By Laura Cayouette
Though organizers set the first New Orleans Oyster Festival on a steamy hot blacktop parking lot in the French Quarter, many turned out to sample a variety of what could be the last local oysters for some time. Spotted in attendance at the Oyster Festival were NoDef favorites, Margie Perez, Gravity A's Drew Meehan and concert staple, DancingMan504.
A "Heritage" tent housed tables for the "Save our Lake / Save our Coast" Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and other outreach programs as well as craftsmen displaying beautiful wooden-handled shucking tools among other things.
Oysters were served raw, grilled, and in many dishes like eggplant au gratin. Oceana Grill's "Famous Oysters," chargrilled over an open flame and served on the half shell in a creole sauce with parmesan and romano cheese on top, created the longest line by far. No one was deterred, people ate delectables from other booths while enduring the wait.
I was only able to stay for one band, but Bonerama put on one heck of a show. Highlights included a reworded version of "Down by the Riverside" and a cover of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks." I'll admit to getting a bit weepy singing along with lyrics, "Crying won't help you, praying won't do no good." I looked around at the families enjoying local cuisine, the beauty of our culture, and hoped that there would be a Second Annual New Orleans Oyster Festival.