Your Guide to Gretna Fest This Weekend

Fall is not only my favorite time of year, but it also means that one of the best festivals around is back – Gretna Fest! After a two-year hiatus Gretna Fest is back this weekend October 6th, 7th, and 8th.

What started as a small festival on the Mississippi River 30 years ago has taken on a life of its own over time. I remember being young and going to Gretna Fest, when it only covered a small portion of Huey P Long Blvd, and let me tell you it has changed! I’ve gotten to see absolute legends like Joe Cocker, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Melissa Ethridge, and Brett Michaels. I also thoroughly enjoy getting to see all the amazing performers that come straight from Louisiana too! The music is pretty great, but the food, drinks, and family atmosphere is what keeps us coming back every year.

Gretna Fest is super organized and better than ever! They have worked out the kinks of the cashless system and also expanded on the wi-fi this year. You can purchase tickets in advance at but will have to pick them up from will call as all entry is RFID-Wristband. There will be no cash or credit cards accepted at this event. You will need to load money on to your wristband. There are day ($30 pp) and weekend ($60 pp) wristbands available, along with a separate wristband for kids ($5 for the weekend) who want to play in Kiddie Corner (entry is free to the festival for 12 and younger!) Make sure that you download the Gretna Live App as that will have the map, music schedule, and all the information you need. Let’s talk more about what is in store this year!

If you want to get familiar with the layout first, you can find the map here.

The Music

Reveling on the river in 2023 will include 3 main stages this year along with other areas where bands will be performing, including two new areas; Memorial Square & The Club Backstage. There will be over 40 local and national acts over the three day festival. This years headliners include:

Friday, October 6th

4:45 – 5:45 Lost Bayou Ramblers

6:15 – 7:30 Trampled By Turtles

8:00 – 9:30 Lukas Nelson & POTR

10:00 – 11:30 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Saturday, October 7th

2:00 – 3:15  Karen Waldrup

3:45 – 5:15 ZZ Ward

5:45 – 7:15 JJ Grey & Mofro

8:00 – 9:15 Lee Brice

10:00 – 11:30 Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sunday, October 8th

12:00 – 1:00 Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers

1:30 – 2:30 Irma Thomas & The Professionals

3:00 – 4:30 Blues Traveler

5:15 – 6:30 The Temptations

7:15 – 8:45 Kool & The Gang

These are just the artists that will be on the Main Stage. Make sure to check out the Riverfront Stage and Market Stage as well! You will find other amazing acts like the local Louisiana Kids, Chapel Hart, Kermit Ruffins, and Cowboy Mouth. SO many great performances to experience this weekend!

The Food & Drinks

If you don’t leave Gretna Fest fat & happy then you are doing it wrong. With the amount of delicious food you will find along the river, good luck trying to decide what you are going to eat! They have added multiple new villages this year, make sure to check them all out as they each have different offerings.

Craft Beer Section – Join Port Orleans to taste all of the local brews they will be offering.

Margarita Village – Sponsored by Jose Cuervo, you will find various tequilas, margaritas, mojitos, and sangrias. You can also find food like street tacos, nachos, and quesadillas from El Gato Negro.

Asian Village  – Featuring Bao Mi, you can find all of the best authentic Asian food & drinks here. A small sampling includes: KFC Bao, Pew Pew Pew Shrimp Bao, Pulled Pork Banh Mi, Pew Pew Shrimp Banh Mi, Grilled Pork Skewer and Pandan Rice Krispies. There will also be Indian dishes as well as new items like sushi tacos.

Italian Village – This classic area features all of the delicious Italian food that your heart desires. Here you can find things like Italian Sausage Sandwiches, Italian Wine, Moretti Beer, Italian Cookies, Italian Sausage on A Stick, Muffalettas, Meatballs, and Eggplant. You can also find Italian souvenirs in this village.

German Beer Garden – Join the kick off to Oktoberfest at 5pm on October 7th for the annual keg tapping by Friends of the German-American Cultural Center. Be on the lookout for German Beer on tap, German Wine, Grilled Bratwurst, and homemade Sauerkrat.

Gretna Fest Food Court – Thought you were hungry before? Checkout this lineup sure to make any foodie’s mouth water. Take a seat under the tent & enjoy.

  • Rugaroux Q Charities
  • Serving From The Heart
  • 3D Dance Team
  • Any O’Cajun
  • Bae’s Bakery
  • Beryl Ragas Chicken
  • Soule Cafe
  • Big Deal Burger
  • Chris’s Specialty Foods
  • Coop’s Burgers
  • Croatian American Society
  • Dat Dog
  • Dollish Treats
  • Eli’s Taco Truck
  • Eli’s Tamales
  • Etalian Happy Ice
  • Island Paradise Restaurant & Grill
  • Joel’s Lobster Rolls
  • Just Eat Me Sweets
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Krewe of Choctaw
  • Legacy Kitchen
  • Let Us Cater For You
  • Luca Eats
  • Ms. Dee’s Catering Cuisine
  • Nola Boils Catering
  • Nola Crawfish King
  • Spun Fun Cotton Candy
  • Stonebridge Golf Club
  • Super Sonic Wings
  • Thanh Thanh
  • Uglee Pizza
  • Mama Chan
  • Thai D’Jing
  • Bao Mi
  • Nori Guys
  • Everything Spice
  • Asian Outdoor Kitchen
  • Crabby Patty’s
  • Shenell’s Seafood
  • Mel’s Ice Cream
  • DBest Gumbo
  • Clambaughs
  • Deshontae’s Sweet Home
  • Eda’s Restaurant
  • Leonard Mc Quarter
  • T Nate’s
  • Voleo’s Seafood Restaurant
  • Amore Bakery & Cafe

The Family Feel

If you have gone to Gretna Fest in the past you may remember there being carnival rides. That has changed some this year with the introduction of “Kid’s Corner”! For $20 per day your children can have unlimited access to this area. It will feature a rock wall, inflatables, games, bungee run, art booths, face painting, train rides, and more. I have to be honest, the children’s activities are always great but my kids love the energy so much we always enjoy the entire festival with them. You can also walk over to Memorial Square where there will be live performances and you can relax on the lawn. Perfect for mid day naps!

The Crafts and Shopping

I don’t think I have ever left Gretna Fest empty handed. With over 100 different craft, clothing, and collectible booths, everyone is sure to browse as you stroll down the street. These are some of the wonderful vendors that you can find this year:
  • 3DM Custom Designs
  • 504 Funk
  • Ace of Shade Plus
  • Adorable Wooden Art
  • Advanced Carpet & Rug Care
  • Abear Creations
  • Anton Art
  • Apron Agencies
  • Art by Christy
  • Big Daddy Cigars
  • Breaux’s Jewelers
  • Daniel Borden
  • Dixon Art
  • Eagle Vision Crystals
  • Fleur De Bees
  • Glitz Galore
  • Gwendolyn Cook Wigs
  • Heavenly Scent Candles
  • Judy Prestenbach
  • Leaf Filter
  • Leaf Home Water Solutions
  • Lilly & Sage Boutique
  • Maries Blazing Aromas
  • Mekwoodshop
  • Neon Aura Hair by Kristy Cheramie
  • Nola Fabioia
  • NOLA Silver Jewelry
  • Ochsner
  • Of Clay & Beauty
  • Our Community Health
  • Pelican Publishing
  • Saints for Sinners
  • Science of Jiujitsu
  • Speaking Against Abuse
  • Sugar & Spice
  • Tee Shades and Accessories
  • Toys for Tots

This is just scratching the surface of Gretna Fest, if you have never experienced it for yourself – come out this weekend and have a great time. I know I will be there, Happy Festin’ Y’all!

Dana Wattigney
Moving from Nebraska in middle school, Dana considers herself a New Orleanian 25 years later. She now lives in Belle Chasse with her husband Ryan, 12-year-old Mila, and 8-year-old Rex. As the Executive Director of the YMCA in her community, she is very involved in all aspects of family life. You can find her on the weekend doing DIY projects, cheering on LSU or the Saints, and spending time with her family. A lover of all revelry, there is no festival, concert, or event that she won't go to! Catch her with the Krewe of Cleopatra each Mardi Gras. She gets out of town with her kids as much as possible, they enjoy the outdoors, especially the mountains & the beach. Affectionately known as "Dana Dolittle" to her friends, you can expect her to have a random animal she is trying to help at any given time. Dana loves to write & says there are no topics off limits.



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