Published: 2021-09-28 15:50:03
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The 29th Annual French Quarter Festival of New Orleans New Orleans is a city where festivals are a way of life. There are festivals showcasing almost every cultural aspect of the city. However, The French Quarter Festival stands out as the largest free local music festival in the state of Louisiana. The 29th annual French Quarter Festival showcased a wide variety music, food, and special events that provided insight to what makes New Orleans so unique and full of life compared to other to cities in the county.
The biggest aspect of the French Quarter Festival was the music that was showcased, the most prominent genres being Jazz, Cajun-Zydeco, and Blues. A variety of Jazz music was heard during the festival. Traditional Jazz sounds from bands such as the New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings and the Smoking Jazz Club could be heard on Friday. Saturday included a modern Jazz style with acts such as Big Daddy ‘O’ and Kermit Ruffins. The brass sounds of Jazz, such as the Treme Brass Band and the Stooges Brass Band were heard on the last day of the festival. There were also several Blues music acts present.
The first day brought performers such as ‘Wolfman’ Washington and ‘Big Al’ Carson. The next day, Eharmonic Souls and John Lisi and the Delta Funk were among the artists. The Blues music that closed out the festival was from acts such as Vagabond Swing and Amanda Wallace. Lastly, Cajun-Zydeco music could also be heard at the festival. Some of the Cajun-Zydeco bands that opened for the festival were Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe and also Brandon Moreau and Cajungrass. The following day, Tank and the Zydeco Codebreakers and the Lost Bayou Ramblers were among the acts.

Also, The Big Easy Playboys and Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots were among the Cajun-Zydeco acts on the final day of the festival. The traditional, modern, and brass Jazz musicians listed were just a few of the acts, but they provide examples of the talent at the 29th Annual French Quarter Festival. The French Quarter Festival had local vendors featuring the cuisines of the French Quarter, some of which were Cajun, Creole, and Po’boys. Cajun food was a cuisine that was prominent at the festival. Crawfish was a popular ingredient that was featured in several Cajun dishes at the festival such as in Crawfish Etouffee or Crawfish Cakes.
Andouille sausage, found in gumbo and jambalaya was another aspect of the festival cuisine. Alligator, as kebabs or sausages, was also among the many Cajun dishes. Creole food also had a presence in the festival’s cuisine. Rice dishes, such as Dirty Rice and also Red Beans and Rice, were among the Creole cuisine featured at the festival. There were also many Creole seafood dishes, such as Shrimp Jambalaya and Grits or Shrimp Remolaude available. Creole desserts such as King Cake or beignets were also among the dishes offered at the festival. Additionally, several varieties of Po’boy were staples of the cuisine at the festival.
Seafood Po’boys, such as the Shrimp Caminada Po’boy and the BBQ Oyster Po’boy, were among the Po’boys offered. Also available were Creole style Po’boys, such as the Cochon de lait Po’boy or Creole Hot Sausage Po’boy. Finally, Po’boys such as the Alligator Sausage Po’boy or the Blackened Catfish Po’boy were some Cajun- style Po’boys at the festival. Whether you were looking for Cajun, Creole, or Po’boys, the 29th Annual French Quarter Festival had the dishes discussed above along with many more available to choose from. Finally, the French Quarter Festival also held events such as educational lectures, kids events, and dance lessons.
The French Quarter Festival strived to educate people on the impact that the local musical community provides. Super Sousaphone was a lecture by local sousaphone virtuoso Matt Perrine about the impact his career in many influential New Orleans bands created. Another lecture was Groove Interrupted, which focused on behind-the-scenes makings of the modern-day Jazz album. Funkify Your Life discussed The Meters, a New Orleans funk band, impact on New Orleans music. There were also several children’s events at the festival. The Kid’s Music Stage introduced children to festival’s musical genres in a child-friendly way.
The Satchmo collage project was another event where children decorated pieces of a collage of Louis Armstrong. Children were also able to create Victorian-style jewelry at the many crafts station at the festival. Also, several dance lessons were offered at the festival. NOLA Zydeco group hosted a class that taught the traditional Zydeco moves. BrassXcise, with Dancing Man 504, taught dance and exercise moves that are used in Second-Line parades. Also, the NOLA Jitterbugs taught traditional jazz dances such as the Jitterbug and the Charleston.
The lectures, children’s events and dance classes at the French Quarter Festival helped to add the educational and cultural aspect of the festival. The 29th annual French Quarter Festival provides a special aspect to festivals of New Orleans. It sought to showcase strictly the local aspects of the culture of New Orleans. Also unlike other festivals, it was also made free to the public. Those aspects and also the music, food, and events of the festival combined to create an experience unlike other festivals in New Orleans, one that is focused on the people of the city rather than just the city itself.

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