Gretna Heritage Festival is no joke


Photo by Shaun Breaux

Whether you were contemplating attending the Gretna Heritage Festival this past weekend, thought it wasn’t worth your while or were unaware the festival even existed, you sadly missed out. 

There is no party like a South Louisiana party, and this weekend proved no different. Spanning across 25 city blocks, the festival had something for everyone. The fest featured its annual Classic Car Show, Gretna Fest Food Court, Gretna Beer Garden, Zatarain’s Tailgating Section, carnival rides and games and over 40 local and national music acts. 

Even the area of downtown Gretna, enclosed in the festival grounds, was lively. Just by walking down the street, people on their front porches were dancing and enjoying the night, as well as many local restaurants and bars that were obviously popping. 

New this year was the Latino Village, featuring a Latino musical stage and the expansion of the Italian Village. Just about every culture could be found, especially at the giant food tent. 

Of the events available, the concerts were the most popular. With artists like KC and the Sunshine Band, Jose Feliciano, Zebra and Rick Springfield, who wouldn’t have a good time?

Although the festival featured a variety of bands with different genres and ages, nobody said these old dudes couldn’t still rock. Springfield enjoyed himself so much, he jumped the barricade into the crowd. Performing just after his 70th birthday, he didn’t shy away from the massive crowd. One woman was so excited, she grabbed his hand just to lick it. 

Celebrating 25 years, the festival featured a poster titled “Small City–Big Heart Celebration.” Advertising the many things to do at the festival, the artwork also encouraged people to return to Gretna in order to experience and appreciate all there is to offer. 

All I can say is “thank you” to Gretna for being such an amazing host. The fest was warm, welcoming and a whole lot of fun. I will be in attendance all three days next year.