As if there weren’t more reasons to visit New Orleans’ Historic French Market, the 29th annual Creole Tomato Festival is scheduled in its usual slot of the second weekend in June, this year June 13 and 14 throughout the French Market District. The festival is free from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days, and will encompass the entire district, from Dumaine and Decatur Street to Barracks Street.
Of course the star attractions are the season’s luscious, found-only-in-Louisiana Creole tomatoes; special vendors will have boxes and cases of ‘em for your eating pleasure, along with a mass of other fresh seasonal produce—but the Creoles are stars of this show.
In addition to the regular Market food vendors, at press time, there were about a dozen food booths featuring the red Creole beauties on their menus, including Andrea’s, Purloo, Superior Seafood, and many more. Every year a food vendor is selected by a panel of judges for dishes that that are the “most creative,” “most traditional,” “tastiest,” and “healthiest” on Saturday (would love to be on that judging panel!). There’s a culinary stage both days with cooking demonstrations and answers to the imponderable question: “What is a Creole Tomato?”
It wouldn’t be a New Orleans festival without local music. At press time, participating bands thoughout the weekend included Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Big Daddy “O”, Stephanie Jordan, Flow Tribe, the New Orleans Nightingales, Paul Sanchez, Johnette Downin, the sazerac Sunrise Band, Rornado Brass Band, Washboard Chaz, Black Dragons, Leroy Jones, Kelcy Mae, Johnny Sansone, 101 Runners, Young Traditional New Orleans Jazz Band and the Swing Setters with Jayna Morgan plus more.
For more information go to the French Market website.