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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Bit of New Orleans - Jazz Fest

Mention to someone in passing that you're going to New Orleans in the Spring and odds are they'll ask “Are you going for Jazz Fest?”  Next to Mardi Gras, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (nicknamed “Jazz Fest”) is the biggest reason people come to the Crescent City.  In 2013 the Jazz Fest attendance was over 425,000 visitors.  This year we're right on track to beat it.

If you’ve never been the Jazz Fest is a seven day event that’s spread over two weekends. It takes place at the Fair Grounds Race Course, located near City Park.

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
With twelve (12!) stages throughout the park there is always something going on somewhere.  Each stage has a certain vibe to it, covering everything from rock & roll to blues to jazz to zydeco to brass bands to local artists.  Thus far we’ve seen Santana, The Avett Brothers, Public Enemy, Phish, Boz Scaggs, Robin Thicke, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, and Vampire Weekend, and that’s just the first weekend.

Not enough for you?  Maybe you’re more interested in artwork.  This year there will be over one hundred artists and crafts available to browse and purchase.

(Images courtesy of http://www.nojazzfest.com/crafts/congo-square-african-marketplace/weekend-1/ because my photos really suck!)

Hot Sausage Po-Boy, Crawfish Sausage Po-Boy
Still not amazed?  You eat, don’t you?  Like the variety of music, food-wise there’s somethin’ for everyone.  Be you a vegetarian, or omnivore, conservative or daring, needing homestyle or exotic, they got it!  These aren’t your “funnel cake and cotton candy” type of food stands.  Here are representatives from eateries and restaurants all over Louisiana. 
Cochon De Lait (one of my faves!)
Spinach Artichoke Casserole, Seafood Au Gratin, Sweet Potato Pone

Alligator Pie, Fried Green Tomatoes and Crab-meat Stuffed Shrimp

Mango Ice (another of my faves!)

(Again, images courtesy of http://www.nojazzfest.com/food/food-list/ because I can never remember to take pics before I start devouring.)

Need more reason? All this happens from the hours of 11 am until about 7 pm.  You read that right.  When you’ve had enough fun and sun you can go back to your hotel, take a shower, and still have time to go out and hit some of our awesome restaurants and nightlife.  I mean, what could be better?

Still time this year for you lucky ducks who can swing a last minute trip.  If not, keep your eyes on this website (http://www.nojazzfest.com) for next year’s info.

Hope to see y’all there! 

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