NEW ORLEANS — Saturday night’s severe weather was the last thing on peoples’ minds at French Quarter Fest Friday, but organizers say they’re ready for anything and will be open Sunday morning when it passes.
“We track the weather very far out and of course we build the festival to make sure the infrastructure is going to stay safe whether we having strong winds or rain,” Emily Madero, President and CEO of French Quarter Festivals Inc., said.
Madero assured Eyewitness News this is a rain or shine party and that they are always prepared. Officials get daily briefs from the National Weather Service and Department of Homeland Security. All the tents and stages are also built with large concrete blocks and water barrels securing them to the ground.
“Fortunately, we have 36 years of experience doing this on the riverfront,” Madero said. “Everything is safe and certified up to 35 miles an hour and when we do expect to have winds that are, you know – severe, what we do is we take down all of the scrims on the stages and we tape off any areas so that the public can't enter there.”
Vendors say they’re ready too.
“We bring a tarp with us to try and cover all of our dry goods and then it’s just up to the fates,” Dale Koehl, who operates the mango freeze booth for WWOZ, said.