NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As people from across the country descend on New Orleans, the annual festival kicks off with a "day of service."
City officials detailed their plans for local traffic safety and parking issues ahead of the festival.
The message was clear from several law enforcement agencies urging motorists to be safe and responsible at Essence Fest and on the roads over the July 4th holiday weekend.
The theme for this year's "party with a purpose" is the power of mentorship and education.
Concerts begin Friday night with acts like John Legend and Diana Ross.