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'Bayou Bon Vivant' festival returns to Norfolk for its 33rd year

This three-day event celebrating all things festival celebrating all things Cajun and Creole is in its 33rd year.

NORFOLK, Va. — "Let the good times roll..." In Louisiana, that's more than just a slogan - it's a way of life.

The good times are rolling in Norfolk this weekend with the return of Bayou Bon Vivant - a festival celebrating all things Cajun and Creole. This three-day event is in its 33rd year in Norfolk, although the name has changed a couple of times.

The festival features music like you'd hear in the Crescent City, including jazz, blues, and zydeco. This year's featured performers include Blues Traveler, Anders Osborne, North Mississippi Allstars, and Terrence Simien.

Featured food includes Crawfish, beignets, gumbo, etouffees, jambalaya, and much more. The owner of Cody's Crawfish told us: "They called us a couple of years ago to say they wanted, you know, the real deal, and see if we'd be interested in coming and I said I will give it a try and we've been coming out for 2 or 3 years."

The Bayou Bon Vivant also features an Arts Market with 30+ New Orleans crafters, as well as crocodile and reptile exhibits.

It was a 4 1/2 hour drive to get here," one festival goer told us. "Trust me. I'm not stopping till the music does."

New Orleans artist Annie Odell is a featured guest. One of her signature quilts is featured on this year's festival poster. She's a member of the Louisiana Crafts Guild, and has been creating art since she was a child. Odell will be on-site at the festival as part of the Arts Market, showcasing her fibers. Posters will be available for purchase on-site at the festival for $15.

Musical acts Saturday and Sunday are:

Main Stage – Saturday, May 20

  • 3:45pm – Bonerama
  • 6:00pm – Big Sam's Funky Nation
  • 8:30pm – Anders Osborne

Main Stage – Sunday, May 21

  • 12:30pm – Cha Wa
  • 2:15pm – Kings of Brass
  • 4:30pm – North Mississippi Allstars

Crescent City Stage – Saturday, May 20

  • 1:00pm – Erica Falls
  • 2:30pm – Eric Johanson
  • 5:00pm – Geno Delafose
  • 7:15pm – Cha Wa

Crescent City Stage – Sunday, May 21

  • 1:30pm – Terrance Simien
  • 3:30pm – Terrance Simien

If you're looking for the real deal in Cajun food, this is the place:

  • Quality Food international (Paella, Seafood Medley, Calamari, Frog Legs, Frutti di Mare)
  • Cody's Crawfish (Louisiana Crawfish)
  • Deep Fried (Funnel Cake, Roasted Corn, Lemonade)
  • Hammerheads (Beignets, Shrimp & Grits, Bourbon Chicken, Cajun Etouffee)
  • Veggie Soul Planet (Grilled Shrimp, Lobster, Chicken, Crabcakes, Vegetable Rice)
  • Real Cajun Cookin' (Jambalaya, Gumbo)
  • The Pie Guru (Baked Pies)
  • Strawberry Street (Bourbon Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Chicken Tenders)
  • & More!

Other entertainment and exhibits include:

  • Booker T. High School Brass Band (Friday Morning)
  • Norfolk Public Schools Chess Teams (The Bayou Chess Challenge)
  • Jack's Jungle (Reptile Exhibits)
  • Rachel Marks Tarot Reader (Tarot Card Readings)
  • Rad Hatter (Make-Your-Own Hats)
  • Voodoo Magician (Interactive Magic Tricks)

Retail vendors include:

  • Annie Odell (Fiber)
  • A Rolling Stone (Jewelry)
  • Brent Walden (Origami & Jewelry)
  • Bryant Benoit (Painting)
  • Forrest Bacigalupi (Jewelry)
  • Frances Johanson (Multi)
  • Catherine Myers (Painting & Ceramics)
  • Claudia Gehrke (Painting)
  • Lynn Jenkins (Prints)
  • Tracy Thomson (Fiber)
  • EPaul Julien (Multi)

Tickets are $10 and $15 for a single-day pass, $25 and $30 for a weekend pass, and $90 for a Boater Package.

For more information, go to https://bit.ly/Bayou23.

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