Once upon a time the French Quarter Festival was largely designated as the other spring time music festival in New Orleans.
2021 Marks the 38th anniversary of the French Quarter Festival.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ernest “Dutch” Morial believed the city need a festival for all to share that didn’t cost MONEY! He believed all the local merchants and business needed to get foot traffic. He also had a vision that the local musicians were just as talented as the high price Jazz Fest acts.
The French Quarter Festival was the brain storm during Ernest “Dutch” Morial’s administration. In advance of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition, improvements to French Quarter sidewalks and infrastructure had caused disruptions for businesses in the historic district.
“The idea (for the first festival) was to celebrate the end of construction. “It started as a one year event, but look what we have today.”
Thanks to Dutch Morial the 2012 festival drew more than 500,000 visitors, half of them local and it created an economic impact of $260 million. It featured 1,400 musicians on 21 stages and more than 2,000 volunteers worked on the event.
There are several festival posters for the 30th anniversary, and the main one is artist Tami Curtis Ellis’ image of Kermit Ruffins in Jackson Square.
Other additions to the four-day free event include more traditional jazz on stages at the French Market and Bourbon Street; local film screenings at the U.S. Mint; more dance lessons; the cabaret stage will move to The Palm Court; oil company Chevron has become the festival’s title sponsor and will set up a tent with interactive games and exhibits highlighting math, science and technology. It also will sponsor Satchmo SummerFest. Sponsor Abita Brewing Company is adding mention of the festival to all six pack wraps throughout the USA.
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