GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - There's a reason so many festivals are scheduled in October: a good chance for picture perfect weather.
The Gretna Heritage Festival is looking forward to a great weekend. The tents are up, the stages are ready and Gretna is all dressed up for its guests.
"Last year was an eye opener to all that can be we are just going to roll with the punches this year," Robyn Amati said.
Amati manages the Rivershack Gretna. Last year it opened just in time for the event.
"It's going to be one year today," she said. "We opened for Gretna Fest last year, but we only had our bar so this year we are really excited. We have our kitchen. We have our balcony open."
Gretna Mayor Belinda Constant saidthe entire town is ready.
"You can tell there is definitely festival in the air," Constant said.
The festival grounds encompass all of downtown Gretna with scenic views of the Mississippi River.
"You know, any time you can introduce your city to anybody it's an absolute positive, and then to be able to introduce them to our city in such a huge way means so much," Constant said.
The festival is a major marketing tool for the city.
"It introduces them to the lifestyle, just to the amenities that we have in the city, the walk ability of our city, the location of our city relative to New Orleans," Constant said.
She said it's even brought them a few residents.
"We've got people that will tell you we came to Gretna fest and we decided to move here," she said.
Amati did just that.
"I love Gretna," she said. "I actually enjoyed it so much I moved here this year, the first of the year. Right down the street. My apartment is actually right in the mix of all of it."
"People love being here on any weekend of the year, actually, because we've got lots of things to do down here now and there's great places to eat and bring your family," Constant said.
A weekend of big name acts plus lots more food options and crafts just gets more people to take a look at a vibrant part of the metro area. Gretna Fest headliners include Kool and the Gang on Friday night, Lynyrd Skynyrd on Saturday and Melissa Ethridge on Sunday. The best way to get there from the east bank is to park downtown and take the ferry directly from Canal Street to the festival grounds.