Viola T. Johnson
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants & Business Association is proud to announce the 8th Annual Central City Festival. The annual fete takes place Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the 1600 and 1700 blocks of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. Festival goers will move to the thumping rhythms of a wide range of music from New Orleans bounce to rousing second line, and from contemporary to gospel. The festival is free and open to the public.
Firing up the stage this year will be the "electric soul rock-and-roll" band Honorable South, the soul-stirring First Emmanuel Baptist Church Choir, local rap/dance delight Lucky Lou with a youth dance competition, Ashé's Sistahs Making a Change dance troupe, and the Kuumba Institute kids. Brazilian dancers Casa Samba will wow the crowd with their incredible costumes and moves. Join the parade and get your second line on with the high-spirited Free Agents Brass Band accompanied by the Young Men Olympian Social Aid & Pleasure Club.
This year's festival will debut a cooking demonstration stage, featuring Chef Ryan Hughes (whose restaurant Purloo will open in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum), and other local chefs. The festival also includes a health fair, activities for children and youth, door prizes, food trucks and crafts vendors. Join us as we foresee a thrilling 8th year for this fun-filled festival.
Meanwhile, you may have heard the buzz about the Boulevard. The many years of efforts are now bearing fruit. There is a rapid succession of new openings of businesses, expansion of existing non-profits and establishment of additional cultural anchors, such as the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the New Orleans Jazz Marketplace.
Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard is a designated Louisiana Main Street and Cultural Products District. The Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants & Business Association /Main Street Initiative is dedicated to cultivating economic sustainability for the neighborhood commercial district.
Central City Festival would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, to date: Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, Chase, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Foundation, Landis Construction Co. LLC, Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank, Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Network, Latter & Blum, Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants & Business Association, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, New Orleans Musicians Assistance Fund, Perez, Hope Community Credit Union, Ryan Gootee General Contractors LLC, Church Alley Coffee Bar, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Richards Disposal.
Vending opportunities are still available, and we welcome much-needed volunteers. Call 504.528.1806 or stop by Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. for an application. For more information, visit www.ochaleyblvd.org.