Gentilly Fest is happening this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Pontchartrain Park playground, located at the corner of Press and Prentiss.
On Friday at 8:30p, the festival will unveil its commemorative poster designed by artist Harold Bradford. Then an "evening under the stars" begins with music from Dance of Hope presented by Damon Batiste, Rechell Cook, and electric violinist Michael Ward.
On Saturday, festivities kick off at 11a with a neighborhood parade beginning at Chef Hwy., down Press, ending at the festival grounds. Main stage music on Saturday includes Hector Gillardo and the Cuban Jazz Group, New Orleans Horns, Kevin Stylez, Royal Essence, New Breed Brass Band, Batiste Fathers and Sons, Partners-N-Crime & the Big Easy Band, and Rebirth Brass Band. Fireworks commence at 8:30p.
Sunday morning starts with a bicycle second line ride starting at the festival at 9a. Main stage music on Sunday includes Son D Rumba, T-Ray the violinist, BRW, Buckwheat, Jr. & the Legendary ILs Sont Partis Band featuring a tribute to Buckwheat Zydeco, Higher Heights, and Regina Bell.
Saturday and Sunday also features a gospel tent with performances from choirs from around the city. The lineup includes Unstoppable Gospel Creations, Holy Cross Lutheran, Watson Memorial, Connie & Dwight Fitch and Friends, Pure Culture, James Thomas, Pentecost Baptist, First Grace United Methodist, Greater St. Steven Full Gospel, and the Zulu Gospel Ensemble. Sunday's performances includes Bethel United Methodist, Craig Adams & the Voices of New Orleans, House of Faith, Arianne Keelen, BETHEL, Bishop Onassis/Christ Temple Unified, Pastor Tyronne Jefferson and Abundant Life Tabernacle, Nu Kreation, and Zion Harmonizers.
There will also be food from local vendors, video game center, face painting, storytelling, stiltwalkers, Mardi Gras Indians, African dancers, arts and craft vendors, and art/activities for children. Daughters of Charity will also be on hand to provide free medical screenings. More info available at gentillyfest.com.