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Ashe Cultural Arts…

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The French Market's 25th Annual Creole Tomato Festival

Media Contact:

Amy A. Kirk Duvoisin
Director of Marketing
(504) 522-2621 ext. 205 office
(504) 289-0789 cell

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, JUNE 11 AND 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

(New Orleans, Louisiana—May 26, 2011)--The French Market’s Annual Creole Tomato Festival on June 11 and 12th celebrates 25 years in 2011 as well as five years of continued partnerships between the French Market, Louisiana Seafood and Promotions Board (Louisiana Seafood Festival) and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation (Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival). This year festival-goers will be treated to cool misting and children’s activities in Dutch Alley, a new shady and breezy French Market stage near the tree-lined and fountain-filled LaTrobe Park (behind the Gazebo Café) that will feature music programmed by the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, and a 100 x 40 foot air conditioned food demo tent alongside the Flea Market, sponsored and coordinated by the Louisiana Seafood and Promotion Board.

“Our ‘three festivals in one weekend’ celebration stretches for 8 blocks along the River from Jackson Square to the Mint. If you have been kept away in past years by the prospect of June heat, have no fear this year!” says French Market Marketing Director Amy A. Kirk Duvoisin. “We have over 30 air conditioned retail shops, misting stations in Dutch Alley, plenty of shade and lots of cool drinks for sale, cafés and restaurants, music and culinary talks indoors at the air conditioned Jazz Park, free tomato tastings in several areas to keep you hydrated, plus the new indoor, air conditioned cooking demo tent alongside the French Market, thanks to the Louisiana Seafood and Promotion Board!”

The French Market Creole Tomato Festival will include everything from free tomato tastings and food lectures to circus arts workshops and culinary demos. The festivities begin at the Upper Pontalba Shops on Jackson Square where the air conditioned shops will remain open each festival day. An information tent and intermittent brass bands will be located on St. Peters Street; the festival then picks up across the street at Washington Artillery Park with public restrooms and ATMs, a welcome tent and more music; hits midpoint at Dumaine and Decatur in Dutch Alley with an arts market sponsored by Dutch Alley Artists Co-Op; children’s activities, workshops, and music, café seating and misting stations; and jazz music and culinary talks in the indoor/air conditioned New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.

At the historic French Market itself, a dozen festival food booths will be set up alongside the Farmers Market featuring Creole tomato specialties. Under the Farmers Market “shed”, additional seating plus a cooking demo stage will be set up featuring French Market District chef demos, with a special focus our permanent Farmers Market eateries PLUS the first annual Creole Tomato Eating Contest sponsored by Paseo Paper!

Favorite “tomato fest traditions” continue, such as life-size tomatoes strolling the grounds handing out tomato fans, free “Ripe and Ready” stickers while supplies last; farm fresh Creole tomatoes for sale; tomato giveaways with retail purchases; and food booths featuring Creole tomato dishes. New or renewed this year is the following: The return of Cajun-Zydeco music to the Creole Tomato Festival’s mainstage, which this year is located at Ursulines Street, between Decatur and St. Peter Street, just near the iconic yellow French Market arch; children’s activities, music, and workshops that this year highlight multicultural connections between New Orleans and the world, including Haitian music and dance, accordion music around the world from Cajun to Italian, Cuban drumming and dance, plus plenty of local features like Baby Boyz Brass Band, Uptown Musical Theatre and Johnette Downing. Also returning this year with new and familiar panelists are food lectures on both days at the Jazz Park. There will also be a cooking demo stage inside the Farmers Market featuring French Market chefs and vendors.

The Louisiana Seafood Festival and Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival will return to the Old U.S. Mint just behind the French Market Flea Market at Barracks Street, with stages inside the Mint grounds and at Esplanade Avenue. For a full schedule of the Louisiana Seafood Fest and Cajun Zydeco Fest visit

RTA riverfront streetcars are strongly recommended for travel after 11 a.m. each day. Early birds should be able to secure parking in one of three French Market parking lots along the River, at Esplanade, or Elysian Fields. Fest goers should consider Standard Parking’s new “Click and Park” program where they can reserve spots each day.


Entertainment Schedule

URSULINES STREET STAGE (near the French Market arch)

Mainstage programmed by the Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival

11:00 am to 12:30 pm Creole Zydeco Farmers

2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boyz

4:30 pm to 6:00 pm Sunpie Barnes & the Louisiana Sunspots

URSULINES ST. STAGE (near the French Market arch)

11:30 am to 1:00 pm Mary Broussard & Sweet La La

2:00 pm to 3:30 pm The Magnolia Sisters

4:30 pm to 6:00 pm Big Red & the Zydeco Playmakers

Children’s Activity area and stage: Dutch Alley Performance Pavilion

At St. Phillip and Decatur Streets; or you can enter at Dumaine and Decatur

Saturday June 11

10:00-11:00 One Mind Brass Band

12:00-1:00 Johnette Downing

1:30-3:00 KidSmart Circus Arts workshop

3:30-4:30 Hope for Haitian Children Foundation presents The Bamboula 2000 Imagination Tour

5:00-6:00 “Accordions around the World” performance and presentation by Norbert Slama Trio

Sunday June 12

10:00-11:00 Baby Boyz Brass Band

12:00-1:00 Johnette Downing

1:30-3:00 At Close Distance

3:30-4:30 Uptown Music Theatre presents excerpts from “The Wiz”, “Grease”, and more!

4:45-6:15 Cuban Garifuna music and dance with Club Renovacion 6

Children’s Activities in tents across the stage will include:

· Juggling workshops

· Caricature drawings

· Facepainting

· Bracelet making

· Visor decorating

· Secondline hanky making

Creole Tomato Culinary Talks

at the (indoor, air-conditioned) New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park in Dutch Alley

NOTE: More panelists are still being confirmed at press time; stay tuned for an update!


12:30-1:30 What is Creole Cuisine...and what exactly is a Creole Tomato? Featuring Marilyn Doucette, Executive Chef, Meals From The Heart Café and John Burns, Edible New Orleans Magazine.

4:00-5:00 p.m. Creole Tomatoes, Mirlitons, & Satsumas: Quirky and Classic New Orleans menu items. What makes Louisiana produce unique? Featuring cookbook author Dale Curry and John Burns, publisher, Edible New Orleans Magazine.

Sunday June 12th

12:30-1:30 P.M. The Tomato Tasted Round the World: Origins of the Creole Tomato and a discussion of tomatoes in a cultural context—how they are used, loved, cultivated, and appreciated in various places. Featuring Maryse Dejean, Haitian native and founder of the New Haiti Project; host of The Kitchen Sink on WWOZ-FM and local foodwriter, blogger, author, aka “The New Orleans Food Goddess”, Lorin Gaudin.

4:00-5:00 p.m. Louisiana Roots: Creole Tomatoes, Cajun Accordions, and Crawfish: How music and food mix in Louisiana culture. Featuring Ewell Smith, Executive Director, The Louisiana Seafood and Promotion Board and others TBD.