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Everyone in New Orleans readies themselves for seasonal events and festivals in their own ways. We all have our personal festival prep routines and our “must-brings” to ensure that the good times roll smoothly. Celebrate however you want, but prepare with stamina in mind, especially for Jazz Fest. With 7 days of music, sun and fun, having a few key items will make your Jazz Fest experience that much better. Here are the top 5 necessary items you must have to be prepared for Jazz Fest:
1. Sunscreen and/or hat. Don’t kid yourself. I don’t care how tan you are or how much you like looking leathery, after a full day in the sun, you’ll have to stay home for weeks. Wear sunscreen every day on any exposed skin. On day 2 of the Fest when you’re on hour number 20 of music, you’ll thank me for it. Also, bring a hat. Hats make almost anyone look cooler, and they keep that sun from scorching your face.
2. Sheet. Some people bring blankets to Jazz Fest, but I opt for a sheet. It’s smaller for folding into your bag, and it’s much easier to wash. Unless the ground is soaked from a spring-time rain, the sheet is my favorite. It will help you stake your claim, give you a comfortable place to sit and is portable.
3. Comfortable shoes. Ladies, you will hate yourself if you wear heels. Believe me. Don’t do it. I’d even go so far as to say that wearing closed toe shoes is your best bet, or wellies with tall socks if it’s raining. It’ll keep your feet cleaner and safer in a sea of people and drier when you have to use the port-a-potty.
4. Hands-free bag. We all love the fanny pack (and all carried one when we were little), but at Jazz Fest the fanny pack is not a joke. You want to dance like a mad person, and have both hands free for beer and food. This means you need a fanny pack, backpack, or cross-body bag that keeps your valuables close and your hands free.
5. Baby wipes/toilet paper. You don’t need me to detail the whys and hows of wipes and t.p. You know why. Port. UH. Potty.
I know they’re not something you can pack, but I also recommend patience and a healthy appetite, because the stages can get crowded and the food is incredible.
You can make this Jazz Fest your best yet by packing the essentials. What is your Jazz Fest essential?