"The Soapmaster" pack blocks of Bayou Soap Company soaps for Malak Mojaddidi during the Treme Festival at St. Augustine Catholic Church in New Orleans on Saturday, October 6, 2018.  (Photo by Peter G. Forest)  Instagram:  @forestphoto_llc

Your guide to Gentilly Fest

Our top picks for with to hear (and eat) at Gentilly Fest.

by Mary Staes | October 12, 2018

It finally feels like fall! It’s perfect weather to get outdoors and go festing, and Gentilly Fest offers great local talent and awesome food, all for free. There’s a Kids Village to entertain the little ones, with performances, face painting and an NOFD Fire Truck, which all ties into the fest’s original purpose: helping first responders.

Here are our picks for what you can’t miss at Gentilly Fest this year.


Friday evening the fest kicks off at 6:15 p.m., but you still have time get there before 8:50 p.m. to catch electric jazz violinist Michael Ward on the main stage. Ward brings his energetic stage presence to the festival with a unique smooth jazz groove.


A parade in Gentilly? Yep. The parade for Gentilly Fest will kick off at 11 a.m., leaving from the Walmart on Chef Menteur Highway and ending at Pontchartrain Park. The festival’s second day highlights great brass bands on the main stage, featuring New Breed Brass Band at 5:20 p.m, Partners-N-Crime and the Big Easy Brass Band at 8 p.m. and Rebirth Brass Band at 9:10 p.m.


Sunday is the last day of the fest, but it’s when arguably the biggest star hits the stage. If you missed Michael Ward Friday, T-Ray the Violinist hits the main stage at 1:20 p.m. He brings a playlist featuring his own twist on songs you’d hear on Q93, but his stylings are smooth enough to please the older crowd as well.

R&B songstress Regina Belle, hits the stage at 6:15 p.m. to close out the show. It’s the perfect time to sway in the fall breeze to “Baby, Come To Me.”


If you’re there to get some grub, hit up one or all three of these food vendors.

  • The Wing Spot Cafe: You don’t have to wait until Jazz Fest for crawfish bread
  • The Praline Connection: The jumbo chicken wings are HUGE and seasoned to perfection.
  • The Spud Spot: Hailing from the Westbank, these potatoes are a full meal with crawfish or pulled pork options.
Ponchartrain Park
Getting there
Ponchartrain Park, New Orleans, LA, USA
Mary Staes

Mary Staes

Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether we're natives or not.

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