It's another fall festival weekend in southeast Louisiana. And, as always, that means great food and music.
This weekend features, the blues, barbecue, oysters and andouille.
The eighth annual Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, kicks off Friday afternoon.
It's a full weekend with two stages of music, a huge arts market, an interview stage and the best barbecue in these parts, all in the heart of downtown New Orleans in Lafayette Square.
The food operations will look a little different this year, and will taste even better thanks to a new approach that showcases barbecue styles from different areas of the country, says spokesman Scott Aiges.
"We decided this year to reorganize our food offerings to emphasize different regional barbecue styles. People can go to the Blues and BBQ Festival and really sample the difference between Carolina style barbecue and Tennessee barbecue versus St. Louis or Texas and Louisiana," says Aiges.
Of course, there's also a world-class lineup of the best blues artists from around the country, as well as local Louisiana favorites.
The 40th Annual St. John the Baptist Parish Andouille Festival will be held Friday through Sunday, featuring music, good times and great food in LaPlace.
Of course it's the sausage that takes the center stage.
"Whether it's in a seafood dish, a chicken andouille gumbo, as a po-boy or fried, there are so many different preparations," says Torri Buckles, Parish Director of Economic Development.
Every year thousands of people merge upon the festival grounds for the fun filled weekend, highlighted by a cooking contest in which contestants prepared their recipes using andouille in three categories: gumbos, jambalayas, and miscellaneous dishes. The festival is held at the Hwy. 51 Park next to the St. John Center.
"Authentic andouille is going to be found only here in St. John Parish," says Buckles. "We have several smokehouses that prepare it. The varieties that you find in your local stores is not authentic andouille. You can only get them directly here from a smokehouse."
It's strictly down-home cooking at The Violet Oyster Festival, which returns for its 29th year, through Sunday.
"We don't rent our food booths out to vendors," says Festival Chairperson Phyllis Diecidue. "What we cook is all good, home-cooked food...all cooked by parishioners."
"Raw oysters, grilled oysters, oyster fettuccine....any kind of way we can fix oysters, we fix oysters," Diecidue says.
The Oyster Festival will be offering oysters raw on the half-shell, fried oyster dinners, po-boys, grilled oysters on the half-shell with sauce as well as shrimp, fish, fettuccine, gumbo, jambalaya, onion mums, pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, sweets, daiquiris, funnel cakes and much more!
There will be rides, crafts, games, lots of live entertainment and great food at the Corner of East Judge Perez Drive and Colonial Boulevard in Violet. The festival takes place on the church grounds of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.