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
With the weekend in full swing, all of the over-20 stages and dozens more food booths opened throughout the Quarter for day 3 of French Quarter Fest. The first day, we parked ourselves in front of the Abita Stage and watched masters of their craft all day. Friday, we enjoyed all that again as well as watching well over 100 children take the stage throughout the day. Saturday, we hit every corner of the Fest – from the Mint to the Aquarium and from Bourbon Street to the river.
Saturday was beautiful. Finally. A great day for parades. They started early with the women’s Krewe of Iris (est. 1917) having fun with their “Iris Rocks” theme. The Krewe of Tucks (founded in 1969 by a group of Loyola students) continued their toilet humor with their “Tucks Lives the Sportin’ Life” theme and throws like hand-decorated toilet brushes. I’m not normally a fan of bathroom humor but Tucks gets bigger and better every year and is one of the most colorful parades in every way. Continue reading
It was certainly the coldest Jazz Fest I’ve ever attended and mud was still a factor on closing Sunday. Turns out that there was not one single pair of of rubber boots left in town. Hotels were calling everywhere but many unprepared out-of-towners were left bootless and muddy. Cold wind whipped at scant tank tops and short skirts. Continue reading
It was supposed to be a stormy May Day, but only 3 light sprinkles passed over the 8th annual Chaz Fest. The brain child of members of The Tin Men (and Alex McMurray’s wife), the festival was born of a reaction to being rejected by Jazz Fest. Though now many of the bands have played Jazz Fest, Chaz Fest remains the backyard party it has always been. Held at the Truck Farm, an artists haven, the 2 stages (one in the yard and one in the woods) rotate so that the music is nonstop – 14 bands in under 10 hours. Continue reading
For 30 years, the French Quarter Fest has been bringing together the best of New Orleans music and food. The festival continues to grow in size and scope, this year adding a film festival and an additional stage on Decatur St. bringing the total to 21. With 800 local musicians to see for free and over 65 local restaurants offering local cuisine, the festival is my favorite every year. Continue reading