Young entrepreneurs seize opportunity outside gates of Jazz Fest

A group of young kids are hawking water and Gatorade outside of Jazz Fest.

NEW ORLEANS - You can't walk that far outside of Jazz Fest without hearing it, the choir of street vendors trying to sell you an item or two, and it's become it's own show.

From keeping drinks cool, to keeping them in stock, it's quite a production.   But as New Orleanians know, this is one of the most popular festivals of the year, and that means stiff competition.

"Ice cold water, ice cold water," shouted a young vendor.

To win in this business you have to put yourself out there, and that can be an even bigger challenge when you're just a kid.

"Most people like to sit around and sell water, but if you really want to make money, you have to walk around and ask the people."

These young entrepreneurs know it takes more than time and energy.

"Like even if they don't want a water, I'll be like alright have a nice day, and even if they don't want water they'll still appreciate for you to say have a nice day."

Conditions can change from day to day, and it can be rough.

"It's hot and warm mixed together and a little bit windy."

But with hard work, a payoff can be something great.

"We're going to go restaurants, we're going to get cupcakes," said a girl selling water near Gentilly and Gayoso.

"We split it, if we wanted a game or something then we'll get it.  And with Mother's Day, saving up our money to buy our mom something, yeah we're giving our mom a surprise," said another young man across from the Fairgrounds.

But the show outside the show comes at the city's discretion.  In fact, the city requires all street vendors to have a permit. While Eyewitness News was there, we did not directly see anyone cited.  If the city were to crackdown on all these vendors, the chorus that has been going on outside of Jazz Fest for years would be toned down indefinitely.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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