Thousands pack French Quarter for Satchmo SummerFest

Print
Email
|

wwltv.com

Posted on August 5, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 5 at 6:36 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- With brass bands blaring and umbrellas raised in the streets of Treme, a second line helped kick off the final day of Satchmo SummerFest. It followed a jazz Mass at St. Augustine Church.

Hundreds of people, including City Council President Jackie Clarkson, paraded to the festival grounds at the old U.S. Mint. Some are visiting the Crescent City just for the fest.

"It was so exciting to come here in the midst of all this because it's just awesome, it's just totally off the chain," exclaimed Donald Wills of Atlanta.

The free fest, designed to celebrate Louis Armstrong's birthday, attracts about 30,000 people from all over the world each year.

With an estimated $7 million economic impact, it's another draw for visitors at a time when scorching heat and the threat that comes with hurricane season typically slow down tourism.

"We really have a loyal following, I've talked to people from New York, Chicago, Japan, England, and they love to tell me it's their 10th year, it's their fifth year, so we have a repeat audience and very loyal fan base," said Marci Schramm, executive director of French Quarter Festivals, Inc. "We're just thrilled, the crowds have been wonderful. People from all over the world are here, enjoying New Orleans."

The fest, like so many others in New Orleans, celebrates the city's rich culture, food and music. Many at the festival said they wouldn't miss it.

"We're all one," said Victor Duplessis of New Orleans. "It's good scenery. It's good to come out and have fun, [better than] staying home looking at TV. You come out here and meet a lot of people."

Satchmo SummerFest runs until 8 p.m. Sunday. The free fest wraps up with a trumpet tribute to Louis Armstrong, led by Kermit Ruffins. Everyone in attendance can enjoy free birthday cupcakes after the show.

 

Print
Email
|