Some know it as a Blimpie, a Gatsby, a Hoagie or a Hero, but here in New Orleans, we call these culinary wonders "Po-Boys," and in true New Orleans' style we've created a festival to celebrate them.
The eighth annual New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival will be held Sunday, November 23. Live music, arts and nearly three dozen restaurants with the city's best chefs will decorate Oak Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The New Orleans original Po-Boy has a colorful history. Often referred to as "the shotgun house of New Orleans cuisine," the Po-Boy is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Bennie and Clovis Martin. The Martin brothers left their Acadiana home in the mid-1910s and took jobs as railway operators until they saved enough to open the Martin Brothers' Coffee Stand and Restaurant in the French Market.
When streetcar motormen and conductors went on strike in July 1929, the Martin Brothers provided large sandwiches to show their support. Their generosity stretched in to the Great Depression when railway employees permanently lost their jobs. As the depression continued, many New Orleanians seized the opportunities to feed their families off of the famously large sandwiches.
Today New Orleans restaurants and Oak Street merchants remember the Martin Brothers' creation and city-wide hospitality by opening their doors to locals and visitors alike. The festival will have a VIP area that offers parking within walking distance of the festival, covered seating, and an open bar featuring Abita Beer with a selection of non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. There will also be raffles and giveaways limited to VIP festival attendees. The Kid's World, sponsored by St. Andrew's Episcopal School, will return along with a new eating area presented by Parkway Bakery.
The 2014 Oak Street Po-Boy Festival presented by Abita Beer will feature a live music, eating areas, panel discussions covering the history of the po-boy, and, of course, the best tasting po-boys in New Orleans. Admission to the Po-Boy Fest is free.
Hop on the historic St. Charles Streetcar to the Oak street stop and celebrate a legendary New Orleans delicacy. This festival is free, open to the public and fun for the family.
For more information on the festival and to purchase VIP passes, call (504) 524-8843 or visit the official website at www.poboyfest.com