Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival notes, introduction

The festival is one of three staged the same weekend, including the Creole Tomato Festival and the Louisiana Seafood Festival.  The Seafood Festival is poignant this year, with the threat to Louisiana’s seafood from the unprecedented BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  All festival events are outside on the grounds of the Old Mint [http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/Mintex.htm], a branch of the Louisiana State Museum.  The mint is a 19th century building at the foot of Esplanade Avenue in the French Quarter (also called the Vieux Carre or “old square”) of New Orleans.  It was a U.S. and from 1838 to 1909, also used by the Confederate government for the same purpose.

The festival began on Friday, June 11 and ended the following Sunday.  There were two stages.  The Esplanade Street Stage was set up in front of the Mint, in a closed block, under some gorgeous old oak trees.  There were craft and food areas scattered around the grounds of the Mint.  The Barracks Street Stage was on the grounds, diagonally opposite the first stage.  The Esplanade had the zydeco acts and Barracks, Cajun and Creole music.

The weather was quite hot, with temperatures in the nineties, humidity close to that and heat indexes over a hundred degrees.  The rain Saturday afternoon kept things bearable along with the shade over the Esplanade Street Stage.