“Come boogie at the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, New Orleans’ best free festival that’s put together by its community, for its community.”
About This Festival
Come by the Bayou
Every year, tens of thousands of people gather at Bayou St. John in New Orleans for one of the city’s most highly anticipated events, the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo. Since 2006, this family-friendly festival has welcomed everyone of all ages to sit and stroll by the water for this free and public event. What started out as a local one-day festival drawing only a couple thousand people has now grown into an all-out extravaganza, in classic New Orleans fashion.
Over the course of three days, friends and families gather to eat, drink, and enjoy good tunes along – or even in – the bayou. Yes, many people bring or rent canoes, or build rafts, in order to float on the river all day for some fun in the sun. As a community-oriented festival, the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo features local and regional bands for their musical performances. Across any of the three stages, attendees can expect to jam out to a wide variety of genres, including blues, jazz, zydeco, Cajun, funk, hip-hop, and rock.
Festival-goers will also have a great time perusing the Marketplace. Local restaurants, food trucks, and catering services offer up delicious eats that highlight New Orleans cuisine. As a melting pot of Cajun, Creole, and soul food, New Orleans is the place to indulge in savory goodness. Expect mouth-watering eats such as po’ boys, boudin, gumbo, jambalaya, rice and gravy, crawfish, shrimp and grits, creole poutine, hush puppies, or the classic fan favorite, fried chicken. If you’re daring enough, test your tastebuds with alligator meat, or dive into New Orleans’s French roots and satisfy your sweet tooth with a delicious funnel cake or a beignet.
Aside from trying the authentic flavors New Orleans has to offer, attendees also have plenty of other options at this festival. Get a taste of other cultures and give Greek, Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese, German, or even Jamaican food a try. From pizza to BBQ, and even vegan options, there’s certainly something for everyone to feast on at the Boogaloo.
The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo also brings together the best local craftsmen and regional artisans at its Marketplace. Discover exceptional finds and treasures such as handmade jewelry, pottery, magnificent glasswork, fine woodwork, detailed metalwork, beautiful photography, vintage and boutique clothing, and more.
Rising from the Ashes
As a place that celebrates the heritage, culture, and diversity of New Orleans, the Bayou Boogaloo is a celebration of a beautiful community and its hopeful future. After the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city and community of New Orleans came together for a period of rebuilding. During that period, the MotherShip Foundation established itself as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit “dedicated to encouraging social change by improving the quality of life for Louisiana residents through the promotion of arts, culture, and recreation.”
Wanting to reinvigorate the people of New Orleans and stand as a pillar of inspiration and hope, the MotherShip Foundation established the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo in 2006 to restore its local community. Mending the fabric of the Mid-City and Faubourg St. John neighborhoods, they sought to restore and reconnect neighbors, communities, and businesses with their festival. Since its inception, the Bayou Boogaloo has enabled the MotherShip Foundation to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to various community organizations, plant new oak trees along Bayou St. John that were swept away with Hurricane Katrina, pioneer a public art initiative, and launch an anti-litter campaign throughout the city.
From the Organizer
Every year on the third weekend of May, MotherShip Foundation celebrates Louisiana’s music, art, food, and culture through the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Festival, which takes place along the historic and beautiful urban waterway of Bayou St. John. The Bayou Boogaloo was started in 2006 as a way to reinvigorate the people of post-Katrina New Orleans and to provide inspiration for rebuilding. MotherShip established the festival with a mission to restore the social fabric of the Mid-City and Faubourg St. John neighborhoods; to connect neighbors, neighborhoods, and businesses; and to provide hope for the future by creating an opportunity for all residents to celebrate the heritage, culture, and diversity of New Orleans. It was a one-day, one-stage event that attracted nearly 5,000 people. But thanks to the festival’s mission and diverse community-based approach, this flagship program has been able to experience tremendous growth over the last twelve years and has become the backbone for MotherShip to expand its programming. The Boogaloo is now a three-stage, three-day festival that attracts roughly 35,000 people annually. And Mid-City is now one of the most thriving neighborhoods in town! The festival explores New Orleans’s musical roots in blues, jazz, zydeco, Cajun, funk, hip hop, and rock. Families are made welcome with a kids’ stage for children’s entertainment and activities for all ages. The Boogaloo Art Market offers original works of art in a variety of genres from 70 of Louisiana’s most celebrated artisans. The festival also boasts 30 Louisiana food vendors, serving a plethora of original recipes and traditional New Orleans cuisine.
Bayou St. John|Moss St & N Jefferson Davis Pkwy New Orleans, LA
Saturday, May 19th