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Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- Woody Ruiz of Woody's Fish Tacos is one of seven New Orleans chefs loading two trucks with all the fixings for a festival this weekend.

'We get about 10,000 to 15,000 a day, and they're just people that are eager for New Orleans culture,' said Ruiz.

He's talking about Bayou Boogaloo -- not in Mid City, but in Norfolk, Va. It's the same name but 1,000 miles away.

'The other thing that we bringing up is 10,000 pounds of crawfish, and that was the other thing last year, we had almost a two-hour line for crawfish,' said Ruiz.

'We were literally dancing to New Orleans music played by a New Orleans band,' recalled Lucy Bustamante about last year's Norfolk Bayou Boogaloo.

Former Eyewitness News anchor Lucy Bustamante is now a Norfolk anchorwoman, and Bayou Boogaloo has became a favorite.

'You can have all the genuine Louisiana food,' Lucy said. 'We actually were second lining around the park.'

'We are thrilled that we're working with Bayou Boogaloo this year,' said Lindsay Glatz with the Arts Council of New Orleans. 'It's been an eight-year partnership of sending New Orleans artists to Norfolk.'

'We're going to be non-stop from beginning to end each day,' said Ruiz.

And they'll be having fun, but it is also for the Arts Council, which is very important exposure for artists from New Orleans.

'It's extremely important that we export New Orleans culture, and the Arts Council has plans to work with not only Norfolk but also other cities across Louisiana and the Gulf South, and even internationally,' Glatz said. 'We just came back from Istanbul.'

Now the artists have repeat business in Norfolk.

'They really get a kick out of it, and we've cultivated over the years that we've been doing the show, so many great friendships,' said artists Forrest Bacigalupi, owner of High Water Gallery on Oak Street.

This is the 25th anniversary of the Norfolk Bayou Boogaloo, and it features seven New Orleans chefs, 24 regional artists, and musicians ranging from Rosie Ledet to Dr. John.

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