This past weekend was the 4th annual Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival. The festival is run by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the same organization that runs Jazz Fest (officially known as the Jazz and Heritage Festival). The Blues and BBQ Fest is held in Lafayette Park (unofficially known to some locals as “that park between St. Charles and Camp near Poydras” ). Lafayette Park is a great venue. It’s a grassy, tree-filled park in the middle of the CBD. Very refreshing.

It also has cool statues for kids to climb on.

Attendees quickly established the unspoken Jazz Fest seating agreement, according to which people set up their portable chairs in loose rows with the occasional walking path that runs through.

Because the festival is still young, the BBQ representation was not strong. The Joint and Walker’s were there, but both were sold out when I arrived later in the afternoon. I had to settle for a hot sausage poboy from Vaucresson’s Sausage Company.

I supplemented that with a praline cupcake from Loretta’s ”” this is a nutty, yellow cupcake with praline smeared on top. Highly recommended.

The good news is that there is no beer monopoly as at Jazz Fest. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I once heard from a local winery that when Jazz Fest was first being established, they signed exclusivity contracts for an extended period of time with some of the big distributors. It’s unclear whether or not that’s true, but it is certain that the exclusivity continues. It’s also a fact that I’m not the only one concerned. This is an Abita Restoration Pale Ale.

The music was also great. Saturday night ended with a set from legendary bluesman Taj Mahal.

The next Foundation-sponsored event to keep an eye out for is the Fiesta Latina at the Old U.S. Mint on November 13.