A tribute to Louis Armstong
Archive for 2008
NEW ORLEANS – April 11, 12, 13, 2008, marked the 25th anniversary and a record year for French Quarter Festival. This year’s attendance figures indicate that approximately 435,000* festival-goers basked in the sunshine, ate, drank, danced, shopped, stayed in the hotels, enjoyed the French Quarter, and became immersed in southern hospitality as only New Orleans can deliver.
This award-winning festival, which began in 1984, has grown to become the largest free music festival in the South. Eighteen stages throughout the French Quarter presented the best in New Orleans music, representing every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R & B and New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, classical, opera, Cajun Zydeco, Latin World, International, as well as musical stages for children. Over 65 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint made up the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch,” a signature event, featuring authentic local cuisine from renowned area restaurants, many of whom have been with the Festival its entire 25 years. Record sales were recorded by both food and beverage vendors.
Festival-goers attended special events throughout the three-day weekend, including almost 1,000 guests at the Thursday night kickoff party: ‘TGIF’ – Thank Goodness it’s Festival! – aboard the Steamboat Natchez. French Quarter Festival opened Friday with an official second-line parade, music starting at 11 a.m., historic courtyard tours, and a Pirate’s Alley Art Show. Saturday activities continued with the Acme World Championship Oyster Eating Contest and a Battle of the Bands. Sunday’s ‘Dancing at Dusk’ grew in popularity as dancers filled the 400 block of Royal Street.
French Quarter Festival 2008 was sponsored by Abita Brewing Company, Harrah’s Foundation, Zatarain’s, Southern Comfort, Fetzer, iclips.net, Music Performance Fund, the State of Louisiana Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, WDSU Channel 6, Rouses Market, nola.com, Saturn, Coca-Cola, Preservation Hall, French Market Corporation, New Orleans Hornets, offbeat Magazine, the Steamboat Natchez, CapitalOne Bank, Baldwin Gibson, Where Y’at Magazine, Community Coffee, Continental Airlines, Cox Business, Louisiana Lottery, Whitney Bank, The Court of Two Sisters, Tulane Medical Center, Musical Legends Park, Pat O’Briens, The Transportation Revolution – Vespa New Orleans, Renew Our Music, Acme Oyster House, Renaissance Publishing, neworleansrestaurants.com, Royal Sonesta Hotel, WWL AM870, WWOZ 90.7FM, Renaissance Publishing, Clear Channel Radio,
Herencia Hispana, and KGLA 1540.
The event was produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., (FQFI) the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, which also produces Satchmo SummerFest in August and Christmas New Orleans Style in December. For more information about any of these events, call (504) 522-5730 or visit www.fqfi.org.
*Attendance numbers are calculated based on actual counts (that are adjusted down by percentage to account for repeat entrances and exits). Fess Security counts at entry and exit points of major stages. This number does not include attendance at the French Quarter Festival Royal and Bourbon Street stages, Children’s Headquarters, Battle of the Bands, Dancing at Dusk, Preservation Hall, Legends Park and other special events. The organization is pleased to report record sales of food, beverages and merchandise.
French Quarter Festival Sponsors said…
“Zatarain’s is the nation’s leading marketer of New Orleans-Style foods, priding ourselves on great taste, high quality and a devotion to the city’s cuisine,” said Jim Pearse, General Manager of Zatarain’s. “It was a natural fit for us to help sponsor the French Quarter Festival because of its commitment to the fun and flavor of New Orleans.”
David Blossman, President of Abita Brewing Company said, “French Quarter Festival was a big success for Abita Beer. When New Orleans favorite beer gets together with New Orleans favorite local festival it’s a win-win situation for everyone. The nice weather, hard working volunteers and Abita Beer lovers helped us set a new French Quarter Festival record for beer sales. In fact, Abita Beer sold 32% more than the 2007 beer sponsor. We’re glad Abita Beer was on-hand for all the great food, great music and great times and we’re looking forward to Satchmo Summerfest in August.”
“The French Quarter Festival continues to be both a great opportunity for us to showcase the very best of our authentic culture to the world, and a very important economic boost for our French Quarter merchants,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are proud to be a part of one of the best events on the city’s calendar for residents and visitors alike.”
Congratulations to Mary Ellen Wyatt of Metairie Louisiana …Read more »
LOTS OF LOTS AND NEW ORLEANS TRAFFIC CONTROL MAKE FOR EASY ACCESS TO THIS WEEKEND’S 25th ANNIVERSARY OF FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVALThursday, April 10th, 2008
NEW ORLEANS – Traffic will be rolling like the mighty Mississippi during this weekend’s 25th French Quarter Festival, Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13. New Orleans Traffic Control will be out in force this weekend to keep traffic moving, so festival-goers can get to-and-from the festival as quickly and as safely as possible. According to N.O. Traffic Control, there is one big traffic rule: NO LEFT TURNS ON DECATUR STREET. Festival-goers entering the French Quarter should enter from Esplanade. Guests attempting to get to Woldenberg Park should enter from Canal Street.
According to Marci Schramm, FQFI executive director, “There are several parking lots in and around the French Quarter, as well as lots at the Hilton Riverside & Towers, that can readily accommodate festival-goers. Lots along Esplanade and Rampart offer easy in and out and most hotels in the French Quarter have parking garages. Additionally, Central Parking has lots along Decatur Street that provide ample spaces and the RTA Riverfront Streetcars are another great way to get around.”
“Gather the family and 25 of your nearest & dearest and come down early to enjoy the best of New Orleans’ musical, cultural and culinary heritage,” adds Janice Foulks, board president of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.
The 25th anniversary of French Quarter Festival (FQF25), the largest free music festival in the South, is being produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (www.fqfi.org), the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, which also produces Satchmo SummerFest in August and Christmas New Orleans Style in December. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. promotes the Vieux Carré and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans.
For more information on all FQFI festivals and events, call 504-522-5730 or visit online at www.fqfi.org.
A French Quarter Festival Highlight is Back After Two Year Absence
NEW ORLEANS (March 20, 2008) – Acme Oyster House has announced that, after a two-year hiatus, the Acme World Oyster-Eating Championship will renew its proud tradition on Saturday, April 12th, at the French Quarter Festival. An all star cast of Major League Eating’s top-ranked gurgitators are expected to compete for the $1750 prize purse.
The early favorite is a mohawked chef from Chicago known as Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti. Bertoletti, ranked 2nd in the world, has eaten 16 pounds of strawberry shortcake in 8 minutes and 21 pounds of grits in 10 minutes. He also holds the endurance oyster eating record, having downed north of 50 dozen in 2007. Nipping at Bertoletti’s heels will be Crazy Legs Conti, a dreadlocked shorts-wearing eccentric from New York’s East Village who launched his eating career by winning the first Acme World Oyster Eating Championships in 2002. Baltimore’s Julie Lee (ranked 10th), Chicago’s Gravy Brown (15th) and Birmingham’s Chip Simpson (ranked 6th) will also compete.
Louisiana’s top eater, Damon Serignet of Baton Rouge, has promised to defend the honor of the Pelican State in this competition. A Louisianan hasn’t won the Acme Oyster contest since 2003, and Serignet is not afraid of the big names from up north.
“I grew up eating Louisiana Oysters and I’m told that this year the oyster harvest is returning to pre-Katrina levels,” said Serignet. “To celebrate, I plan to win this contest and dedicate my performance to all of Louisiana’s fishing families.”
The 2008 Acme World Oyster Eating Championship will occur at the Farmers market at 1008 North Peters Street, which is across from the Old U.S. Mint in the Historic New Orleans French Quarter. The world record for oyster eating is 46 dozen in ten minutes and was set at the 2005 Acme Worlds by Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas.
Acme Oyster House has been pleasing the palates of discriminating diners since it opened in the French Quarter in 1910. Today, Acme has three locations in and around New Orleans and one location in San Destin, FL. Acme is recognized worldwide as a pillar of New Orleans cuisine. The restaurant is routinely featured in television broadcasts and its food has won numerous awards from many local and national organizations over the course of the restaurant’s 90 + year history.
Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport worldwide, conducts nearly 100 events annually, including the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, NY. The competitive eating community, which numbers more than 3,000 veteran and rookie athletes, travels the nation in search of top titles and the glory, prize money and bragging rights.www.majorleagueeating.com
PRESS CONTACT: Ryan Nerz (212) 352-8651
151 West 25th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001
25TH ANNIVERSARY OF FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL
Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13, 2008
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following people are authorized festival media contacts. They are listed in order of who should be contacted first, in case of a request for information or interview. If you do not reach your initial contact, please feel free to call the next person on the list for assistance.
1) Marci Schramm, FQFI Executive Director 504-452-1946 (on radio)
2) Sandra Dartus, FQF25 Co-chair 307-699-2026 (on radio)
3) Mary Beth Romig, FQF Board Member 504-606-8430
4) Kristian Sonnier, FQF Board Member 504-481-7933
5) Ann Wills, FQF Board Member 504- 494-3810
WHEN: Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13, 2008
WHERE: French Quarter (including: Old U.S. Mint; Woldenberg Riverfront Park; Jackson Square, Dutch Alley, Royal Street, Bourbon Street, Preservation Hall)
FESTIVAL INFO: 504-522-5730 or www.fqfi.org