For the seventeenth consecutive year, music and merriment are the order of the day as Ashé Cultural Arts Center lights up the boulevard with musicians, merchants, authors, spoken word artists, and the community, creating an astonishing holiday family festival and marketplace in Central City New Orleans. Located in the Cultural District at 1724 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in New Orleans, the festival brings together a hefty mix of jazz, hip-hop, r&b, sprinkled with spoken word and incredible young dancers.
On Friday, December 09, Holiday on the Boulevard kicks off with the Imagination Tour. At the Imagination Tour, participating children travel the continent of Africa. Some are dressed in African attire and become dancers led by Mama Jamilah, while others take to the drums to play rhythms taught by master drummer Luther Gray of Bamboula 2000. That afternoon, the community is invited to learn more about Ashé and its programming at the annual Luncheon and Open House which will be kicked off by the marching band from James M. Singleton Charter School, where Rosemary Martin is the principal.
Meanwhile, the community is invited to sign up for complimentary guided tours of Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., led by Worldwide Concepts, Inc. Learn about the bustling changes on the boulevard, its history, and the businesses that have made it their home. Space is limited. Reserve by calling.
Then, stick around for the Ribbon Cutting and Launch of the Ashé Visitors Center. The Ashe Cultural Center has partnered with Worldwide Concepts, Inc. to bring a full-service tour & travel company to the Boulevard. The launch includes a preview of "Gumbo Nation," Worldwide's cultural extravaganza which speaks to the history and heritage of the peoples of New Orleans and South Louisiana through a narrated tribute in dance, song and rhythm. "Gumbo Nation," also free to the public, features Bamboula 2000, Big Chief Honey and Free Agents Brass Band.
But that's not all. On Saturday, Dec. 10, festival goers will be treated to live concerts, featuring world music by Rudy Mills & the Caribbean Funk Band, old favorites and dance music by Sharon Martin, gospel by The Blessings Community Choir, and the sounds of Ray Wimley & Cool Nasty, a band that literally crosses all genres. There will be a variety of one-of-a-kind gift items and delicious food from an array of talented vendors at the Holiday Marketplace.
With the exception of the Imagination Tour, all entertainment is indoors, free and opened to the public.