NEW ORLEANS -- Four days of music got off to a jazzy start as Family Day kicked off the 20th annual Essence Festival. There was food, drink and music, and shady spots with fans were popular.
"This is my first time ever coming, and so far we're having fun," said Charles Allen of Greensboro, North Carolina. "Glad I came."
"I'm living in West Houston," said federal EEOC Judge Erania Ebron. "I've been there since Katrina, but it is wonderful to be home. I'm a native."
There was a heavy police presence Thursday in Woldenberg Park and the French Quarter, so are Essence Fest visitors worried about crime after Sunday's Bourbon Street shootings?
"Hopefully I'd like to come back, but with stories like that on the news fairly regularly, it makes me not want to come back home," Ebron said.
"I figured the police would do their job and catch whoever done it," said Allen.
Inside the convention center, it was busy as they were setting up for a big holiday weekend at the Art and Culture Marketplace.
Leroy Campbell from Atlanta brought his three dimensional art to New Orleans for his third Essence Fest, saying this should be a profitable trip.
"Oh my God, the Essence Fest will bring people from all over, all over the world actually," said Campbell.
Kisha Webster from Washington, D.C. was ready to shop for her second Campbell painting.
"I love his work, so it just takes me away, so I love the colors, I love the lessons, so I just had to come over here," said Webster. "I'm purchasing tomorrow."
Are they worried about crime?
"There's a lot of security here," Campbell said. "I don't think that has any effect on what's going to happen this weekend.'
"We can't stop enjoying life because things are happening in the communities around us," Webster said.