Rotary Club of New Orleans Riverbend Acquires Freret Market and Freret Street Festival

NEW ORLEANS – The Rotary Club of New Orleans Riverbend has acquired the long-running Freret Market and the annual Freret Street Festival. Details were shared in a press release.

Rotary Club president Peter Alongia said, “Freret Market and Freret Street Festival are enormous community resources, and Rotary is thrilled to be able to fulfill its mission of supporting local economies by running the market and festival.”

Although Freret Street Festival dates its history from 1998, the monthly Freret Market started in 2007, when local property developer Greg Ensslen and Zeus’ Rescues founder Michelle Ingram established Market Festivals, Inc., to produce both events.

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“Watching the Historic Freret neighborhood grow and mature has been invigorating; it is gratifying as a business person and as a neighbor,” said Ensslen.

Just as Freret Street Festival began as a neighborhood celebration and homeownership fair, the Freret Market was started as a means of bringing shoppers, prospective business and homeowners into the Freret Corridor, as many neighborhoods were struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. The monthly Freret Markets bring more than 1,000 shoppers on the first Saturday of the month to the parking lot of Freret and Jena streets, and features local art and food vendors, and live music. “The incredible response these events have had from the creative community is a great sign for how New Orleans is thriving,” said Ingram.

Freret Street Festival takes over the entire stretch of Freret Street between Napoleon and Jefferson avenues, on the first Saturday of April, bringing more than 20,000 visitors to enjoy music on 3 stages, while shopping from more than 200 art, jewelry, collectible and food vendors. This year’s Freret Street Festival will be held on Saturday, April 6.

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The Rotary Club of New Orleans Riverbend’s connection with Freret Street Festival is not new. The Rotary Club has been responsible for staffing the Freret Street Festival’s beer concessions since 2011.

“As a community-based volunteer service organization, Rotary looks forward to a long association with Freret Market and the Freret Street Festival,” said Alongia. “It will further our ability be a force for good in the world while serving in our neighborhood community.”

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