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Festival Saturday

Monday, June 07, 2010

Saturday morning, we left home for Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, where they were having 'Art in the Gardens'. Aldridge is known for its beautiful surroundings, including a nice-size lake and variety after variety of hydrangea.

Hydrangea


On Friday, I mentioned some of the artists I was most looking forward to seeing: Debra Riffe, Paveen Chunhaswasdikul, Toby Klein, Tena Payne, Robert Taylor...everyone had terrific things to show.

I have to show you these pics of Susan Brown Freeman's pottery:
Susan Brown Freeman Pottery at Art in the Park, Aldridge Gardens, Hoover AL

Susan Brown Freeman Pottery at Art in the Park, Aldridge Gardens, Hoover AL
...even had to bring a couple of her pieces home.


Next we were off to Gordo for Mule Day / Chickenfest and stopped in Tuscaloosa for lunch at Wintzell's Oyster House. Ordinarily we don't do chain restaurants but we have a soft spot for Wintzell's - it's a 'local' chain and when some of Av's family first came to this country from Russia, they opened a fruit stand in Mobile on Dauphin Street, practically right across from the original Wintzell's location.
Wintzell's, Tuscaloosa AL

Gordo was celebrating Mule Day / Chickenfest - some of these pics were taken inside Glenn House Sr. and his sweet wife Kathleen Fetters' gallery downtown:
Mule Day / Chickenfest 2010, Gordo AL

One of the letterpress posters Kathleen made for the event:
Mule Day Poster, Gordo Al

...then it was back through Northport for supper from Av's favorite rib joint anywhere - Archibald's:
Archibald's, Northport AL


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There were two festivals that I didn't learn about until after Friday's post first went up - one was the first annual New Orleans Oyster Festival - the Times-Picayune wrote in part:

Raw oysters, chargrilled oysters, oysters Rockefeller -- the oyster in all its forms was celebrated Saturday at the first New Orleans Oyster Festival, but with a sense of urgency for some, as the BP oil spill continues to threaten the future of the local seafood industry.

"I'm trying to eat as many oysters as I can before they're all gone," said John Cameron of New Orleans.

The festival, which will continue Sunday in the 500 block of Decatur Street in the French Quarter, was the idea of Sal Sunseri of P&J Oyster Co.

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The goal of the festival is to extol the virtues of Louisiana oysters and to honor the restaurateurs and oyster farmers who prepare and provide them.

Part of the proceeds from the festival will go to the "Save Our Coast" program of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to protect the Gulf Coast and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin, and to support local industry workers.

The festival has become more important with the oil spill looming in the Gulf, Gunter said.

"Obviously we're trying to make a statement that Louisiana seafood, Louisiana cuisine is still alive," he said.

Gunter said Acme, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, has not been badly affected by the oil spill. Tourists are continuing to come to the city and its restaurants, but some locals are coming to Acme with the notion that the oysters may not be around for much longer, he said.

"It's almost that Last Supper mentality," he said.

((I feel that way too, every time we bring a cooler to buy Royal Reds. Thankfully we have several pounds-worth in the freezer, but still there's so much uncertainty...))

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The other festival that we *absolutely* would have gone to this weekend was the First Annual International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville. More about that tomorrow.

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Let's Eat


Favorite Restaurants:
1. Commander's Palace, New Orleans LA
2. Arnaud's, New Orleans LA
3. Antoine's, New Orleans LA
4. Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS
5. Root, New Orleans LA
6. Chez Fonfon, Birmingham AL
7. Taylor Grocery, Taylor MS
8. Ninfa's on Navigation, Houston TX
9. Lusco's, Greenwood MS
10. The Dinner Bell, McComb MS

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