The Arts Market at the Congo Square Rhythms Festival
It is officially spring in New Orleans, so we all know what that means; festival time. It will be non-stop festing for thousands of locals and visitors from now until…heck, I don’t even know when. This weekend is the 2012 Congo Square Rhythms Festival, which features musicians and dance troupes “from the Congo to Cuba, from Brazil to Basin Street and New Orleans “bounce”.”
Here’s a little more from the Congo Square Festival website:
The Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival is the premier world-music event in New Orleans. Celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Louisiana, the festival showcases the influences from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America that combined in the Crescent City to make New Orleans a melting pot of world culture.
Congo Square is the location just outside of New Orleans’ French Quarter where, starting in the mid-1700s, African slaves were permitted to gather on Sunday afternoons to practice their ancestral traditions of drumming and dance. Visitors from around the world marveled at the rich culture. It was the mix of African influences with those from Europe, Latin America and elsewhere that led to the development of jazz and all that followed. Congo Square is truly the birthplace of American music.
With two stages of music and dance, plus a huge arts market, food vendors and beverages and a social services community center, the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival is more than just an event. It’s a true community celebration.
And get this; it’s all free!
If the music isn’t enough to get you out there, as the statement above reads, there will also be a huge arts market featuring crafts, clothing and handmade goods from around the word. As a matter of fact, my Mommy-in-Law, Alicia, will be out there selling handmade scarves, hats, clothing, jewelry and art from her homeland, Ecuador.
I LOVE these bracelets carved from the nut of the tagua palm. In Ecuador, it’s known as the Ecuadorian Ivory Palm. The nut is often called “vegetable ivory”, and is used as a humane and eco-friendly substitute for elephant ivory.
So if you’re heading out to the Congo Square Rhythms Festival this weekend, be sure to stop by and say hello to my Mommy-in-Law! Oh. And buy some stuff while you’re at it
Congo Square Rhythms Festival Saturday, March 24th & Sunday, March 25th – 11:00 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. both days Congo Square – Louis Armstrong Park 901 N. Rampart Street New Orleans, LA 70116 Admission: Free
P.S.! My friend (and NOLA bounce legend) Ricky B will be closing out the music performances Sunday night along with Partners-in-Crime, DJ Jubilee, The 8-9 Boys, Rebirth Brass Band and the Big Easy Bounce Band.