Westbank Heritage Festival successfully returns over Labor Day weekend

WESTWEGO, La. (WVUE) – The Westbank Heritage Festival returned, after a two-year pandemic hiatus, bringing music, food and good times to grateful crowds on the grounds of the Alario Center this weekend -end of Labor Day.

“I haven’t been here since 2019,” Arshield Johnson said Monday, September 5, the final day of the free two-day festival. “I came here with my family, my wife. It’s nice. It’s good.”

Everyone from Gretna to Westwego was happy that the festival was back for its sixth year.

“It’s a fun adventure and everyone’s family here,” Johnson said. “Everyone knows everyone. You know, you can go to all the vendors, everyone here. Everyone knows everyone here.

The festival was established in 2015 to celebrate Westbank culture, provide opportunities for local businesses and encourage tourism in the area with the attractions of local music and food.

“We wanted a festival that we felt would be more diverse, that would have different types of music genres, and (show) that we can be more inclusive,” Jefferson Parish Councilor Byron Lee said.

“I’m happy to be here with my family,” said Anyria Sheppard. “I like music. And my mother, she also likes music and she likes to dance a lot.

The lineup included not only some of the best local musical talent, but 25 Westbank vendors.

“We have a little rain, but God has blessed us abundantly to be right here,” said Jasmine Dupree of Bayou Beauty Bundles.

Dupree and Ashante Jones offered their braiding services with Bayou Beauty Bundles, so festival-goers still looked their best despite the rain.

“The music is great. The food is excellent. All people who are locals. Everyone is showing love,” Jones said.

They said the festival gave their small business a big boost.

“Anyone we meet can benefit from seeing us, just by giving them a business card or just talking to them about hair,” Jones said. “It’s all about networking and it’s about meeting people and spreading the love.”

Organizers said the festival attracts thousands of people each year due to its strong musical lineup. Featured acts on Sunday included Choppa and Musiq Soulchild. Monday brought Jazz with Gerald Albright and Zydeco with Keith Frank. Tucka, Louisiana’s “King of the Swing,” closed the event.

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