POSTED Mon. Sep 16, 2019
Yes, We Are Celebrating a Sandwich: The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

It’s not a sub, it’s a not a hoagie, and it’s not just any sandwich. In a special category of its own, the po-boy is a king, a staple, a legend, and a unique Louisiana creation with colorful history behind it, dating back to the 1920s.

For those reasons alone it deserves a festival. Not that New Orleans is shy on celebration and the staggering number of the food-centric festivals it throws annually. But one of the most popular festivals in New Orleans, at least among the one-day ones, is still the annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival.

This year, it will be held on Sunday, November 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on the commercial strip of Oak Street in the Carrolton area. The festival will stretch for seven blocks of Oak Street between South Carrollton Avenue and the Mississippi River, toward the River Road (8100-8800 blocks). Stages for live music will be set up on side streets to avoid the Oak Street foot-traffic congestion of the past years. A second line will open the fest at 10 a.m., forming at Oak and Carrollton streets.

The shopping district of Oak Street has deep roots in the neighborhood. The strip was a once-thriving commercial hub when Carrollton was a separate city (it was annexed by New Orleans in 1874). In the recent years, Oak Street has been resurfaced and its sidewalks were improved. These infrastructural improvements meant that more businesses could set up tables outside, and the area has been enjoying increased foot traffic.

Expect dozens of traditional variations of the classic sandwich on the menu — from over 30 local vendors — with oyster, shrimp, catfish, and roast beef. There will be plenty of creative concoctions for the adventurous taste buds too, with game, elevated touches, and Asian and Caribbean flavors.

Like last year, admission is free, but you have to get a $5 wristband at one of the fest’s eight booths to purchase the po-boys (it’s OK if one person in the group buys multiple po-boys, according to the event organizers).

Hate the long lines? Get your hands on the po-boys faster by getting one of the two passes. One option is a $20 “fast pass” to enter through the fast lane. The VIP pass ($99) grants access to the Mellow Mushroom on Oak VIP lounge and balcony and the front-row view of the main stage. There you’ll find unlimited Urban South Brewery beer, plus food from the Parkway Bakery and Tavern and other vendors, and specialty cocktails.

As with any fest, there will be an art market and a kids’ area. The festival is rain or shine, pedestrian- and bike-friendly, and pets are welcome. Parking options will be limited, so consider biking or taking the St. Charles Avenue streetcar (get off at the Oak Street stop).

And, each year, there’s a competition for “Best of” in six categories: seafood, oyster, shrimp, sausage, pork, and beef. We can’t wait to see who wins this year!

Image courtesy of Oak Street Po-Boy Festival on Facebook.


    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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