Entertainment & Events

Louisiana Comes West for 17th Annual Gator by the Bay

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If you missed your chance to visit the bayou this year for Mardi Gras, have no fear! Gator by the Bay, the largest Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the Mississippi, returns to San Diego’s Spanish Landing Park May 10-13 for its 17th year. The four-day festival makes for a jam-packed weekend of live music from over 100 musical acts, dancing on five different dance floors and authentic southern culture and cuisine like 10,000 pounds of fresh crawfish trucked all the way from Opelousas, Louisiana.

With support from the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement program, the festival has grown to include over 100 musical acts and special performances including Grammy-winning Cajun and zydeco artists from Louisiana, legendary Chicago and California blues artists, rockabilly and roots performers and award-winning salsa and Latin bands.

The four-day festival kicks off on Thursday, May 10 with a special double-headlined concert that is not to be missed. Van Morrison fans may be familiar with the musical stylings of his daughter Shana Morrison, who is known for her pop sound that incorporates both blues and rock. Louisiana-bred Sonny Landreth who is known as the, “King of Slydeco” for his advanced slide guitar skills and unique musical style will join her.

Throughout the rest of the festival attendees can dance the days away with live performances by acclaimed musical headliners including Horace Trahan & The Ossun Express, the Pine Leaf Boys, The Revelers, Zydeco boss Keith Frank, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Café R&B, Igor Prado, Carolyn Wonderland, Mr. Sipp, Gospel according to Earl Thomas , Cabaret with Vaud and the Villains and many, many more. You can even create your own schedule to make sure you don’t miss any of your must-sees. With genres including blues, salsa, Zydeco, Cajun and country – there is something for everyone.

Food lovers also won’t be disappointed by the selection at the French Quarter Food Court, with many of the Louisiana vendors making the long haul across the country to share their authentic cuisine at the festival. No Louisiana-themed festival is complete without fan favorites like gumbo, jambalaya, po’boys and etouffée.

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Foodies will have a chance to try Louisiana crawfish, boudin sausage, catfish and alligator. For the sweet tooth? Fresh beignets, sweet potato pie, homemade ice cream, pralines and bread pudding await. Aspiring Southern chefs and home cooks can also visit the Taste of Louisiana Food Pavilion, where Louisiana and local professional chefs will host instructional cooking demos and yummy tastings of classic Southern dishes. Join Chef Patrick Mould of Lafayette, Louisiana at the demo stage to learn and taste his favorite recipes.

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Since the festival made its debut in 2001, Gator By The Bay has become an annual must-do for enthusiasts from across the U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and even Australia.

As Gator by the Bay producer Peter Oliver says, “Get ready to boogie the day and evening away on the beautiful San Diego bay. Let the good times roll at Gator by the Bay, or as they say in Louisiana – Laissez les bon temps rouler!”

Daily festival tickets and 3-day and 4-day passes are available now, with children aged 17 and under admitted free with a paid adult. To learn more about Gator By The Bay, visit www.gatorbythebay.com

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