Entertainment & Events

Gator by the Bay Festival – Largest Zydeco and Cajun Festival on the West Coast

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Crawfish, Gator, and Friends

Crawfish, Gator, and Friends

Gator by the Bay is celebrating their 9th annual festival this year at Spanish Landing Park on May 7, 8, and 9, 2010. On Friday, they’re having a special “Gator by Night” event, which will feature a Blues Supper Club around the Bourbon Street Stage with Louisiana cuisine dinner and dancing. Gator by the Bay is the largest Zydeco and Cajun festival on the West Coast, continually celebrating the rich and unique culture and style of Louisiana. This year they’ve got some exciting events planned: 25 bands on five different stages, free dance lessons, and 8,000 lbs of crawfish straight from Louisiana!

The 3-day food and music festival creates an authentic and cultural experience with Zydeco, Cajun, Blues, jazz, country, and swing bands, as well as some bona fide Creole cuisine. More than 10,000 are expected to attend, all excited for the dancing, New Orleans- style costume parades, and various kids’ activities.

Rub Board

Rub Board

Around the time when rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock n’ roll began flooding the radios and night clubs, Creoles in Louisiana introduced the rub board, originally created from tin roofing and barn siding materials, to add that ‘chank-a-chank’ sound to the Cajun instrumentation. The boogie-inducing melodies and syncopated beats are now iconic to Zydeco music, and hollering “ah-yeeeee!” is nothing out of the ordinary while dancing to the energetic sounds.

A major focus of Gator by the Bay is to educate and reach out to teach about Louisiana’s colorful history and culture. This year’s festival will offer Cajun and Creole heritage and music workshops, Zydeco rub-board workshops, harmonica workshops, accordion history lessons, Louisiana fiddle workshops, and much more.

Ready to eat mudbugs

Ready to eat mudbugs

The mouth-watering eats are reason enough to attend this year’s festival. Cross-country vendors are making the trip over to provide guests with delectable cooking including boudin sausage, catfish, barbecue, crawfish etouffee, Po’ Boy sandwiches, seafood gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, boiled peanuts, sweet potato pie, and homemade ice cream. Culinary professionals will also demonstrate delicious Creole recipes such as how to make Cajun Fire Pot, traditional King Cake, and Pan-Fried oysters. This is definitely one weekend you’ll want to ignore the diets and taste-test everything in sight.

“Gator By Night” Supper Club on Friday: 3:30 – 10:30 pm
Sat & Sun: 10:30 am – 8 pm

Spanish Landing Park

North Harbor Drive, San Diego-
across from the airport
General Admission: $20 on Friday,
$25 on Saturday and Sunday
Military $15 with ID

17 and under: FREE with an adult

Parking is available on Harbor Drive at designated lots – FREE shuttle.

For a complete band line-up and schedule, visit www.gatorbythebay.com.

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