2 Weekends, 2 Festivals, Endless Possibilities

00:00 September 21, 2012

Gretna Heritage Festival and the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival show that Halloween isn’t the only fun to be had in October

Gretna Heritage Festival Friday, Oct. 5 - Sunday, Oct. 7

For most locals, there is a clear divide (and we’re not just talking about the mighty Mississippi) between the East Bank and the West Bank—the people, the amenities, even the language in some instances. For East Bank purists looking for a weekend jaunt that blends great music, food, art, and local and international flavor, it’s time to bite the bullet, hop on the ferry or cross the Crescent City Connection – however you travel, make your way across the river to the annual Gretna Heritage Festival, presented by the Gretna Economic Development Association.

Celebrating 17 years and now encompassing approximately 25 city blocks across historic downtown Gretna, Gretna Heritage Festival has grown into a veritable mini Jazz Fest of its own. Complete with more 75 national and local live music acts, expansive arts and crafts area featuring local and regional artisans, German Beer Garden, Italian Village, and carnival rides and games for the kids, Gretna Heritage Festival is the place to be for anyone in search of good entertainment, good eats and good family fun… no matter what side of the river you call home.

Don’t miss:

• Seven state-of-the-art stages featuring headliners like Joe Cocker, Foreigner, Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, Big & Rich, The Spinners, and Cowboy Troy

• More than 80 arts and crafts booths including handmade leather goods, glassworks, candles, jewelry, sand art, wood crafts, children’s toys, and more

• Official opening of the Oktoberfest season at the German Beer Garden

• St. Joseph’s Altar, authentic cuisine and spirits, and performances by Louis Prima Jr., Bobby Lonero, Carlo Ditta, and The Yat Pac at the Italian Village • Friday and Saturday “pay-one-price” special for carnival games and rides

• Official festival charm by Breaux’s Jewelers and offi cial festival poster by Christy Works- Boutte available for purchase Admission: $20 at the gate, and $15 online.

Weekend passes are $50 at the gate and $40 online, FREE for children 12 years old and under. Free parking and shuttles are set up at Westside Shopping Center, Oakwood Center and behind Academy Sporting Goods.

For more information and to purchase advance tickets visit: gretnafest.com.

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Friday, Oct. 12 - Sunday, Oct. 14

Back in the CBD, Lafayette Square is headquarters for the 7th Annual Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival. On the music front, this festival celebrates Southern soul and local and international blues and R&B talent. On the food end, you’ll fi nd a mouth-watering array of some of the best home-style barbecue the city has to offer. With two music stages, large arts market, off-site programming, and a dozen food vendors cooking up a wide assortment of local favorites, barbecue innovations, desserts, and even vegetarian options, the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival brings low-key, down home cool to a little slice of downtown New Orleans. Now who can have the blues with all of that?

Don’t miss:

• Special performances by legendary blues man Keb Mo, veteran soul singers Clarence Carter and Latimore, blues harmonica hero Sugar Blue, Baton Rouge’s Grammy-winning blues artist Chris Thomas King, and New Orleans’ own Spencer Bohren, making his festival debut

• Oral History Stage, where many festival performers will be interviewed about their lives, infl uences and music. The interviews are open to the public, and will take place in NORD’s Ty Tracy Theater in the ground floor of Gallier Hall, just across St. Charles Avenue from Lafayette Square

• Abita Brewing Company, the festival’s official beer sponsor, returns with its Abita Sports Bar, chock-full of everyone’s favorite Abita flavors

• WWOZ 90.7 FM broadcasting live from Lafayette Square throughout the weekend

• Specialty beverages at the Arts Market Café

• Louisiana Music Factory’s merchandise area for all your CD, DVD, and T-shirt needs, with visits from performers signing autographs immediately after their performances

Admission: The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is completely free and open to the public and is part of the community investment made by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the non-profit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other funds, for year-round educational and cultural programming and economic development throughout the city.

For more information about the festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, visit: jazzandheritage.org/blues-fest/.

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