Sunday, April 20, 2014

French Quarter Music Festival...the second time around!

It was with great anticipation that Jack and I drove into the French Quarter RV Park that Thursday afternoon.  It had been two years since we had been here and we have never forgotten our last visit!  The first time we came to New Orleans, it was to coincide with a visit with some dear friends of ours while they were celebrating their wedding anniversary.  While here, we found out that the following weekend was going to be the annual French Quarter Music Festival, a free 4-day, full-on, 200+ bands of all kinds (well, mostly) of incredible music played throughout the French Quarter, how cool was that?  Well, we trotted right over to our RV Park and asked them if by any chance in heaven if they still had space available during this time, and yes, one!  So we grabbed it!  We soon fell in love...with the town, the food, the music, all of it, and vowed to come back again some day...and that day was today!  It took us two years, but we made it!

We settled in, freshened up, and took off to the Riverfront where we knew the action would be.  We made a brief stop at the Visitor's Center to pick up a schedule, and headed out.  First stop, the Cajun Stage!  My kind of music!  I love it (more than Jack, even tho he likes it too).   Once we got a spot and settled in, I went for food, I was starving, and had purposely waited to eat until we got there because I wanted good 'Nawlins food and I knew that's where I'd get me some!  We started out easy with "Po boys", knowing I would have a chance to build up from there, and I wasn't disappointed, Yum!

Thursday night was time to sit down and take a look at the schedule and "see who was playing where".  Having been here before, really made a (nice) difference!  No need this year to go running around and see & hear everything and everyone, we could be picky and select who and where we wanted to be and just set ourselves up for several sets at a time, or an area at a time.  So much easier (on the "older bodies"!).   One of our favorites is a band we had first found on the street called Tuba Skinny.  We soon found out that they are quite popular and have a large following, especially with the Lindy dancers!  Because of that, we have to get to the stage early if we want to be anywhere near it to see them, so that had to be accounted for!  ;-)

Having done my "research" we set out each day, chairs in hand.  Was it my imagination, or did the crowd seem bigger this year?  Hm mm  Anyway, the weather was lovely, sunny with a nice breeze, so no complaints here.  Having "done" New Orleans before, I didn't really even take my camera with me until the last day...I just relaxed and lost myself in the music and watching the dancers.  They never cease to amaze and entertain me.  There was one special young man that caught my attention this year though.  A delightful 6 year old from Germany.  He was here with his parents and grandparents.  I first saw him while we were all enjoying Cori Walters and the Universe Jazz Band.  Cori is a female drummer and I could tell he was mesmerized by her.  He sat perfectly still for the full hour of her performance completely entranced by her!  A 6 year old!  The following day I ran into them again enjoying Fritzel's New Orleans Jazz Band, one of our favorite's from before, and again, there he was, entranced.  That's when I went and talked with his parents and found out that he loves the drums (plays at home) and that one of the drummers had given him his sticks yesterday (much to his delight!) so he took them and began playing on a nearby can, much to the delight of the drummer!  Later on, during the performance, the young boy, got up and went to his mom and asked her to dance!  He was pretty good too!  There was one other (fantastic) couple doing the Lindy that he watched and did his best to copy where he could.  What a little man.  In so many ways, looks, personality, age...he reminded me of one of my grandsons that it brought sweet tears to my eyes. 

All to soon the festival was over.  As we took our last pedicab home we sighed that we had not been disappointed.  So many times the "second time around" doesn't live up to one's expectations, but this one did!  We enjoyed every moment of it!  As we entered our RV Park, another couple was walking towards us and stopped us, asking for advise on where to eat that was close by.  They had just arrived, never having been to New Orleans before, didn't know about the festival, only staying the night, couldn't really walk very far...we looked at each other and began to chuckle...we knew just where to send them and how to get them there safely (we were now the experienced ones!)

...on the road in Louisiana,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

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