The 20th anniversary of the Gretna Heritage Festival was a hit, complete with picture-perfect weather. Throughout the day, you could hear the crowd talking about the gorgeous weather.

Each year, the three-day event has become bigger and better. But most of all, there was something for everyone. There was a German beer garden, craft vendors, rides, games and a free shuttle that put you off directly at the entrance.

Mark Graves, of Gretna, brought his son, Gage Graves, 3.

“We only live a few blocks away. He loves the fun rides. Later, I went on the levee and listened to Paul Rogers of Band Company. He was good,” Mark Graves said.

Jorge and Tiffany D’Avanzo, owners of Cake Things and More in Harvey, had to tag-team today with their son, Noel, 4. Tiffany worked, and Jorge decided to bring their son to the festival. This wasn’t D’Avanzo’s first time coming to the festival, but it was his first time bringing his son.

“Since Noel has been doing good in school, he had a choice to go to the festival or the Saints game. He chose both,” D’Avanzo said.

Jude Lutz, 14, decided to enjoy the day with his cousin, Dana Heck , also 14.

“My soccer team canceled the game, so I decided to come to the festival and make the best of the day,” Lutz said.”

After they purchased a funnel cake, Lutz and Heck caught Lynyrd Skynyrd’s performance.

It was truly a “Gretna Fest-Like You’ve Never Seen Before!”

Thanksgiving basket registration to be held

The Thanksgiving Holiday Basket Giveaway registration for residents of Gretna, Terrytown, Harvey or Marrero will be held Nov. 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the American Legion Post 64 Hall, Mel Ott Park, 2301 Belle Chasse Highway, Gretna.

Also, donations are still being accepted for the baskets. For information, call Jerry Dean Meyers, president of the Benefit Holiday Food Drive, at (504) 361-1941.

Behrman High Class of 1969 to hold reunion

The Behrman High School Class of 1969 will hold its class reunion Oct. 25 from 8 p.m. to midnight at the New Orleans Ladies Ballroom, 1771 Stumpf Blvd., Gretna. The cost is $50 per person. The event includes a four-hour party with full party buffet, open bar and a DJ playing the oldies, but goodies.

For information, contact Lou Dieterich at (504) 366-7026 or

Yetoria Lumpkin DeShazier writes about the people and events in Algiers and the West Bank. Contact her at or call (504) 367-0905.