http://www.fqfi.org

With just over 2 months to go, preparations are now underway for French Quarter Festival 2009. As the largest free music festival in the South, French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is proud to showcase the finest music, food and culture that is uniquely New Orleans.

This year’s festival will feature over 250 hours of free music across 18 stages throughout the historic French Quarter. With over 700 local musicians, every genre is represented. From traditional and contemporary jazz, to rhythm and blues, New Orleans funk, Zydeco, to brass bands, folk, opera and gospel, there is truly something for everyone.

Festival-goers are also invited to participate in other free activities throughout the three-day weekend and are encouraged to explore all that French Quarter Festival has to offer. Special events within the festival include the opening parade, the World Championship Oyster Eating Contest, Battle of the Bands, Dancing at Dusk, historic courtyard tours, the International Music Colloquium, family-fun activities at Children’s Headquarters, the World’s Largest Jazz Brunch, and free admission all weekend long at Preservation Hall โ€“ the newest stage of French Quarter Festival. In addition, the kickoff party and fundraiser ‘TGIF’ (Thank Goodness it’s Festival!) party takes place the evening of Thursday, April 16th. Tickets are only $50 and the event is open to the public.

Attendees can also expect to see more great food and drinks, as there will be over 70 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint. Participants in ‘The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch” will be showcasing local cuisine from the area’s finest restaurants, some of which have been loyal vendors since the festival’s inception 25 years ago.

Out-of-town festival goers are encouraged to book their travel accommodations now, as many area hotels have reported that they are enjoying strong reservations. As always, there is no finer time to visit New Orleans as the Spring, especially during the weekend of French Quarter Festival โ€“ the largest free music festival in the South. April marks the start of the festival season in New Orleans and a month of beautiful weather.

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