A Slice of New Orleans Culture: The Creole Tomato Festival
If you’ve enjoyed eating out in New Orleans, then there’s no doubt that you’ve eaten at least a couple of Creole tomatoes. These tomatoes are the essential ingredients in many local dishes, from shrimp creole to po-boys. And make no mistake – there is a big difference between a tomato and a Creole tomato. Creole tomatoes thrive in the rich soil and subtropical climate of South Louisiana, and you can taste the difference.
Early June is when we first start seeing the tomatoes ripen, which is why the French Market always holds the French Market Creole Tomato Festival during the first or second weekend of the month. This year, the 31st Annual Creole Tomato Festival runs from Saturday, June 10 to Sunday, June 11 at the French Market between Dumaine and Barracks Streets. Each day, the festival will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.
So what can you expect from this festival? There’s always a lot going on, but our favorite festival events include cooking demonstrations by great New Orleans chefs, the Creole Tomato Eating Contest, and food, food, food! Many local restaurants will be setting up shop along with French Market, and it’s the perfect time to sample specialties from many different places. There will also be fabulous live music at two stages. Many of our favorite local bands will be playing throughout both days.
On Saturday at the Dutch Alley Performance Stage at St. Phillip and N. Peters Street, come see Daria and the Hip Drops, the All Around Brass Band, Kelcy Mae, and Latin Jazz presented by the National Park Service. On Sunday, entertainment will be provided by Lynn Drury, Pan Vibrations, Patrick Cooper & Bob Worth, and Royal and Dumaine Hawaiians. The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint Stage will be hopping as well at French Market Place and Barracks Street. On Saturday, come enjoy Jazz Yoga with live musical accompaniment by the Arrowhead Jazz Band presented by the National Park Service, "Spirits of Congo Square" African Drum & Dance program presented by the National Park Service, the Shotgun Jazz Band, Gina Brown and Big Daddy O. On Sunday, don't miss the Washboard Chaz Blues Trio, Smoky Greenwell, Robin Barnes, and Little Freddie King.
For event times and other information, click here. As always, share your pictures from the festival with us on Facebook.