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

As several New Orleans festivals return to the lineup, the NOLA Zydeco Fest debuts as a new event celebrating South Louisiana music, food and culture at the New Orleans Jazz Museum on July 3.

With the launch of the new event, festival-goers will seemingly get a two-for-one festival experience. The NOLA Zydeco Fest will take place right across from the French Market’s Creole Tomato Festival, happening on the same day.

Sean Ardoin on Stage, Source: SeanArdoin.com

This free, family-friendly event will feature live bands and musical acts and offer authentic Zydeco dance lessons, along with access to delicious food vendors and historical exhibits in the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

Organizers say they’re excited to finally launch the event after approval from the City of New Orleans. From the sounds of Zydeco music to the smells of authentic Creole cuisine, the new fest aims to merge Southwest Louisiana and New Orleans cultures.

“This event is filled with great music and entertainment paired with great local chefs and summer cocktails! We are excited to join forces with so many culture bearers and two of the French Quarter’s landmarks: The French Market and The New Orleans Jazz Museum,” festival co-founder Gabrielle Deculus said.

Grammy-nominated artist Sean Ardoin is set to headline the event along with Houston’s “Bass in Yo’ Face” artist Lil Nathan, and Lake Charles-based band Rusty Metoyer & the Zydeco Krush. All bands will be performing live on the Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin main stage located in the New Orleans Jazz Museum courtyard facing Barracks Street.

“We have been planning this for a while to honor our Great Grandfather Alphonse ‘Bois Sec’ Ardoin and his Creole Zydeco legacy, as well as all families and friends that love to dance and sing, Gathering is important,” festival co-founder Courtney Smith said.

FlagBoy Giz, Source: NOLA Zydeco Fest

Festival-goers will enjoy a wide selection of food options, from boiled seafood and turkey legs to fresh local fruit smoothies and sno-balls. Local restaurants and food truck owners will converge at the “Big Mamou” entrance on Esplanade Avenue. Some food vendors slated to participate include Froot Orleans, Elton’s BBQ, Tasty Treat Restaurant, Pot and Paddle, Issa Snack Express, Rootz Cuisine and Sweet Thangs Designer Snoballs.

Organizers said they will release an event map in the coming weeks.

NOLA Zydeco Fest will also showcase New Orleans’ own Brass-A-Holics brass band and culture bearers FlagBoy Giz of the Wild Tchoupitoulas and FlagBoy Doogie of the Wild Magnolias as the event’s finale.

The festival takes place from noon to 7 p.m. at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at 400 Esplanade Avenue.

For more information, visit the NOLA Zydeco Fest website.