Gretna Amphitheater Officially Opens for the Back to the River Concert Series

Gretna Amphitheater

You know that fall is near when the buzz on the West Bank is all about the Gretna Heritage Festival and you block out your Friday nights for the Back to the River concerts.  In years past, the levee was covered in blankets for the free concerts, but this year the City of Gretna has stepped it up more than just a notch with the official opening of the amphitheater on the river batture next to the ferry landing at Huey P. Long and the Mississippi River.

Gretna LA Amphitheater

We got there early on Friday night, before the stands filled up and all of the good spots were taken.  The seating is so impressive and can seat hundreds without the need for them to drag their folding chairs down to the site (as a matter of fact, chairs are not even allowed in the seating area).  Then there is the grassy area for additional seating and a sandy section in front of the stage…plenty of room for everyone who wants to enjoy a Friday night by the river with the breeze blowing.

Fireboat against the New Orleans skylineNo sooner were our chairs set up, the fire boat began cruising up and down the river behind the stage, spraying huge plumes of water up towards the sky against the backdrop of the city of New Orleans skyline and the Crescent City Connection bridge.  What a spectacular view!

Gretna Amphitheater - official ribbon cutting!Before the Bucktown Allstars took the stage all of the Gretna officials were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Mayor Ronnie Harris gave a wonderful speech, welcoming everyone to the concert series and encouraging people to support Gretna businesses.  It was also announced that the change in route for the Gretna Ferry has been approved (thanks to much work from city council member Belinda Constant) and the ferry will begin traveling between Gretna and Canal Street permanently.

Bucktown Allstars After the ceremonies, the Bucktown Allstars performed to a packed house.  Even an hour into the show, people were still streaming into the amphitheater.

RainbowThere were a few clouds, but no rain and what better sign of things to come than the rainbow that made a guest appearance before the sun went down.

Gretna Amphitheater Back to the River celebration

The concerts started early this year (they don’t usually begin until after Gretna Fest), so we have a couple of extra weeks to enjoy music, food, drinks and friends – all right here on the West Bank.  Here’s the schedule of performers for the rest of the series.  They didn’t forget about the first Friday in October…that’s the kick off day of the Heritage Festival and we’ll be out there for the entire weekend!

Back to the River 2009 Concert Series scheduleI have to say how impressed I am with the quality of events and entertainment put on by the City of Gretna.  My hat is off to them for putting the residents tax dollars to work in such a positive way and making it a great place to live and play.  See you next week at the river!

City of Gretna
Gretna Heritage Festival
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  1. Barbara Perkins says:

    I recently went to the Gretna Festival and watched a band “the Medics” at the amphitheater. This was my first time. It gave me goosebumps to see the sight of our beautiful city in the background and the ferry boat coasting down the Mississippi River with a load of people and the band playing the Beatles music was just a lovely sight. What a wonderful addition. It was a beautiful sight.

  2. Mark Roane says:

    I enjoyed the Gretna Heritage festival again this year. Seems they step it up a big notch every year.
    This year I enjoyed the Medics better than anything else I saw.
    And that encludes every top performance that was offered.
    This was my 1st time to see the Medics. And it will not be the last.
    These guys are top line performers in everyway.

    To all of the hard working people who make these festivals and concerts possible
    You make it safe and fun passing a good time for every age!
    Thanks for the memories of a great time.

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