Bayou Boogaloo comes around once again to the banks of scenic Bayou St. John in the Mid-City section of New Orleans. The Mothership Foundation is staging its 10th annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Festival over the weekend of May 15-17.
Like nearly all New Orleans festivals, Bayou Boogaloo is an exciting party with lots of live music, food, arts and handicrafts, and other sensory delights. And, best of all, admission is free!
Bayou Boogaloo swings on for three days, and stages are set up in several widely separated locations so the music on one stage doesn't clash with another. Fest-goers can leisurely stroll about, grab some great New Orleans signature food items and a cold drink, then go sit by the bayou and dangle their feet in the water while enjoying the music of some of the city's top bands.
A separate section of the festival site, on the neutral ground (median) of Jefferson Davis Parkway, is designated for craft booths where talented artists and artisans display and sell their works.
Bayou Boogaloo is a family-friendly event with a kid's stage, along with games and activities for children. Fun events usually include a 5K race, the Bayou Boogaloo Bicycle Pub Crawl, a Bicycle Second Line and more.
One of the signature events of every Bayou Boogaloo Festival for the past five years is the Rubber Duck Derby. During this event, as many as 10,000 rubber ducks are set afloat on the bayou with sponsors’ names on them. The winner gets a fabulous prize and the proceeds go toward the festival’s upkeep, via its sponsoring organization, the Mothership Foundation.
Music, Food and More
For other details about and the Rubber Duck Race go to the same links.
The 2015 official Bayou Boogaloo poster will also be selected and announced well in advance of the event.
Bayou Boogaloo is handicap-friendly, with four specially equipped Port-O-Lets onsite and designated parking facilities. The walking path along Jeff Davis Parkway has curb cuts and ramps to allow for wheelchair accessibility and stage access. Service animals for the blind are allowed. They must be on a leash and owners must observe all regulations regarding waste disposal.
About Bayou St. John
Off the beaten path and situated in one of the most scenic sections of New Orleans, Bayou St. John was once the city's "back door." In their small boats, the city’s founders in the early 1700s approached the newly established French outpost from the bayou, rather than traversing the much longer route up the Mississippi River. The waterway’s entrance at Lake Pontchartrain was guarded by a small fort built in 1701, the remains of which are still visible today.
Until the early 20th century boaters could travel from Lake Pontchartrain to within a mile of the business section of New Orleans and take public transportation the rest of the way in.
The bayou is now cut off from the lake but the present-day waterway is still ideal for small non-motorized boats, rubber rafts, canoes and kayaks. On a calm day there are no waves or currents. The bayou runs for several miles, paralleling City Park for much of its distance and on the City Park side is a scenic bicycle trail and jogging/walking path. Nature lovers can observe many types of aquatic waterfowl and colorful flora.
Bayou St. John is lined with many older and newer architecturally distinct – in some cases historic – houses and churches. Several low bridges span the canal, including the scenic, steel-frame, pedestrians-only Magnolia Bridge. In years past, the bayou banks were the sites of rituals conducted by voodoo priests and priestesses, some of which are still practiced today. Colorfully clad Mardi Gras Indians also gather there, once a year, on St. Joseph Day.
About the Mothership Foundation
The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Festival is hosted by the MotherShip Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization “dedicated to encouraging social change by bringing forth a higher quality of life for all Louisiana and New Orleans residents through the promotion of arts, culture, and recreation.”Through the foundation, large portions of the proceeds from sales at the festival go toward charitable organizations and events. In recent years they have helped replace many live oak trees destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac.