Review: Long Beach Bayou Fest celebrates New Orleans culture
The food was great, the music was great and the vibes were great!
Photo: Facebook/Long Beach Bayou Festival
31st Annual Bayou Festival delivers a taste of food, music, and Mardi Gras
By Erise Fedrick-Finn, Contributing Writer
LONG BEACH — This weekend I had the absolute pleasure of attending the “31st Annual Bayou Festival,” at Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach, Calif. The Bayou festival occurs each year unveiling a plethora of experiences to delight the five senses celebrating New Orleans culture. Truly, it was a taste of food, music, and Mardi Gras.
For someone who has never actually been to New Orleans, it was nice to be able to get the feel of what the culture must feel like; from the live jazz bands to the flavorful traditional cuisine to the lavish colorful Mardi Gras décor. The moment I arrived at the event, we met with friendly smiles and welcoming conversation from the event staff of which stayed consistent all throughout the event. The flow of the festival included a setup of musical acts all throughout the day from well-known artists and bands that provided entertainment throughout the entire two days of the event.
There was so much food and very much impossible to eat it all! (Though the thought did occur). There were so many different types of Creole and Cajun food including shrimp, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and waffles, beans and rice, gumbo and the list could go on. One of my favorite dishes to try was the French Quarter beignets. I have always heard that they were very popular down in New Orleans so to finally be able to try them in all their glory was simply amazing!
There were people of all different ages and backgrounds in attendance. It seemed to be a fun yet chill event for families to come out and spend quality time together. There were activities for all to participate whether simply enjoying the sounds of a live zydeco or jazz band throughout the day, entering into the crawfish eating contest, engaging in dance lessons or even fun workshops and water activities for the children to enjoy. It was so nice to see people from different backgrounds come together with their friends and family there to celebrate another culture. The vibe was chill and the intentions were pure.
It was awesome to speak with some of the local vendors and hear their stories of starting their businesses and gaining support from the local communities. Take the kind folks over at Delicious Beverage for example who started their “Sweet Tea & Lemonade” business just three months ago and are now on the verge of opening up a storefront. Stories like theirs are very inspiring and for them to be able to utilize their platform to spread positivity is amazing as well.
The food was great, the music was great and the vibes were great! Overall the event was fantastic and I had a wonderful time. I would definitely plan to attend again. I do want to give a shout out to all of the volunteers and event staff for being friendly and very efficient. They were all on the same page and ensured that the event ran smoothly.
Erise Fedrick-Finn is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles