"This festival contains the greatest collection of Cajun and zydeco artists for any festival in the city and perhaps the state." -- Charles Laborde, host of "Lache Pas," the weekly Cajun and zydeco show heard on WWOZ-FM
RAIN OR SHINE All Jazz & Heritage Foundation outdoor events are “rain or shine.” We don’t cancel unless there is danger from lightning (the stage is covered, so the music can go on – just the dancers get wet), and we never postpone or reschedule.
Welcome to the 2017 Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival – the 11th annual edition of New Orleans’ only festival that features exclusively Cajun and zydeco music. The festival takes place Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25, in Armstrong Park in downtown New Orleans. Admission is free.
Once again, we’ll present a stellar lineup that includes many of Louisiana’s most beloved Cajun and zydeco performers. This year we welcome back two illustrious performers who haven't played the festival in a while: the legendary D.L. Menard with the Jambalaya Cajun Band, and Grammy winner Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band. We'll also feature a number of our other favorites, among them Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Les Freres Michot, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers and Bruce Daigrepont's Cajun Band.
We’ll also have great food, a large arts market, activities for kids and lots of misting fans to keep everyone cool.
NEW THIS YEAR: FOLK LIFE AREAEver wonder how Cajun file powder – the spice that makes gumbo taste like gumbo – is made? Or how Cajun accordions are built? For the first time, we are presenting live demonstrations of these and other Louisiana traditions in our new Folk Life area – which we’re setting up in the historic Congo Square section of Armstrong Park
DESSERT OASIS Also new this year, we’ll feature a food area in Congo Square just for desserts – including Italian ice, popsicles, ice cream and other cool treats.
LOCATION The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival takes place in Louis Armstrong Park (701 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70116).
HOW TO GET THERE The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) bus route No. 91 passes directly in front of Armstrong Park. See the route map here. The fare is $1.25 each way.
BICYCLE VALET Our friends at Bike Easy will set up a bicycle valet at Armstrong Park, so you can ride to the festival and park it safely – for free!
PARKING Alas, the parking lot at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre isn’t available. But there is plenty of parking all weekend in the lot of Basin Street Station (located at 501 Basin Street, just across from Armstrong Park by the old Winn-Dixie) for $20 per vehicle per day.
2017 LOUISIANA CAJUN-ZYDECO FESTIVAL MUSIC SCHEDULE
Saturday, June 24: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Les Freres Michot 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Lost Bayou Ramblers 5:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. D.L. Menard with the Jambalaya Cajun Band Sunday, June 25: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bruce Daigrepont's Cajun Band 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Cedryl Ballou & the Zydeco Trendsetters 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers 5:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band
ARTS MARKET As at all of our events, we'll have a huge crafts fair, with 24 of the best artisans in the region selling hand-made art, jewelry and other crafts. See the complete list of Arts Market vendors here.
FOOD VENDORS It's the season for seafood, so that's what our diverse group of food vendors will feature. Louisiana oysters, shrimp, catfish, crab, boudin and alligator are on the menu. With 10 vendors of savory entrees and four for cool and refreshing desserts, there's a taste of something for everyone. If you're looking for sweet cold treats, make sure to check out our "Dessert Oasis" in Congo Square - it's where all of our dessert vendors will be, with ice cream, popsicles, Italian ices and more. See the complete list of food and dessert vendors and their menus here.
FOLK LIFE CRAFT DEMONSTRATIONS New this year, we’re converting a section of Congo Square into a Folk Life Craft Demonstration area, where we’ll showcase some of the folks who keep alive the traditions that are closely associated with Cajun and zydeco music. They’ll be on site throughout the festival, so feel free to wander over and check out how they make their art. Our demonstrators include:
Lionel Key – file powder grinding Calvin Ardoin – stringed instrument making and repair Tim Reed – diatonic (button) accordion making and repair Blake Marks – wood carving and burning artwork Robert Johnson – horsemanship
INTERVIEW STAGE Also new this year is an interview stage where we will ask several of our performers and folk life demonstrators about their lives and what inspires them. The interview stage schedule is:
Saturday, June 24: 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lionel Key, file powder maker 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Geno Delafose 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lost Bayou Ramblers and Zack Smith 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Calvin Ardoin, stringed instrument repair 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. D.L. Menard
Sunday, June 25: 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Bruce Daigrepont 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Rob Johnson, Paint City Posse horsemanship club 2:45 p.m. To 3:15 p.m. Cedryl Ballou 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Dwayne Dopsie 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Chubby Carrier
KEEP COOL Yes, it's hot in New Orleans in June. But we'll help you keep your cool as you boot-scoot to the two-step beat with a half-dozen misting fans provided by our friends at Mist Works.
KIDS ACTIVITIES We’re setting up a Kids Tent so parents can let their children enjoy supervised creative activities while they boogie to the music. Even better, we are partnering with the artisan craft vendors at the festival to lead instructional workshops for the kids. The Kids Craft Tent closts at 6 p.m. both days of the festival.
KIDS CRAFT WORKSHOP SCHEDULE Saturday June 24 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feed the Brown Pelican! Learn about Louisiana’s state bird and its eating habits while making three-dimensional fish for the hungry pelican to eat. Ages 4+
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Crawfish or Snowballs? Create your very own crawfish pot or snow ball wall hanging with artist and painter Shaun Aleman! Some like it hot and some like it cold. Which is your favorite during the summer time? Ages 4+
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Design and Adorn with Rebecca Bordelon of Valois Designs Design and create your own beaded necklaces and bracelets to wear at the festival with exhibiting artist Rebecca Bordelon of Valois Designs. Ages 4+
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Handprint Dragonflies with Margie Tillman Ayres Dragonflies can be seen all over the swamp during the summer. Create your own dragonflies using your handprint as your guide. Ages 5+
Sunday, June 25 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Swamp Snake! Learn about different types of Louisiana snakes. First, we will paint a snakeskin pattern with bubble wrap and tempera paint onto a paper plate. When the paint is dry we will cut them into swamp snakes. Bring your snake home to decorate! Ages 4+
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Aluminum Repousse with Angel Juneau of Juneau Metalworks Bring your drawings to life! Learn the ancient technique of repousse using aluminum foil and a wooden stylus. Exhibiting artist and metalworker Angel Juneau will teach the kids to gently trace their drawings onto a piece of thick aluminum foil to give them a more sculptural appearance. Ages 4+
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Alligator Mask Alligators are the most recognizable animal of the Louisiana swamp. Create your very own alligator mask using markers, construction paper and yarn. Ages 4+
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Learn to Draw a Turtle We’ll teach you how to draw a snapping turtle! We’ll work with markers and pencils on construction paper. Learn to draw with confidence with this step-by-step technique. Ages 5+
FESTIVAL POLICIES Food, Drinks, Chairs, Pets, etc.: The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival is a free event. Donations are gratefully accepted. Please help us to keep this and our other events free by patronizing our food and beverage vendors. Except for those with specific dietary restrictions or special needs, we ask that you not bring coolers or ice chests with outside food and beverages. Camp chairs or folding chairs are welcome. Please respect our other guests by not bringing pets to the festival. Thank you.
NO RECORDING Please, no audio or video recording of any performances at the festival.
KEEP IT GREEN The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival recycles. Please use the designated receptacles for your plastic and aluminum disposables.