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
This was my first time attending the Downriver Festival, now in it’s 3rd year at the U.S. Mint. The free fest offered lectures and historical walking tours focused on the importance of the Mississippi River and its contributions to the city’s culture. There were also food demonstrations and plenty of live music. We caught part of the Panorama Brass Band and missed most of Eddie “Lil Fats” Domino before settling in for the Colin Lake Band. Continue reading
Saturday was the third wonderful day of the 32nd annual French Quarter Fest. Crowds were lighter for rumors of rain but the day started beautifully with the talented and highly disciplined kids of The Roots of Music. Founded by Derrick Tabb, the snare drummer for the Grammy Award winning Rebirth Brass Band, the Roots program provides at-risk youths 9 to 14 year olds with instruction in music history, music theory and an instrument as well as ensemble performance preparation. Additionally, they provide academic tutoring, homework assistance, mentoring, round-trip transportation and a hot meal 5 days a week, 12 months a year. Plus, they’re AWESOME! In a city where we could have had our pick of oodles of ridiculously talented bands, we hired a baker’s dozen of the Roots of Music kids to play our wedding second line. Continue reading
Vieux To Do is 3 festivals in one, the Creole Tomato Festival, the Cajun-Zydeco Music Festival and the Louisiana Seafood Festival. The Creole Tomato Festival is an over 20 year tradition showcasing the French Market, our country’s oldest city marketplace (1791). In addition to the super-tasty locally grown tomatoes, there are stages with live music, an air conditioned enclosed tent for cooking demonstrations and a parade I apparently missed. Continue reading