For a real Louisiana Cajun Country experience all in one weekend, head to the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival at its new home in Armstrong Park June 14 and 15. Festival-goers can get an authentic taste of Cajun culture right outside of the French Quarter and enjoy this regional treasure we proudly celebrate in New Orleans.
This year’s festival promises one amazing music lineup featuring some of the best Cajun bands in New Orleans, Lafayette and other cities in Louisiana where the Cajun tradition survives. On Saturday, June 14 the lineup includes Sean Ardoin & Zydekool, Les Freres Michot, Jeffery Broussard, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie and Buckwheat Zydeco closing out the day. Sunday, June 15 brings even more French-infused talent including Bruce Daigrepont, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, festival newcomers Sweet Crude who represent the younger generation, the Cajun rock powerhouse Lost Bayou Ramblers, Grammy winner Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet and “zydeco sweetheart” Rosie Ledet.
In between your accordion and fiddle fixes, learn how to dance Cajun-style at the free dance lessons offered from the expert dance team Glenn Laigast and Lori Bertaut. The dance lessons are offered each day at 12:15, 1:45, 3:15, 4:45 and 6:15 p.m. Put your two-steppin’ shoes on and be prepared to learn the proper moves for dancing at the festival.
The Cajun-Zydeco Festival isn’t just about the incredible music. There will be one of a kind, handmade crafts, jewelry and visual art from the Arts Market that represent life on the bayou. Expect plenty of local and regional food as well, for the full New Orleans festival experience. There will be a wide variety of food vendors serving up the culinary traditions and flavors of Cajun Louisiana and New Orleans, featuring the specialty fare that defines both. Enjoy delicacies like boudin balls from Papa Ninety’s Creole Soul Cafe, a smothered rabbit po-boy from Voleo’s Seafood Restaurant, an alligator sausage taco from Woody’s Fish Tacos, Oysters Rockefeller po-boy from Oceana Grill, chicken and sausage jambalaya from N.O. Original Sno Balls & Po Boys, a fried soft shell crab po-boy from Ninja Japanese Restaurant, shrimp & grits from Brocato’s Eat Dat and more.
Immerse yourself in the Cajun and Zydeco customs unique to Louisiana, all with free admission, at the 2014 Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival in Armstrong Park.
All photos by Susan Whelan