Po-boy Fest will feed stomach, soul

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Ali Angel, Contributing Reporter

In New Orleans, come Nov. 22, one can find locals munching down on their beloved city sandwich, the po’boy, at the annual Po-Boy Festival.

Legend has it that the sandwich was conceived by former streetcar operaters Bennie and Clovis Martin who stuffed meats and ingredients of all sorts between French bread and gifted the sandwiches to the streetcar and motormen workers during their strike against the streetcar company. The Martins called the creation “poor boys,” a name that lingers to this day.

The festivities kick off at 8 a.m. with the second annual Po-Boy Fest Race at the corner of Leake Avenue and Eagle Street. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oak Street, locals will be congregating, chowing down on their sandwiches and enjoying the local performers, vendors and speakers providing their services.

Feeling parched from the run? There will be bubbly available courtesy of the Abita Brewers at the Beer Garden on the corner of Cambronne and Oak streets from 10:30 a.m. until noon.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., one can also browse the Where Y’Art Market at the Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church between Oak and Dublin streets. An online shopping site and gallery, Where Y’Art is bringing its services to the streets, where one can shop directly from their favorite local New Orleans artists and discover some new gems.

After spending some bucks and gaining some calories, locals can satisfy their soul and enjoy oral histories and stories from prominent speakers at 1:30 p.m. Organized by Jerry Brock, a founder of WWOZ-90.7 FM community radio station. The event can be found at the Parish House on 1225 Dublin Street. Brock will be discussing African religious symbolism in New Orleans Ironwork while Big Chief Carl Reed of the Carrollton Hunters Mardi Gras Indian Gang will share the details of his upbringing in Carrollton, New Orleans. Other speakers include Justin Winston, also known as “Faruk Von Turk,” and Lynward “Buddy” Adams.

Any New Orleans festival would be lacking if there was no live music. Starting at 6 p.m., festival goers can enjoy the likes of the Rebirth Brass Band, Joey van Leeuwen Trip, Dave Mullen Trio and many more. Late-nighters can enjoy the after-party music of the Joe Krown Trio who will be performing from 6 p.m. until the po’boys are all gone.