We celebrate well in New Orleans. Jubilee is our forte, and we delight in decadence. Often overlooked in the revelry, however, is the party’s historical context. For instance, did you know that when you sit and order a drink at the new Southern Food and Beverage Museum on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, the very bar at which you’re served is a historical landmark? Created between 1852 and 1871, the Bruning’s Restaurant bar has gone on to survive multiple moves and even inundation during Hurricanes Georges and Katrina before enjoying a complete restoration in the Central City Museum, adding to the areas exceedingly rich cultural cache.
This weekend marks the annual Central City Festival, a celebration of music, art, architecture, and food. Running Saturday from 11:00am to 6:00pm on Oretha C. Haley Blvd between Felicity and Terpsichore, the fest will feature an amazing line up of performances, including a Brazilian dance parade, and Big Freedia will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people twerking at once.
The festival runs in conjunction with the monthly OCH Art Market, which will bring an incredible group of local artists, offering handmade goods, vintage jewelry, clothing, and more.
Posing a potent question about preservation and renovation, The Faubourg Lafayette Neighborhood Association will offer free tours throughout November 15, featuring 8 historic homes and property for sale around the festival. The tour begins at the OCH Art Market / Church Alley coffee bar where visitors can stop in and pick up maps. The Preservation Research Center will be on site providing a history of the neighborhood plus information on tax credits and other financial incentives to purchase property in Central City. A full listing of all properties for sale in the area will also be available.
Prospect 3 has three exhibits on O.C. Haley Blvd. that will be open for viewing this weekend, including an outdoor installation at Divine Community Altar. (1220 OC Haley Blvd.), at ASHE (1700 O.C. Haley Blvd) and at C.A.N.O. (1301 O.C. Haley Blvd).
And, Central City has seen a surge in community gardens, of which six will be on the Historic Home Tour and staffed with growers to explain their missions and Fall crops.
With cool weather on the way, it may just be the perfect time to get out and enjoy some history, some music, some New Orleans.