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The Central City Festival highlights the cultural district centered around Oretha Haley Boulevard with live music, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, delicious cuisine, and even a health fair.
The free one-day festival is held annually in November on the street made famous in the years leading up to the Civil Rights movement when black musicians, including legends such as Buddy Bolden and Professor Longhair, set up shop along the Central City thoroughfare after being barred from other venues in the city.
From New Orleans bounce to lively second lines, the festival features a vast range of local music on several stages as well as a street dance party. In 2014, led by Big Freedia, the festival set a world record for most people twerking at once. There is also a youth dance contest and other activities for children.
Food trucks and vendors supply an array of food, and cooking demonstrations by legendary local chefs provide insight to the technique and culture around New Orleans’ classic cuisine. The health fair features various non-profits and health organizations offering information and health screenings.
O.C. Haley Boulevard runs parallel to St. Charles Avenue, and is easily accessible from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line.