Festival Season has officially begun! I must admit that until our most recent trip to New Orleans I had never actually attended a festival before. Lucky for us we had the opportunity to attend two!
Hogs For The Cause
Hogs for the Cause is as you might guess a BBQ Festival. It’s also a charity event raising money to support families fighting pediatric brain cancer. This amazing charity, which started out 7 years ago, in support of one family, has since grown to have served over 200 families in need.
Tim is a very big fan of BBQ and when we heard this festival was going on in New Orleans over our boy’s Spring Break it was an easy decision… Spring Break in NOLA! BBQ & NOLA, what more could we ask for?
The event is held in City Park, which we had never been to, and although we didn’t have time to explore as much of it as we would have liked, it’s clearly a place worth coming back to. The NOMA is located there as well as miniature golf and many other family activities.
Sidebar: For year’s I’ve been receiving fashion emails and advertisements from multiple clothing companies and every spring they talk about Festival Season. I had noticed that rubber boots and shorts both figure prominently in these emails, but never thought about why… That mystery is now over! Festival Season is also the rainy season… rain and festival grounds = MUD! A lot of sticky icky goey MUD!!!! DUH!
The week and night before Hogs for the Cause it rained terribly and in fact day one of the festival had to be cancelled. I guess instinctively I was somewhat prepared because we all wore plastic flip flops to the fair grounds… We didn’t really have anything else. However, I knew we were in real trouble when everyone walking up was wearing wellies, rain boots, shrimp boots, whatever you want to call them, they definitely knew something we didn’t know…
We met up with some dear friends who happened to be in town the same week and attempted to get some BBQ… and while we did get a bit of this and that, it wasn’t long before we were literally bogged down in the mud. Elliot’s shoes were lost to a particularly deep patch shortly after that, and soon thereafter we gave up on food altogether and just worked on escaping the enormous pit of warm, brown, sticky gooey mud that surrounded us on all sides.
As we went on the mud got deeper and stickier, and there was nothing we could do, but laugh at the situation, because honestly I think if I had given much thought to what might be in all that warm brown mud, I might not have been laughing!
Once we escaped the bog we made our way to an elevated area where we finally ate a little something had a much needed beverage and then decided to head out and get cleaned up. It’s obvious that this particular festival would have been a lot of fun because beyond amazing BBQ there are also multiple stages with live music and a ton of children’s activities.
Of course if in the future I do find myself at another fairground festival, I’ll be sure to dress appropriately!
The French Quarter Festival
While the first day of our visit found us bogged down in the mud, our last day was spent enjoying the French Quarter Festival in Jackson Square Park in the shadow of the St. Louis Cathedral. A favorite place of mine!
The French Quarter Festival started in 1984 as a way to bring residents back to the Quarter. There are 23 music stages and it is the largest free music festival in the South. The great restaurants of New Orleans get together to provide the food and beverages and according to the official website it is known as “The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch!” This festival is consistently voted favorite festival, favorite free event and favorite food festival. I can’t disagree!
Because we attended on the first day it was a very manageable crowd and we were able to really enjoy the various food and music offerings without too much trouble. The festival is quite large and has a large presence along the river as well as in the park and though the cities musicians can often be found on the streets, during the Festival they are out in full force just about everywhere!
Lucky for us, it was a dry sunny week and the grass in the park was dry and warm, we ordered our food and were able to enjoy it peacefully while listening to the sights and sounds of the festival around us!