French Market Creole Tomato Festival announces return as hybrid event this summer

The French Market Creole Tomato Festival is ripe for a return to the festival schedule on July 3, organizers announced on Wednesday.

For its 35th year, the festival will take a hybrid approach with events at the French Market, online programming on social media and other activities at partner locations throughout New Orleans. The annual family-friendly event celebrates Louisiana’s Creole tomato with festival dishes and unique bloody marys.

French Market Creole Tomato Fest
Photo courtesy: French Market Creole Tomato Fest

“We are proud to be offering a robust hybrid festival experience this year! We are thrilled that our offerings will include festival day at the Market, virtual concerts, and restaurant and entertainment programming partners throughout New Orleans to celebrate the 35th annual Creole Tomato Festival,” Leslie Alley, French Market Corporation executive director, said in a release.

The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market will kick-off with a second-line featuring the Yellow Pochahontas Black Masking Indians Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Club, the Black Storyville Baby Dolls, New Orleans Brass Band and the NOLA Chorus Girls. The second-line procession starts at 11 a.m. beginning at Washington Artillery Park and ending at the French Market.

The festival will also feature Creole tomato dish food booths, Creole tomatoes for sale by local farmers, and kid’s activities. Festival-goers can enjoy live music performances via the inaugural NOLA Zydeco Festival taking place at the neighboring New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint on the same day.

RELATED: Inaugural NOLA Zydeco Fest celebrates South Louisiana culture at New Orleans Jazz Museum in July

Photo courtesy: French Market Creole Tomato Festival

Several partner restaurants will also offer Creole tomato dishes from June 18 to July 16, including Gris-Gris, Cafe Sbisa and Rib Room.

In a salute to the classic cocktail, the festival has created a Bloody Mary Trail that will lead participants to more than 15 partner locations serving up cocktail creations. Those locations include Marigny Brasserie, The Eliza Jane and NOLA Caye.

In partnership with the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, the Creole Tomato Festival will also stream original performances by Grammy-nominated Louisiana artists Cha Wa and Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours, and local Grammy Award winners, The Nightcrawlers.

All virtual concerts will stream on Facebook and Instagram via the social media pages French Market (New Orleans) and the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park at 2 p.m. CST: June 30 features Cha Wa; July 1 features Cameron Dupuy and the Cajun Troubadours; and July 3 features The Nightcrawlers.

The Creole Tomato Festival plans to partner with other venues, the New Orleans Jazz Museum, the Broad Street Theater, the Beauregard-Keyes Historic House and Garden, and the French Quarter Museum Association, to offer programming for all ages before and after the festival date.

The Broadside, the outdoor screen at Broad Street Theater, will screen the 1978 horror cult classic “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” on June 29.

BK House will host Vine-Ripened Memories: A Conversation with Festival Founder Louis Costa on at 11 a.m. on July 3; tickets available in advance. At 11 a.m. Louis Costa, the founder of the original Tomato Festival, now known as the Creole Tomato Festival, will talk about the event’s origins and share memories from that era.

The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint will host a free Balcony Concert with Kris Royal on at 5 p.m. on July 6.

French Quarter Museum Association institutions will be offering discounts on admissions and in the gift shops; offers vary by location.

For more information about the French Market Creole Tomato Festival, visit the website.

See also: Top Taco festival announces return in September, moves to Jefferson Parish

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