Cajun Legend D.L. Menard Headlines 11th Annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival

Zack Smith
D.L. Menard - a legend of Cajun music at age 85 - will headline the 11th annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, June 24-25 in Armstrong Park.

NEW ORLEANS – The 11th Annual Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival – New Orleans’ only festival that features exclusively Cajun and zydeco music – takes place Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25, in Armstrong Park in downtown New Orleans. Admission is free.

         “This festival contains the greatest collection of Cajun and zydeco artists for any festival in the city and perhaps the state,” said Charles Laborde, host of “Lache Pas,” the weekly Cajun and zydeco show heard on WWOZ-FM.

         The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival will present a lineup that includes many of Louisiana’s most beloved Cajun and zydeco performers. This year, two illustrious artists who haven't played the festival in a while will be returning: the legendary D.L. Menard with the Jambalaya Cajun Band, and Grammy winner Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band. Other performers will include Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Les Freres Michot, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots and Bruce Daigrepont's Cajun Band.

         There will also be food, a large arts market, activities for kids and lots of misting fans to keep everyone cool, event organizers said.



         Ever wonder how Cajun filé powder – the spice that makes gumbo taste like gumbo – is made? Or how Cajun accordions are built? For the first time, the festival is presenting live demonstrations of these and other Louisiana traditions in the new Folk Life area – which will be staged in the historic Congo Square section of Armstrong Park.



         Also new this year, there will be a food area in Congo Square just for desserts – including Italian ice, popsicles, ice cream and other cool treats.



         The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival takes place in Louis Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart St.



         The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) bus route No. 91 passes directly in front of Armstrong Park. The fare is $1.25 each way.



         Bike Easy will set up a bicycle valet at Armstrong Park, so attendees can ride to the festival and park it safely – for free.



         The parking lot at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre isn’t available. But, event organizers said there will be plenty of parking all weekend in the lot of Basin Street Station (located at 501 Basin St., just across from Armstrong Park by the old Winn-Dixie) for $20 per vehicle per day.



Saturday, June 24:

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.    Les Freres Michot

12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.     Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.       Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.       Lost Bayou Ramblers

5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.       D.L. Menard with the Jambalaya Cajun Band


Sunday, June 25:

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.    Bruce Daigrepont's Cajun Band

12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.     Cedryl Ballou & the Zydeco Trendsetters

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.       Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.       Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers

5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.       Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band



         There will be a huge crafts fair, with 25 of the best artisans in the region selling hand-made art, jewelry and other crafts.



         It's the season for seafood, so that's what the festival’s diverse group of food vendors will be serving up. Louisiana oysters, shrimp, catfish and crab are on the menu plus a lot more. With 10 vendors of savory entrees and four for cool and refreshing desserts, there's a taste of something for everyone. And if you're looking for sweet cold treats, make sure to check out our "Dessert Oasis" in Congo Square – it's where all dessert vendors will be, with ice cream, snoballs, popsicles, Italian ices and more.



         Yes, it's hot in New Orleans in June. But festival organizers said they will help keep attendees cool as they boot-scoot to the two-step beat with a half-dozen misting fans provided by Mist Works.



         The Kids Tent is where parents can let their children enjoy supervised creative activities while they boogie to the music. Workshop sessions will include making corn collages, butterfly fans, an explorer journal and colorful drawings, plus face-painting. The Kids tent will be open from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days of the festival.



         The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival is a free event. Festival organizers said donations are gratefully accepted, and to keep this and their other events free, attendees are encouraged to patronize festival food and beverage vendors. Except for those with specific dietary restrictions or special needs, attendees should not bring coolers or ice chests with outside food and beverages. Camp chairs or folding chairs are welcome. No pets allowed.



         Attendees will not be allowed to record any audio or video of any performances at the festival.



         The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival recycles. Attendees are asked to use the designated receptacles for your plastic and aluminum disposables.


         The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival is produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

         Event co-sponsors include:


• Abita Brewing Company

• Acadian Ambulance Service

• Arts Council of New Orleans

• ArtWorks: The National Endowment for the Arts

• Louisiana Division of the Arts

• Louisiana Lottery

• Louisiana Office of Cultural Development

• Mist Works

• New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.

• Peoples Health

• WWOZ 90.7FM


         For more information


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