Living as a Local Tourist
The summer 2016 was my first official visit to the Essence Festival as a New Orleanian, a local and the experience was completely different than coming to New Orleans as a visitor I must say, still a great experience, but different. I learned so much being on the “inside”and people engaged with me differently, it was as if I was surrounded by loving sisters, cousins and Aunties.
While waiting in the long lines I was approached by several women, whom I made friends with, all had one common question, why are we in line.. The Swag Bags of course. Most asked if I was a local of New Orleans first, followed a list of questions such as, where the locals go, who had the best freebies, how to get a beauty appointment, which sessions were good for interacting with the stars, which vendor has both good food and decent prices.
Tips such as these would prevent you from wasting precious time waiting in line for a bag with coupon for $2.00 off or the vendor to run out of a product, all that time waiting could have been spent sitting in on an empowerment session.
After that experience I decided that Essence Festival needed tips voiced from a local.
I actually think all things NOLA should come from a native, not a local transplant who moved here, but a native. After much research I found only two natives who wrote about Essence Festival out out hundreds of blogs.