Back in 1988, we went to the city of New Orleans to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. To our surprise, that weekend coincided with an event called The Jazz and Heritage Festival. We joined up with a group of my husband’s friends who had been attending for years and we were hooked. We went back annually and a few years later, when that group disbanded, we started inviting our friends and formed our own group. Since 1988, we’ve only missed 2 years (the years our 2 children were born.) This year was the 45th anniversary of the festival. and our 31st wedding anniversary.
I plan the trip for our group from start to finish. It includes group dinners, t-shirts, pre-trip packets, etc… We have only one rule and that’s “anything goes.”
Each day we begin by arriving at the festival grounds (a racetrack) at 11:00 AM when the event begins. We start by purchasing iced coffee and beignets at the Cafe Du Monde booth and then wandering into the Gospel Tent for a little spiritual beginning to our day. From there, we check the musical line up daily at the 12 stages to dance our way throughout the fair grounds. Since the event ends at 7:00 PM, we have enough time to graze through the southern delicacies at the 60 food booths like cochon de lait po boys and crayfish bread as we wander. My husband loves the cuban sandwich and the BBQ turkey leg with white beans and rice.
When we want to take a break in the music we catch a parade or shop through the craft booths. since the event lasts 4 days, (3 days on the first weekend as well) we get ample time to relax, dance, eat, and soak up the spirit that can only be found in the Big Easy.