One of Louisiana’s most celebrated (and delicious) annual festivals is the Po-Boy festival – taking place this year on November 24.
This is essentially a culinary fest involving freshly baked bread loaves. The inside of these sandwiches vary from the relatively mundane – cheese, ham and chicken – through to more exotic seafood fillings such as crab, tuna, oyster, catfish and shrimp. But, NOLA being the city it is, don’t think you’ll get away without some lively musical performances to accompany the sarnies!
The Po-Boy festival has its origins in a New Orleans strike in July 1929 when streetcar workers stopped work, plunging the city into chaos following longstanding rows about pay and conditions. The company in charge of the transit attempted (unsuccessfully) to break the strike amid much violence.
Two brothers, Benny and Clovis Martin, who had set up Martin Brothers’ Coffee Stand and Restaurant in the French Market earlier in the decade, sympathized with the strikers and provided them with free food for the duration. It proved quite an undertaking. “We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended,” said Benny Martin. “Between 900 and 110 loaves of bread were used every 24 hours and the restaurant was open 24 hours a day.” At the beginning, the brothers used traditional French Bread before switching to a 40-inch loaf of bread that was deemed less wasteful.
Now known as the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, the event has relocated and grown into one of NOLA’s favorite food fairs. This year, over 40 food vendors with sandwiches from restaurants all over the city will attend. Three stages of live music will see performances from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Rebirth Brass Band, Flow Tribe and Los Poboycitos. Arts and crafts will also be on display as well as a history and children’s section.
For a full breakdown of this year’s event, please check here. November is a great time to be in the city – it may be winter elsewhere but in New Orleans at that time of year you can still have daytime highs of around 68 degrees.
If you would like to attend NOLA’s Po-Boy Festival and need an airport transportation or just a ride around the town, want to reach one of the events or need to get to a restaurant or hotel – we can help you. Simply give us a call at (877) 592-2226 and we will take care of the rest.