Jazz Fest

May 2, 2018   |   0 Comments

The Jazz and Heritage Festival, known simply as “Jazz Fest” has been a New Orleans staple since 1970.   Founded by the New Orleans Hotel Motel Association and produced by George Wein, Jazz Fest started as a small local festival and  has grown to be world renowned. It has been called one of the world’s greatest cultural celebrations!

The first Jazz Fest was held in the historic Congo Square. It had a gospel tent and four open stages.  300 people attended the festival, and only local acts were there to perform.

By the end of the seventies Jazz Fest was on its way to becoming one of New Orleans’ greatest tourist destinations, rivaled only by a Mardi Gras. Between 1976 – 1978 the festival expanded to two full weekends.   By the end of the eighties attendance grew to 300,000 people.  The nineties brought to life the Jazz Fest we see today. The addition of the International Pavilion brought Jazz Fest to the world’s stage by celebrating cultures from all over the world.  This unique combination of local talent and international talent puts Jazz Fest in a league of its own.

The music is not the only thing that has locals and tourist lining up to enter the festival grounds. The food is second to none.  The New York Times has raved about the local cuisine on many occasions. As locals, we would have to agree that the food is outstanding- which if you know anything about the locals in this town you know good food reviews do not come easy.

The Combination of music, food and local crafts has earned Jazz Fest four Festival of the Year awards from Pollstar Magazine.  So, if you happen to be in town this weekend there will be 12 music stages and tents for you to enjoy. Thousands of other festival goers will be paying homage to the festival gods rain or shine,  this weekend.   You may just want to stop on by and experience one of NOLA’s most treasured traditions.

Click the link below for Jazz Fest lineup.

http://www.nojazzfest.com/

Fun Facts about New Orleans

January 6, 2017   |   0 Comments

Considering that the French Quarter was settled 300 years ago there is no wonder that it has a very rich history and heritage that began when the French first landed on its shores. With a blend of old and new world charm and the combination of its French and Spanish roots, New Orleans is easily one of the most intriguing cities in the world. New Orleans and its unique traditions and lifestyle has become one of the most sought after destinations for travelers yearning for a mixture of adventure, fun and history.

Due to city’s elaborate backstory it is easy to see why so many legends lead back to the Crescent City beginning with the first auctioning of slaves in the United States. It is said that slaves were shipped in from Algeria, Africa and docked at what is now Algiers’s point. The slaves were then taken to the French Quarter and sold to noblemen at auctions.

The first licensed Pharmacy in the United States was founded in the French Quarter. Louis J. Dufilho, Jr. was America’s first licensed Pharmacist and opened his doors in the 1800’s. The building still stands today on Chartres Street and is now an extensive Pharmacy museum open to the public.

Dixie is a term used to describe some southern states. New Orleans is believed to be the original Dixie. The term came from a ten-dollar bill issued at a local bank. Since most of the area spoke French, the currency was printed in English on one side and French on the other side. Dix means ten in French and people began to call New Orleans Dixieland.

New Orleans is not only home to many firsts in the United States it is also home to some of the oldest locations in the country. Located on the world renowned Bourbon Street (named after a ruling class family in France, not the drink that made it famous) sits Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar. The Bar is not only famous because it was owned by the Pirate Jean Lafitte and his brother, it is in fact the oldest bar in the United States. Rumored to be a haunted location in the French Quarter it became a favorite spot for many locals and visitors, including Tennessee Williams.

Tennessee Williams is not a first or an oldest, but he is a part of the city’s culture where he lived and wrote masterpieces. His inspiration for A Streetcar Named Desire were the street cars that passed in front of his window and still rolls down the streets of New Orleans.

The awe-inspiring St. Louis Cathedral, which is explained in great depth on a previous blog, is another record breaking first. It is the oldest cathedral in the United States and has an history as impressive as the square it sits inside of.

Many histories and mysteries can be discovered on a journey through the French Quarter. Join Adventures in New Orleans and let one of our experienced tour guides take you there. Check back soon for more interesting information about one of the most intriguing places on the globe.

Jackson Square

November 17, 2016   |   0 Comments

jackson-square

Jackson Square is one of the most noted locations in the French Quarter.  It is home to some of New Orleans’ most prized structures.  It is often depicted as the symbol of the city.  The square is as unique as the rest of the city and no doubt a must see on your to do list.

Catholicism has been part of the French Quarter’s fabric since it was settled by the French.  It was considered the state religion of France and up until the late 1850’s it was illegal to practice another religion in New Orleans. New Orleans is home to the second largest dioses in the United States.

It is not surprising considering the city’s deep roots with the Catholic religion that it is home to the oldest cathedral in the United States.  The St Louis Cathedral, named for the French King Louis XI sits majestic in Jackson Square. It is one of New Orleans’ most prominent landmarks.  Many individuals are buried under and inside of the cathedral, including men of the faith and wealthy parishioners. Located in different places around the building you can read the names of those individuals, while being mystified by the sheer beauty of the architecture. 

The Presbytere, which sits next to the Cathedral is another main location in Jackson Square.  Its original intention was to house the clergy, since the site of the building was the location of the rectory.  It was used for commercial purposes until 1834 when it was used by Louisiana’s Supreme Court. In 1911 it became part of the Louisiana State Museum and is considered a national landmark.

The Presbytere’s twin, the Cabildo sits on the opposite side of the Cathedral. The Cabildo has many claims to fame, including being the first Mayoral home in New Orleans and the site of the first jail in New Orleans.  The original jail door can still be seen outside the building today.  It was also the location where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803.  In 1911 along with the Presbytere, the Cabildo became a Louisiana State Museum.  It holds Napoleon Bonaparte’s death mask as one of its prized artifacts.

No story about Jackson square can be complete, without mentioning the man the square was named after.  Major General Andrew Jackson, considered to be the hero of the battle of New Orleans.  Jackson, the seventh President of the United States and the founder of the Democratic Party is a vital part of Louisiana’s history. He is forever cemented in the front of the square on top of his beloved horse named Hurricane.

While Jackson square is home to so much of New Orleans history, it is home to so many present day characters.  You can see street performers, palm readers, musicians and artist all sitting out there to make your experience one you can only find in New Orleans.

Let one of our experienced guides take you on a trip to see the marvels that not only Jackson Square holds, but the entire city of New Orleans.

The French Quarter (Part 1)

November 7, 2016   |   0 Comments

french-quarter-building

New Orleans’ French Quarter is one of Louisiana’s most sought after destinations.    It mixes the old with new in a seamless way that leaves locals and visitors intrigued.  While it has jumped head first in modern times, it still holds on tight to its roots and its unbelievable history.  New buildings sit near some of the oldest buildings in America and they all just seem to fit.  With shops and restaurant as far as the eye can see and a nightlife beyond anyone’s wildest dreams it is a tourists’ play land.  Looking at the bustling area now it is hard to imagine that it was once just deserted land along a river. 

That all changed when Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville found a piece of land along the Mississippi River and decided to settle the area which is now known as the French Quarter.  Once upon a time the entire city of New Orleans was made up of the 13 city blocks that make up the world-renowned French Quarter.  Even today it feels like an entire world is inside of 13 blocks.

Named because it was the original French settlement, the French Quarter is the highest point in New Orleans sitting 2 feet above sea level.  Once it was known as high ground and a safe place to evacuate to.  The buildings are also structured to protect each other from the forces of hurricanes.  Yet, hurricanes were not the only things the buildings protected against.  All the structures in the area are built up to the sidewalk with courtyards in the back.  They were built that way to protect against invasion.  Woman and children were sent to the courtyards, while men were on rooftops, balconies and windows, armed and ready to protect.

During its 300 years, the French Quarter has seen four flags flown over her.  The French flag from 1718 until it was sold to Spain in 1762.    The Spanish flag flew for 40 years until New Orleans was again under French control in 1802.  The French sold New Orleans for the last time on December 20, 1803 when it was sold to the United States.  The United States flag would be the flag flown over New Orleans from that point on, except for a period during the civil war when the flag of the Confederate States of America made her mark.

Because of the cities rich history and culture there is so much to see and learn here about those that came before us.  In three hundred years, a lot of stories, legends and history can be made.  Join us again to learn more about this unique culture and great city we call home.  If you are ever in our area let one of our experienced tour guides, knowledgeable in all things New Orleans, take you on an adventure of a life time – First stop the French Quarter!!

From NFL Dreams to Canal Street

March 8, 2016   |   0 Comments

Mike CoxThe Mike Cox Story By Krystral Cooper Christen

One morning I walked in to a tour center to take a city tour, and I ran across one of the most colorful individuals I have ever met. He was so loud and charismatic I almost thought he was putting on a show. He seemed so comfortable selling various tours in and about New Orleans. I thought to myself as I listened to him that he must have done this for a long time. I soon realized he had only been in New Orleans five short years and had never been in the tourism business before then.

Read the whole article at Where Y’at!