The Big Easy, Jazz Fest, and Bruce Springsteen

Last weekend we drove to New Orleans for Jazz Fest, a week-long music and heritage festival. It was my first time visiting the Big Easy.

Driving over Lake Pontchatrain, about an hour from New Orleans.

Before visiting New Orleans, I had this image in my head that it would be full of beautiful victorian architecture and lots of loud jazz bands in the streets. I was surprised to discover that I was right. This never happens.

Street car on Canal Street.

One of the many groups of jazz street performers on the corner of Bourbon Street.

And of course, there’s Bourbon Street, a very touristy section but something you have to experience. I think locals probably view it the way New Yorkers view Times Square: necessary for out-of-towners to visit, but best in small doses.

Bourbon Street crowd.

The next day we went to Jazz Fest.

Trombone Shorty on the Acura Stage.

We arrived just in time to see Trombone Shorty finish his set. Then we killed some time eating and sightseeing until Bruce took the stage.

Some of the many food offerings. Everything was a traditional Louisiana dish. No hot dogs or hamburgers here.

I was almost brave enough to try the Alligator Pie but then I chickened out and ordered a grilled veggie pita.

This was still an exotic choice because the sauce and the veggies were largely unfamiliar. It was delicious.

Some of the tents had historic items and were setup like mini museums. This is a photo of Mardi Gras Indian costumes.

One tent offered an arts and crafts project to make your own Mardi Gras shoes.

Traditional Cajun accordions.

Waiting for The Boss.

A mini Jazz parade offered an impromptu performance (click play to watch):

 

Finally, it was time for Bruce!

Friends of ours had special access passes that allowed us to be up close. I am forever grateful for their generosity. This was a Jersey Girl’s dream come true.

I may not have been in Jersey, but for those 2 1/2 hours, I was home.

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Filed under Jazz Fest, Southern Living

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