Praise the Po’boy: Oak Street Po’boy Festival offers variety of food, music

The 12th annual Oak Street Po’boy Festival will be held on Nov. 11 from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. The festival is dedicated to the celebration of the classic New Orleans “poor boy” sandwich. The iconic sandwich represents the humble origins of Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, and the diversity of the city and its cuisine.

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With more than 30 food vendors, the festival will be offering over 60 unique varieties of the po’boy sandwich. Assuring that there is something for everyone to eat, the festival even boasts various gluten-free and vegan options. Breads on Oak Cafe and Bakery’s all-vegan menu offers the Shrimp and Crab Cake Po’boy with Remoulade and Local Pear Slaw.

Despite the central theme of the festival revolving around the New Orleans sandwich, those who would like to opt out of a po’boy will not feel deprived. Some of the other options at the festival include Creole Homemade Jambalaya, Cajun Nachos, Fresh Cut French Fries with Garlicky Parmesan Cheese, Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo, Mexican Street Corn, Jalapeno Mac n’ Cheese and many dessert options such as crepes and beignets.

Eighteen judges at the festival will rate the different vendors to find who brought the ultimate po’boy. Past winning vendors include Ajun Cajun, Bratz Y’all, Red Fish Grill and Vincent’s.

Besides the delicious food, the festival also promises entertainment from 15 different bands. Rest assured, your meal will be accompanied by some awesome tunes, sprawling across four different stages. Oak Street shops will also welcome festival attendees, offering a variety of art, clothing and jewelry to those strolling through the festival.

Though the event is free, buying food requires the purchase of a $5 wristband. In order for the festival to run admission-free, this revenue must be acquired from the sale of wristbands. Some of these proceeds go to Son of a Saint, the festival’s non-profit partner and beneficiary. The organization works to help and support fatherless young boys in New Orleans by “providing mentorship, education, recreation, camaraderie, cultural enrichment, emotional support” for the children.

Not interested in walking the 15 minutes from Tulane University to Oak Street for a po’boy? No problem. Feel free to ride a bike if you have one as the festival will be providing free lock-up racks for guests. Better yet, take the streetcar down St. Charles, but make sure you have exactly $1.25, or download the RTA gomobile app to purchase a ticket on your phone.

Taking place the Sunday of Parent’s Weekend, the Oak Street Po’boy Festival is a great family-friendly place to go while your folks are in town. Alternatively, just grab a few buddies and head on over!

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