Did I tell you that I grew up in small town Ponchatoula, La? I can’t imagine a more idyllic childhood. I was totally insulated from the rest of the world. I’m still friends with people I met in the 1st. grade. My grandfather took me to my 1st Mardi Gras when I was about 10 years old. It was more a family festival back then. After that, New Orleans was a favorite city to me.
I even studied Pharmacy there at Loyola University. I lived on St. Charles Ave and rode the trolly to school and to Canal Street to visit the French Quarter. I met Charlie Walgreen Sr and Jr while working at Walgreen Drugstores in Chicago where I moved to after I graduated from Loyola. That was the coldest I ever was in my life except for the last few days in Buford, Ga. Time sure flies by.
I’ve been to several French Quarter Festivals through the years. They are a lot milder than Mardi Gras festivals. The locals put on a grand show all along the River Walk of the French Quarter. Lots of good food will be there along with great music and just plain good fun. “The event will take place April 9th-April 12th, 2015 and employ over 1,600 world class, local musicians. French Quarter Festival is the largest showcase of Louisiana music, anywhere.”
I just got this info from the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bueau and thought I’d share it with you.
Break out the party hats. Clink your glasses in celebration. 2015 marks the 32nd anniversary of the French Quarter Festival.
Back in 1984, this music event began as a small, neighborhood festival that organizers hoped would lure local residents back to the French Quarter. Today, it has grown to host more than half a million locals and out-of-town visitors.
There’s much to love about this longtime festival favorite, like its 23 stages and 400-plus hours of live entertainment. But a large part of its popularity is due to its price tag—it’s absolutely free to hear all of that outstanding music! It is known as the South’s largest free music festival.
April 9-12, 2015
The festival takes place throughout the French Quarter, with stages and events between Bourbon Street and the Mississippi Riverfront, spanning from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue.
Take a streetcar or bus. Or ride the free Capital One Bank Second Line Shuttle, which departs from the Central Business District.
You won’t believe the variety of music you’ll hear at this festival, from traditional jazz to New Orleans funk and classical to zydeco. Here are a just a few of the notable artists performing this year: Amanda Shaw, Charmaine Neville, The Dukes of Dixieland, Irma Thomas, New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings and so, so, so many more.
Though the event is free, you definitely want to bring your wallet to enjoy the amazing festival foods. Make sure you visit each of the food and beverage zones to eat the best of the best from New Orleans. Vendors will be located in Jackson Square, Jax Lot, the Riverfront Areas and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint. Feast on cochon de lait po’boys, boiled crawfish and snoballs. Sip on Abita Beer, Pat O’Brien’s Hurricanes and more. This is a great opportunity to sample a variety of New Orleans’ best dine-in restaurants, like Galatoire’s, Broussard’s, Antoine’s and Court of Two Sisters. More than 60 food vendors will be on hand.
Along with dozens of new acts, 2015 welcomes Allen Toussaint to the festival. Toussaint is one of the most influencial figures in New Orleans R&B and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. Catch Toussaint on Thursday, April 9 at 3:45 p.m. on the Abita stage. Get there early to hear the Rebirth Brass Band and stay after Toussaint’s performance to hear the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.
Before the festival you might as well learn more about the Mighty Mississippi on an American Queen Steamship River Cruise from Memphis to New Orleans on April 3, 2015. Or after the festival sail from New Orleans to Memphis. Fabulous trip!
Bon Voyage, Susan