NEW ORLEANS - Rain and now cold - it's been an unusual Jazz Fest season in 2013. While some businesses are cashing-in on the manic weather, others haven't been so lucky.
"Its not a snoball day, its not an ice tea day, its a gumbo day," said Bob Guilbeau, owner of Prejean's restaurant.
Wet, sloppy, and cold is why people reached for a cup of gumbo from Prejean's on Friday. The Jazz Fest vendor saw a healthy rush of customers all thanks to Mother Nature.
"This is the wettest, sloppiest, coolest Jazzfest on record and its the best gumbo sales day in history," said Guilbeau.
However, the lines haven't been as long at AJ's Snoballs. Ice machines that normally work overtime on a hot day have sat mostly untouched this week.
"This is our 31st year, fourth oldest vendor at the Jazzfest. This year's just been rainy and cold," said AJ's Snoballs owner Armond Duvio. The family-run operation estimates a 60 to 70 percent drop in business because of the weather this year. But, AJ isn't throwing in the towel.
"We're not quitters. We're going to keep on rolling," said Duvio.
A similar story for Angelo Brocato. His booth isn't seeing long waits for the business' signature Italian frozen treats. Brocato says the mud and clouds have hurt Jazz Fest sales by about 35 percent.
"Its a little dreary and cold. This is the coldest I've ever known it to be. We've had some cool days other years but not this prolonged and as cold as it is now," said Brocato.
Outside the Fairground gates on Esplanade Avenue, it was a quiet start to the Friday night dinner rush at Nonna Mia Cafe & Pizzeria.
"Tonight I think the low is like 48. So most of our seats are outside. We're hoping to have some business still," said Manager Tyler Oster.
Tables are set and ready to go at Nonna Mia but chairs are mostly empty. The cafe and pizzeria is keeping its fingers crossed, like so many others, for a rain-free and sunny festival weekend.
"I think next couple of days are going to be sunshine. We're looking forward to Saturday and Sunday," said Oster.