Festival-goers looking forward to the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival on Oct. 22 can expect a big change to this year’s event. While entry to the festival remains free, festival organizers will require a $5 wristband to buy food from vendors.
Min Yang, co-president of the neighborhood organization that produces the fest, says rising costs and an influx of festivals in New Orleans affecting funding opportunities are both factors leading to the change this year.
“In our case, we’re determined to keep the Po-Boy Fest 100 percent admission-free so that anyone can come to the fest for the great live music and the local art and to revel in the one-of-a-kind ambiance of a real New Orleans neighborhood street festival,” Yang said.
Yang also noted there are no limitations on how many po-boys a single person could buy with a wristband.
“If you come with family and friends then only one of you needs a wristband to get as many po-boys or sides from as many vendors for as many people in your group all day long,” Yang said.
Festival attendees can purchase the $5 wristbands at any food vendor tent, along with other pop-up locations. A wristband isn’t required to purchase beverages.
Yang also says that this year’s new wristband policy will be in effect “for the foreseeable future” at the popular festival.
“It was either make it an optional wristband or an obligatory admission fee, and with a true neighborhood street festival you simply don’t charge people just to come have a good time,” Yang said.
Some participating food vendors will sell discounted wristbands in advance of the festival at their restaurant locations. A list of businesses selling wristbands will be posted on the festival website, Poboyfest.com.
A portion of proceeds from wristband sales will also benefit the organization Son of a Saint.
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