What a weekend! I am worn out from spending 3 straight days at the Gretna Heritage Festival, but it was time well spent. For those of you who missed it, here's my recap of the events:
The festival kicked off on Friday afternoon at 4 pm. While it was overcast with some rain off and on, it didn't stop the visitors from coming through the gates. I was working at the Krewe of Choctaw booth, selling (and eating) shrimp poboys, crawfish pies and "Shrimp in Da Cup", so I did not get a chance to catch any of the musical entertainment on Friday.
We did, however, see the brass band that paraded down one side of Huey P. Long Avenue to the river and then back up the other side. There was a group of second liners trailing behind the band, which was a great way to open the festival. The rides and carnival games were in full swing until closing time.
No rain! There was so much to see and do, that I couldn't possibly catch it all. I walked through all of the craft booths and just marveled at the local talent we have here in southeastern Louisiana. Jewelry, home accessories, artwork...you name it and it was there. Of course, I had to sample some of the fabulous food that other vendors were serving. Pheasant and andouille gumbo - GREAT! Crawfish enchiladas - I should have brought some extra home for later - yummy!
Back at the booth, we had a visit from Hugo, the New Orleans Hornets basketball team mascot. The LSU game was live on the jumbo screen at the ferry landing and could be viewed all the way down Huey P. Long...the cheering from the fans when they won just added to the sounds of the festival. I caught a glimpse of the Imagination Movers on the Riverfront Stage, a couple of songs by Irma Thomas on the Main Stage and about half of the Beach Boys set. On my way back to our booth from the Beach Boys, I spotted a Coast Guard boat docked at the ferry landing, with the personnel all sitting on one side of the boat, enjoying the Beach Boys on the big screen that was visible from the river. Looked like they were having a great time!
Closing day started out with a thunderstorm, but that didn't seem to slow down the number of visitors. More food to try...delicious funnel cakes and an eggplant pirogue that was sooo tasty. The Saints game was on the jumbo screen (we won't talk about the outcome). While working, we could hear the sounds of Amanda Shaw playing on the Riverfront Stage. I had a chance to make a quick visit to the Gospel Tent to see the Zion Harmonizers perform a terrific set (I wish that stage had been closer to the action - they should have had a much larger crowd). Crowning the evening was the headlining appearance of country star Travis Tritt, who was scheduled to play for 2 hours and ended up giving a great performance that lasted a full 3 hours instead.
Thanks to all of the folks who volunteered at the Choctaw booth, including our 2007 Chief and the 2008 Princess. It's got to be hard to feel royal when you are elbow deep in fried shrimp! I'm looking forward to next year already!
Interested in living in Gretna? Contact me.