|by JD Rinne||Louisiana, New Orleans||1|
It's no understatement that this city knows how to party. (After all, there is nothing understated about Mardi Gras.) And this weekend is no exception, as the French Quarter Festival kicks off for the 26th time.
The three-day festival boasts 150 live music performances, 450 musicians, 18 stages, and 60 booths for food and drink, all with a block-party atmosphere as people stroll around the French Quarter. New this year is the "Louis-Louis Pavilion Stage" along the riverfront, named for native sons Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima. (The Zydepunks, among other acts, will play there). Most of the performers are locals, and there's going to be a show for every tastejass, salsa, gospel, Cajun, funk, and so on.
Oh yeah, and there's food! Local vendors ranging from Abita beer to The Praline Connection will be serving food and drinks (see full list, with prices, here). New Orleans' art world will be represented, as well, with local artists selling their wares in the French Quarter and in area galleries.
The festival attracted 435,000 visitors last yearthat's quite the block party.
The festival is free; most food items are between $5 and $7. For more information, call 504/522-5730 or go to fqfi.org.