Join us on Saturday November 4, 2017 for the Central City Festival

block party on the boulevard


The annual Central City Festival is a community collaboration that brings together dance performances, a second line, local foods, activities for kids & youth, art, musical activities, and commerce on a great boulevard. This year, it's a more interactive block party on the boulevard! Join us as a sponsor, vendor, partner, collaborator, volunteer, or just come and have fun!  Call for info at 504.528.1806 or email us at

2017 Festival features:

For kids and teens: PlayBuild (interactive activities that teach about design and architecture), Youth Empowerment Project Kid Zone and 60-foot bounce house, Apex Youth Center games and crafts, facepainting by Princess Camerian, build your own mini toolbox (thanks Home Depot), balloon animals and mime instruction by Chatty the Mime, drumming workshop, dj/mixing instruction with DJ Lil Jodeci at Lot 1701, and 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament (two age divisions: 11-14 and 15-18). Bike Easy will put on their "bike rodeo," which provides hands-on safety instruction and tips on bicycling for kids.

Dance: demonstration by Sistah's Makin' a Change, line dancing instruction by Let's Mess it Up/Linda Simms, Salsa dance instruction by Dile Que NOLA, and "Port of Orleans" A Dance Journey with Gentelle Pedescleaux. All dance is participatory, and for all ages!

Music: live music by Los Caballeros del Son at Casa Borrega (outdoors) 3-5 pm; Cole Williams Band at Roux Carre' 5:30-8pm; DJ Kimya spins all day.

Performances: Casa Samba Kids Brazilian Samba parade (kids on stilts!); Michael Jackson of NOLA; Dile Que NOLA dance presentation; second line with TBC Brass Band,  Nkrumah Better Boys social aid and pleasure club, and the Creole Belle Baby Dolls.

Fashion Shows: Check out the Neutral Ground Rip the Runway fashion show at 4pm! Original designs and vintage couture presented by Couture Detour/Vertuo Entertainment, plus young designers from YEP, and African fashions from the Ashe' Diaspora Boutique (thank you to Bianca Cockerham of Wigs with Beauty & Soul.)

Cooking: Cooking demonstrations at Roux Carre' (The Pupusa Lady, Johnny's Jamaican Grill, and Estralita's Express) and at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, which is hosting Chef Susan Gross of Second Harvest Food Bank - Feeding South Louisiana 1-2pm.

Art: "Icanic New Orleans," presented by AIA New Orleans and Second Harvest Food Bank. Sponsored by individual local architecture firms, check out the six unique sculptures created out of food cans at various locations on the boulevard
Art exhibitions at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center (by Sean Issofresh) all day, and 3-6pm at the The Blue House (by Ann C. Nelson).

Art and craft vendors, desserts, community/nonprofits/health expo, and several restaurants/bars open for festival-goers! Plus a car wash and youth open mic event 1-4pm at the New Orleans Jazz Market.

Getting here: we are just uptown of the Central Business District, and are an historic shopping district that was known as Dryades Street back in the day. Take the St. Charles Ave. streetcar to Martin Luther King Blvd. and walk two blocks north/toward the lake. Or ride your bike--Bike Valet will be provided by Bike Easy.

Last year's festival (2016) was a great success

November 2016: Wear your dancing shoes to the festival, because you are going to want to move!  Whether you want to bounce with Big Chief Brian Harrison Nelson, or learn Cuban Casino dancing, the music will get you moving.  Alexey Marti, the Free Agents Brass Band, and Bamboula 2000 will make it impossible to stay still.  Central City's own Creole Belle Baby Dolls will second-line.  Food, beer, art, and other goods for sale too. Drumming lessons for kids (and grownups) and face painting. And a great neighborhood to explore with shops, exhibits, restaurants, museums and more! Join us for the fun.

2016 festival highlights:

2006 - 2016 tenth ANNUAL CENTRAL CITY FEST [2016]

The Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants & Business Association is pleased to announce the 10th Annual Central City Festival.  

Festival goers will enjoy the rhythms of a wide range of music, dance performances, arts and crafts vendors, local food trucks and popular food vendors, and various non-profits and health organizations providing information.  There will be lots of activities for children, including face painting, drumming workshops, crafts, and even writing exercises with Big Class.

This year, we’re Dancin’ in the Streets with:

  • Emcee Hollywood and DJ Kimya all day
  • Central City Dance Team (Boys & Girls Club) at 11am
  • Sistah's Makin' a Change at 11:15am
  • Gospel tribute at noon
  • Big Chief Brian Harrison Nelson & the Nouveau Bounce at 1:15pm
  • Dance group Bookoo Rueda will teach everyone some Cuban dance moves at 2:30pm
  • Alexey Marti & Urban Minds at 3pm
  • Free Agents Brass Band second line with the Creole Belle Baby Dolls at 4pm
  • Bamboula 2000 at 5pm

We love food trucks, so Diva Dawg and La Cubana will be on hand, as well as other popular local food vendors. Beer and soft drinks will be available. Stay on the boulevard for dinner at one of our great restaurants!

The festival is free and open to the public.

ten years of Central City Festival


Interested in selling your food, art or wares at the Central City Festival?  Want to provide info about your product or service? Call us at 504.528.1806 for more information.

The Festival is coordinated and presented by the Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants & Business Association, a non-profit 501c3 organization that has been working to revitalize the commercial district for the last 18 years.  Partners and volunteers in the neighborhood collaborate, and sponsors and donors fund 100% of the activities.  Sponsors benefit from a robust promotions strategy that associates their name with great local talent and community commitment.  Contact us at 504.528.1806 for information or click below.


Would you like to provide an activity for children or participate in other ways as a partner in this community event? Call us at 504.528.1806 to talk about your ideas.

Health fair & Info expo

Healthcare providers are wanted to provide screenings; non-profit organizations can set up as exhibitors and/or provide services and information. Call us at 504.528.1806.


The festival is community-driven, and is made possible by volunteers. That could include you! If you want to help with planning or want to be put to work on the day of the fest, call us.

2014 Festival: