This weekend, the Gretna Heritage Festival is one of the ways to catch a sample of music that we don’t usually get in the New Orleans area. It’s a classic suburban festival that’s heavy on vintage and legacy bands – Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire (drawing us there on Friday night – “party on”), ZZ Top, Blood Sweat & Tears, … – plus a diverse sampling of local musicians & bands. The feel of the festival is kind of old school, too – carnival rides and an area that feels a bit like a midway.
There are two bits of lagniappe associated with this festival that don’t have anything to do with music. The first is the location. It’s all set up in the heart of Gretna, so you get to wander around in some of the historic parts of old Gretna.
The other lagniappe is getting to or, more interestingly, getting home from the festival. For the weekend, they re-route the Canal Street Ferry to the Gretna landing (It’s usually Algiers Point). The route takes it along the riverfront and under the Greater New Orleans Mississippi River bridge. The ride is sublime. On the way back to the East Bank after the festival you get to motor under the lighted bridge and along the riverfront at night.