15th Annual Gretna Heritage Festival A Huge Success

Gretna Heritage Festival photos

The 2009 Gretna Heritage Festival is now part of the history books, and despite the fact that Sunday was dreary and rainy, I’m sure that another new attendance record must have been set.  After spending 3 days on the festival grounds, I didn’t even come close to seeing or hearing everything, but I did get a really good sampling of food, music and fun.

Storyville Stompers @ Gretna Fest 2009

The festival opened on Friday afternoon to a queue of waiting people and more continued to arrive in a steady stream throughout the evening.  Lines quickly formed at the various food booths around dinner time and the arts and crafts vendors seemed to be doing a steady business.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and I’m sure that any previous records for one day attendance were smashed.  By the time the sun set, it was getting difficult to make your way through the streets because there were so many people.

It’s a good thing Saturday was so fabulous, because Sunday dawned full of clouds, rain and overall dreariness.  That didn’t keep the die-hards from coming out though, and after the Saints finished trouncing the Jets (GEAUX SAINTS!), even more people showed up to help close out the festival.

The ferry from Canal Street ran back and forth all weekend and most of the trips were at full capacity.

Gretna Fest 2009 - Gretna to Canal St Ferry Arts and Crafts

We found some fabulous Tshirts, posters and other art, lots of home decor and if you’re a fleur de lis fan that couldn’t find something you loved there…well, there just might be no pleasing you!

Gretna Fest 2009 Gretna Fest 2009


Gretna Fest 2009 Day 2 087

Gretna Fest 2009 Day 2 041

Local artist Terrance Osborne was on hand Saturday, signing prints of some of his most popular pieces.

Gretna Fest 2009 Day 2 085 Gretna Fest 2009 Day 2 052

Posters, books, art, jewelry…something for everyone, including good stories if you took a few minutes to stop and listen.  The ladies below are the authors of the books they were selling and were a delight to visit with!

Gretna Fest 2009

While people came from all over (we met the nicest folks from Kentucky hanging out in the Italian Village), true West Bankers were showing their pride and snapping up clothes with our different communities on them.  Pssst…..will someone please make an Algiers shirt for next year??

Gretna Fest 2009 - Tshirts by Marc Burmaster Gretna Fest 2009 - Gretna Tshirts

Gretna Fest 2009 Gretna Fest 2009

Games and Rides

With pay one price wristbands on Friday evening and Sunday evening, the kids were bouncing from one ride to the next.  There were also many carnival games for them to play (to the chagrin of many moms and dads, I’m sure) in that quest for a “big prize”.

Gretna Fest 2009 Gretna Fest 2009

Gretna Fest 2009

And the food – OH, the food…I gained 10 pounds just walking through the streets. OK, so maybe I sampled a few things here and there 🙂  If you didn’t leave full, shame on you.

Crawfish pies at Gretna Fest 2009 Gretna Fest 2009

funnel cake Monroe St Cafe booth at Gretna Fest

Chargrilled oysters from Red Maple chicken on a stick

Gretna Fest 2009 Gretna Fest 2009 - BBQ shrimp

Gretna Fest 2009 Day 2 108 Italian sausage

Meatball sandwich from Lido's Restaurant Gretna Fest 2009 - muffaletta from Sailey's PoBoys


The biggest draw for the festival, though, is the music.  Kerry Brown (who also is responsible for scheduling the Back to the River bands) always does an outstanding job of booking a wide variety of acts, and this year was no different.  While I didn’t make it to some of the biggest draws (Kool & The Gang, Chicago, Jo Dee Messina) I did manage to wander enough to hear some great tunes every day, especially from our local bands and artists.

Gretna Fest 2009 - Soul Rebels Gretna Fest 2009 - James Rivers Movement

Gretna Fest 2009 - Cowboy Mouth

Gretna Fest 2009 - Aaron Foret Gretna Fest 2009 - Chicken on the Bone

Gretna Fest 2009 -Na Na Sha Gretna Fest 2009 - Rockin Dopsie

Gretna Fest 2009 - Louis Prima Jr Gretna Fest 2009 - Los Lonely Boys

Gretna Fest 2009 - Jenny Brooks Gretna Fest 2009 - John Mooney

Gretna Fest 2009 - The Yat Pack

What a weekend!  Thanks to all of the organizers and volunteers who make this event possible, with a special thanks to Dodie Rackley for helping me get access for all of my photos..  I hope to see you back at the Fest next year….

This is just a sampling of the pictures from the festival.  Click here for more photos of the 2009 Gretna Heritage Festival.   I’ll be slowly adding them over the next couple of days, so check back later!

2 Responses to “15th Annual Gretna Heritage Festival A Huge Success”

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  1. Julia Bourgeois says:

    My son so a t shirt on someone on TV watching the Saints game. He lives in Fort Lauderdale. Someone told him it came from the Gretna Fest. this year. It was a gold shirt with a fleur de lis on it that said Westbanker he is a die hard Saints fan and would love to sport this shirt. Could you tell me the vendors name that sold these shirts.. Thanks

  2. lisa says:

    Julia, those Tshirts are from http://byBurm.com. Unfortunately, you can’t order them online yet, but you can email Marc Burmaster at marc@byburm.com with your request. Good luck!!

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