Three weekends at home and a festival for each. New Orleans is always buzzing, and summer means festivals. Food, crafts and music draw both locals and tourists.
Memorial Day weekend is home to the New Orelans Greek Festival every year. 2013 was the fest’s 40 anniversary and the first year I participated in their annual 5k. Grape leaves, gyros, spanakopita and baklava sundaes were just some of the traditional foods served and eaten at the festival. Rachel and I probably ate whatever we burned in the race, but it was totally worth it. Hot and humid is just part of the deal for summer in south Louisiana, and Greek Fest wasn’t an exception. I was happy I ran, so I had an excuse to look less than stunning.
New Orleans Oyster Festival was the next weekend at Woldenberg Park on the Mississippi River. It was the festival’s fifth year and my second year attending. I ate my first oyster there last year, and understood the addiction. Raw, charbroiled or fried, New Orleans restaurants pulled out all the stops creating original oyster dishes. Andrea’s oyster ravioli and Bourbon House’s barbecue oyster poboy were my two favorites this year. Since it’s so close to the quarter, and we were desperate for air conditioning after two hours outside, downtown shopping was another perk of the weekend. Although, trying on clothes after all of that food might not have been our best idea.
The Creole Tomato and Cajun-Zydeco Festivals take place side by side in the French Market and the Old Mint downtown. Fried Green Tomatoes were a must, but the creole tomato lemonade was the most surprising, and delicious, treat of the weekend. After eating our way through the French Market, we made our way to the Mint to listen to Bruce Daigrepont and find some shade.