Oysters and gumbo are the star attraction at a couple of area festivals this weekend.
The Jazz And Heritage Foundation presents one of its four free annual festivals Saturday and Sunday.
"This festival is called the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival. So, of course, gumbo is our theme and our focus," says spokesman Scott Aiges.
It's the sixth annual festival to bear that name, and Aiges says they'll be serving up gumbo galore...chicken and sausage, seafood, andouille, and dark roux gumbos.
New this year is a vegan gumbo cook-off with celebrity judges.
The Gumbo Fest takes place at Armstrong Park, with plenty of entertainment, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The free festival also features music, crafts, other Creole foods and more.
"This year we've expanded to include more bands that are inspired by the same culture that inspires brass bands, like our headliner Glen David Andrews," says Aiges.
Andrews performs Saturday, along with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Band, Treme Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Band and the Lagniappe Brass Band with Keedy Black. Sunday features Robin Barnes, John Boutte, the all-female Pinettes Brass Band, Bonerama, Baby Boyz Brass Band and the Second-Line Jammers Social Aid & Pleasure Club. Also taking the stage Sunday is The Madd Wikkid's Brassft Punk, a brass band tribute to Daft Punk.
There's plenty of free parking at Municipal Auditorium.
Oysters take center stage at the St. Clement of Rome Parish Festival, which kicks off Friday night in Metairie.
"If this year's like last year, we're probably going to go through more than 20,000 oysters," says event coordinator Bob Rupp.
"We sure do go through a lot of oysters," Rupp says. "Whether it's charbroiled from Drago's on Friday, or the fried and raw oysters on Saturday and Sunday."
St. Clement of Rome Parish is located at West Esplanade and Cleary.
'Shucky' will be serving as mascot at the festival. The smiling oyster-on-the-halfshell will be wearing black and gold football attire for the event in honor of this year's theme, 'St. Clement of Rome's Gridiron Tour'.
"If you want to come watch the LSU game with us, we have four big-screen televisions throughout the fair," says Rupp.