeted gladiators take the field, I swell with pride and excitement. Continue reading
I may have missed the fireworks but I had a pretty perfect 4th of July. We ate hot dogs, like most of the nation, but we got ours at Dreamy Weenies so they were insanely good. I had the Pothole – potato salad below the dog and chili with cheese on top. Yum! Then we watched Purple Rain to get in the mood for Prince‘s performance at the 20th Essence Fest. Janelle Monae started the evening off with a firecracker’s burst of energy. She was the perfect artist to take on a cover of Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy and was rewarded for her efforts with a quick guitar solo from the man himself. Continue reading
I only went to the 45th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for one day this year and I spent most of that time volunteering in a beer booth – but I still managed to see 11 bands. I didn’t even get to half of the grounds, yet I managed to see artwork by Terrance Osborne and Woodrow Nash, check out Mr. Okra’s truck, hit 2 food booths and visit the WWOZ Brass Pass Tent. I arrived about noon with only 2 hours to spare before work so I headed straight for the Acura Stage to catch some of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. They delivered their signature funky rock jazz sound along with guests like keyboardist John Gros debuting his French horn skills. Continue reading