It’s still free to attend the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, but patrons who want to buy food at the Carrollton area block party now have to buy a $5 wristband.
The organizers of the 11-year-old festival announced the change in a news release Tuesday. The one-day festival honoring New Orleans' most beloved sandwich takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 22. Recent years have seen crowds swell into the tens of thousands, and organizers predict about 50,000 attendees this year.
It’s the first time the festival has required a wristband. Proceeds from wristband sales go toward paying vendors and musicians, as well as benefiting the youth mentorship program Son of a Saint, a nonprofit that helps fatherless boys ages of 10 to 18 throughout the New Orleans area. Wristbands are not required to purchase alcoholic beverages.
“We are happy to keep the festival free to enter and, in fact, we welcome everyone from our neighborhood, as well as from across the city and state,” said Min Yang, co-president of the Oak Street Merchants, Residents and Property Owners. “At the same time, we also needed to find a way to create a fund for future improvements, to grow Po-Boy Fest year over year for the foreseeable future. Piloting this wristband system, and at such a nominal fee, will help us achieve that mission and enhance this ‘only in New Orleans’ experience for everyone.”
The vendor lineup at this year’s fest includes returning favorites including Red Fish Grill, Crabby Jack’s, Boucherie and Seither’s Seafood.
The full musical and entertainment lineup:
2017 PoBoy Festival Kick-Off Second Line with Coolbone Brass Band - 10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
PoBoy Festival Main Stage presented by Blue Plate
DJ Marc Stone - 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Jordan Anderson Band - 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Robin Barnes & the Fiyabirds - 1:45 p.m.-3 p.m
Brass-A-Holics - 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.
King James and the Special Men - 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m
Wrapped up like Manouche - 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Space and Harmony - 1 p.m.-2:15 p.m.
Kettle Black - 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m
Hill Country Hounds - 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Michot's Melody Makers - 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m
Bon Bon Vivant - 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Coolbone Brass Band - 11 a.m.-1 p.m
Young Pin Stripe Brass Band - 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
SOUL Brass Band - 4 p.m.-6 p.m