By Edwin Buggage
Pontchartrain Park in New Orleans is a historic Neighborhood where middle-class African-Americans live, love and prosper. Today this is still a thriving community that is a source of great pride in the Crescent City.
For the last decade, the Gentilly Fest brings people from around the City into this historic community for a weekend of food fun and music. This year on October 12th -14th will bring together thousands of people for the three-day event.
“It began as a fundraiser immediately following Hurricane Katrina to support first responders and neighborhood playgrounds,” says festival founder Gretchen Bradford. “But we soon found out it was much greater than that. It’s a celebration, but it is also a reunion, uniting family and friends back together former residents who have moved away have made Gentilly Fest a vacation destination as well for people to re-connect.”
As are all festivals in New Orleans, there will be food and plenty of it. There are over 20 local vendors that will be serving up a variety of dishes guaranteed to please the palate of festival goers.
Bradford says there will be all types of food for people to enjoy, “Just some of the delicious food we will have includes: Grilled Blue Crabs, Oysters, Soft shell crab & fried shrimp po’boys, Seafood loaded fries, Curry Goat, Vegan Tacos, Fried Chicken wings, greens, butter beans, Deep fried Oreos, Beignets and so much more.”
Last Year’s fest was cancelled due to inclement weather, but this year there will be many new things happening at the fest, “Because of the cancellation last year we are combining our 10th & 11th Year Anniversary,” says Bradford. “Also, on Saturday, October 13th starting at 11am, we are kicking off with a celebration parade starting at Walmart parading all the way to the Festival. We are also highlighting our 10th Year Commemorative Anniversary Poster. Also, before our closing act on Saturday night we will have a spectacular fireworks display.”
The festival grounds will also feature over 30 vendors who will have for sale jewelry, art, clothing and much more. The festival will also feature three stages of live music ranging from R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Bounce and much more.
Given this is a family friendly event there will be a Kid’s stage that will feature various dance teams and local musicians. In the Kid’s Village activities will also include: horseback riding, rock climbing, storytelling and much more.
It is a festival that is truly something that’s been created for local people to come out and enjoy a weekend of family fun. “This festival is unique because it is homegrown and produced by passionate volunteers who are residents of Gentilly and who care about maintaining and sharing the rich culture of this rich and historic community.