Music, art, food, beer and a neighborhood filled with history.
Patrons can also enjoy food from numerous area vendors, including Barcadia, Mahony’s, The State, Louie’s Café, The Chimes, Raising Cane’s, Newk’s and Highland Coffees.
This year’s event will also have the festival’s first Halloween costume contest.
Clarke Cadzow, owner of Highland Coffees and member of the neighborhood’s merchant association, said the festival is usually held the first weekend in November, but this year it is a weekend earlier in order to attract more people.
Cadzow said the North Gate Music and Arts Fest first started because The North Gate Merchants Association wanted to have a free festival in appreciation of its customers and the neighborhood, which abuts the north end of the LSU campus.
“The whole purpose is to celebrate the history and the uniqueness of the North Gate neighborhood,” he said, noting that it is the second oldest commercial district in Baton Rouge.
Last year, the festival was canceled after the announcement that Highland Coffees was closing in December. Instead, the first Highlander Music Festival took place in November 2014. As it turned out, Highland Coffees didn’t close.
A big portion of the festival is also art. More than 20 artists booth will be on display. Local artist Emily Annabelle Koro, who has been involved with North Gate Music and Arts Fest for six years, organizes the artists.
She has seen artist participation grow since her first year in 2010. Then, the festival had only about four artists.
Koro’s criteria for an artist to be in the festival are originality and quality. Initially, there was no need to apply. But as the festival grew, artists were required to apply and send photographs of their work.
Koro has been involved with the Baton Rouge art scene for a number of years, noting art in Louisiana tends to be specific to the culture.
“I wonder always what it would be like to take all of my North Gate Fest vendors and do something in Pennsylvania,” she said. “We have a neat mixture of bad ass and beautiful down here that is unique to our culture.”