Downriver Festival Schedule Offers Live Music, Cooking Demonstrations, Zack Smith Photography Workshop

NEW ORLEANS – On Saturday September 10, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the 4th annual Downriver Festival will offer another multisensory celebration of the Mississippi River at the Old U.S. Mint and French Market that’s free and open to the public. Live music, cooking demonstrations, presentations and panels, walking tours and informational displays will reflect this year’s 2016 theme of “Oysters & The Future of Our Coast.”

         Presented by a coalition of organizations and institutions that includes the Louisiana State Museum, The Friends of the Cabildo, The French Market Corporation, The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, the Louisiana Museum Foundation and Slow Food New Orleans, this year’s newest festival partners include Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, Crescent Park, and the Port of New Orleans, with additional stage funding provided by New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and the Consulate General of Mexico in New Orleans.


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Downriver Festival Photography Workshop With Zack Smith


         There will also be an opportunity to participate in the Downriver Festival Photography Workshop with instructor Zack Smith, one of New Orleans’ most respected festival and cultural photographers having been on staff at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Fest and Satchmo Fest.

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Sunni LeBeouf

Black History Month Spotlight This Black History Month, Cox Communications is proud to recognize Sunni LeBeouf for her prolific record of professional achievement, civic philanthropy,...

         This festival photography workshop is an informative visual immersion into how to photograph the faces, food and action of a New Orleans cultural festival. Smith will teach how to navigate and document Crescent Park’s Downriver Festival and cover how to get the most out of your mirrorless or Digital SLR. He will also teach how to get the best shots, find the best locations and make every moment count with any camera. In addition, you’ll learn the best ways to download, archive, keyword and tag your images for proper storage.

         The class costs $150 and registration is required.

         View more information and register here

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Indoor Symposiums: “Oysters and the Future of Our Coast,” Third Floor, Old. U.S. Mint, 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


         Restore the Mississippi Delta Coalition is the coordinating organization for the indoor symposiums dedicated to the 2016 theme of oysters, with particular emphasis on wetland restoration. The talks are free and open to the public and will be held indoors on the third floor of the Old U.S. Mint from 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – The Port of New Orleans and Gulf Restoration.

         President and CEO of Port of New Orleans, Gary LaGrange, will discuss the importance of The Port of New Orleans, and why restoration is important for the success of our port.


12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Oyster Industry History.

         Sea Grant Scholar Dr.  Don Davis, PhD, LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology, will give a presentation on the history of oystering in Louisiana.


1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – What Makes a Tasty Oyster?

         A panel moderated by documentary filmmaker Kevin McCaffrey with Dr. Earl Melancon, PhD,  Distinguished Service Professor of Biological Sciences, Nicholls State University and Byron Encalade, oysterman and President of Louisiana Oystermen Association. The topic of discussion will focus on traditional knowledge of oystering, what conditions make for tasty oysters, and the concept of terroir.


2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Thinking Outside the Shell.

         A panel moderated by Kevin McCaffrey with Rusty Gaudé, Louisiana State University AgCenter/ Louisiana Sea Grant Program,  Deb Abibou, PhD, Habitat Programs Director, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana,  and Seth Blitch, Director of Coastal and Marine Conservation, TNC (The Nature Conservancy) Louisiana.  The conversation will focus on oyster restoration efforts and the future of oysters in Louisiana. Topics will include oyster shell recycling, oyster reef restoration, off bottom aquaculture and oysters in restaurants.


4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Managing Oysters, Restoration, and Relationships.

         Andy Wilson, Simon, Peragine, Smith and Redfearn, LLP, and Maura Wood, Senior Program Manager, Coastal Louisiana Restoration, will present on a history of oyster lease lawsuits and what we can learn from those experiences for more effective future restoration.


Cooking Demonstrations At The Downriver Culinary Stage At The French Market, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

         Cooking demonstrations from chefs at Café Henri, New Orleans School of Cooking, and J’s Seafood Dock, plus oyster shucking lessons by 2 Girls 1 Shuck are just a few of the presenters at the farmers market between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. While in the French Market farmers market, attendees will enjoy several daily vendors who serve up fresh and fried oysters.


11:00 a.m. – Chef Jason Klutts of Café Henri cooking demonstration

12:00 p.m. – 2 Girls 1 Shuck oyster shucking demo and talk

1:00 p.m. –1:45 p.m. – Live Music Interlude: Royal & Dumaine Hawaiians featuring Miss Carolyn Broussard

2:00 p.m. – Chef Kevin Belton of New Orleans School of Cooking demonstration

3:00 p.m. – Live Music Interlude: Royal & Dumaine Hawaiians featuring Miss Carolyn Broussard

4:00 p.m. – J’s Seafood Dock oyster shucking presentation


         There will also be educational displays, handouts, giveaways, raffles, and interaction with staff and volunteers from Restore the Mississippi River Delta, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Crescent Park, French Market District, Port of New Orleans-and others.


National Park Service Centennial Anniversary Stage At The Old U.S. Mint, Outdoor, Barracks Street Side, 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. 

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 a.m. – Pepe Coloma

1:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Fredy Omar con su Banda

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. National Park Service Centennial Band

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Bruce Barnes & the Louisiana Sunspots

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Honey Island Swamp Band


Complimentary Walking Tours To Crescent Park To Begin And End At Old U.S. Mint, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m.  2:00 p.m.  & 4:00 p.m.  – Tours are approximately 40 minutes and will begin at the Old U.S. Mint Jazz Park Visitor Center first floor gift shop, 400 Esplanade Ave, where attendees can sign up in advance for the tours. First come, first served, each tour will be limited to 20 people.

         The tours will cover the geographic impact of the river, cultural and commercial impacts of the Lower Mississippi, and the history of the peoples that lived along it.  The tours will end at the Old U.S. Mint.


         For more information



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