Emergency JazzFest Trip

After several weeks of hectic moving and selling and rearranging, we decided that we needed a little relaxation and enjoyment. Our scheduled departure for Pine Mountain GA and Coastal South Carolina was still a week away. One of our favorite annual activities is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, otherwise known as JazzFest. It is held for 7 days on consecutive weekends during the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. JazzFest has always been one of our favorite activities. It is a celebration of everything New Orleans, especially music, food and art. Over the years, we have heard many of the world’s best musicians along with many of New Orleans’s finest. New Orleans JazzFest

On the way down to New Orleans on Thursday, we stopped in Hattiesburg to have lunch with friends at Crescent City Grill. One of chef Robert StJohn’s restaurants, Crescent City is nown for it’s authentic New Orleans style of food. I had the Swamp Thing, a delicious combination of fried shrimp, jalapenos, caramelized onions, and andouille on toasted french bread. Sorry, no picture, I was hungry. The food put us in the mood for our New Orleans trip and off we went.

Just a couple of miles south of Hattiesburg, we saw a huge cloud of dust suddenly appear in front of the car ahead of us. As we slowed, we saw a truck off the road into the pine trees that line the highway. Being the first ones to stop, I went through the trees and brush to get to the cab and see if the driver was OK. He was trapped in the cab by the collapsed dashboard but was relatively OK.  We stayed until the ambulance crew arrived and extricated him and loaded him up. Once he was out and on the way to the hospital, we got back on our way. IMG_0051

Me in the blue shirt in the cab IMG_0052

 

At JazzFest, there are 70 food tents serving all sorts of traditional or exotic south Louisiana foods. The official policy is ‘no carnival food.’ There are 12 music stages with simultaneous acts on all stages. There is music for everyone. There is even a kids stage that has acts specifically geared to kids. The highlights of the two days we were there were Chicago, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marcia Ball and Elton John.

But let’s talk about the food…

With 70 vendors, and each selling 2-3 items, it is impossible to eat them all. Here is a sampling of what is offered. Some of these photos are of other people’s food. I just asked if I could take a pic.

Meat Pie

Meat Pie

Meat Pie unroofed

Meat Pie unroofed

Crawfish Pie

Crawfish Pie

Crawfish Pie unroofed

Crawfish Pie unroofed

Shrimp PoBoy

Shrimp PoBoy

Soft Shell Crab PoBoy

Soft Shell Crab PoBoy

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Stuffed Artichoke

Stuffed Artichoke

Oyster Patty, Crawfish Sack, Crawfish Beignets

Oyster Patty, Crawfish Sack, Crawfish Beignets

With the gorgeous weather and Elton John headlining the Saturday activities, this JazzFest crowd was one of the biggest ever. I would not suggest attending if you do not like crowds, because there will be crowds. While it certainly looks packed from overhead, most of these people are in folding chairs and there is breathing room for all. The only problem is that there is not much room to move around.

crowd w: text

 

Click on the pic to enlarge and really get an idea of the size of the crowd!

 

 

 

 

This leads to one of the biggest conundrums of JazzFest. On a warm 83 degree day, you need to drink enough liquid to keep from getting dehydrated, but not so much that you have to leave your spot to trek to the Port o Potty!

Jerry Lee had fun, Elton had a blast, there were skywriters in the air and it was a great day!

Jerry Lee on the big screen

Jerry Lee on the big screen

Skywriters at work

Skywriters at work in the beautiful blue sky!

Elton Rocking

Elton Rocking

Happy Times

Happy Times

After two great days at the Fest, it was time to head back to our home base and prepare for our next trip out. On our way out of town, we decided to stop for a bite to eat. Hard to believe that we could still eat after the past two days, but you do what you have to do.

Jimmy Buffet was at JazzFest the previous weekend and the weather was terrible. His flight out was grounded so he stopped at a local restaurant called Sassafras for lunch.

Jimmy Buffet at Sassafras

Jimmy Buffet at Sassafras

When he posted that picture, I thought they must have created that giant sandwich just for him. I decided to check and I ordered the same thing. Much to my surprise, it looked a lot like his! It was delicious. Great restaurant, great food, great service!

My JB imitation

My JB imitation

I also had a cup of very dark and very delicious Gumbo, while Jimmie Kay had a salad with fried green beans.

Gumbo

Gumbo

Salad with Fried Green Beans

Salad with Fried Green Beans

I promise that all posts will not be as dedicated to food as this one was, but how can you go to New Orleans without thinking about (and sampling) the fine foods.

Next post: Pine Mountain GA