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Soul Fest comes to the Audubon Zoo

New Orleans musician
Photo credit: Larry Johnson

Join AARP and enjoy authentic soul food and Creole cuisine while listening to Jazz, Gospel and Blues at Soul Fest.

Soul Fest goes beyond the usual festival-type fair by highlighting the achievements and heritage of African Americans, and it promotes healthy living via a health fair offering free screenings. Stop by the AARP Community Resource Center booth and find out what volunteers are doing in New Orleans.  Biking for Boomers, Soul Steppers Walking Clubs, Driver Safety, Tax Aide -- there are many ways to connect with people who enjoy the same things you do!

Held annually on the first weekend in March at the Audubon Zoo, Soul Fest is a celebration of African American food, music, crafts and culture. This year's 10th annual Soul Fest will be held March 2-3 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Admission is free with paid general admission to the zoo. Audubon Institute members are admitted free.

At the Children's Global Playground, children of all ages will enjoy hands-on fun through painting and sketching. Kids will be treated to the sounds of African drum music performed by local musicians, and this area also features an inflatable jumper for toddlers.

Begun in the early 2000s, recent Soul Fests have presented such talented artists as trumpeter extraordinaire Irvin Mayfield, gospel great Yolanda Adams, the Hot 8 and Rebirth Brass Bands and a number of uniquely New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Big Chiefs. Festival goers will enjoy live music including Jazz, Gospel and Rhythm and Blues, plus a special second line, Greek steppers and a special African American Tribute during the 10th Anniversary celebration.

Local artisans showcase their original handmade crafts such as jewelry, art, stationery, frames and more, all of which are available for purchase.

Restaurants and caterers specializing in Creole cuisine and authentic soul food offer such tasty dishes as smothered pork chops with greens, fried Louisiana alligator kabob, Southern-fried chicken, Jamaican chicken with vegetables, pork chop po-boys, hot sausage po-boys, turkey legs, sweet potato pies and other delicious treats.

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