Apr 23, 2010 5:02 AM
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Lionel Richie, The Black Crowes, Dr. John and the Lower 911, Baaba Maal from Senagal and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas are among the performers Friday at the first day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Though dotted with major national acts, the festival is made up of more than 80 percent Louisiana artists.
Besides music, the festival offers a chance to sample Louisiana fare that includes alligator pie, boudin and shrimp macque choux. There's also several booths set up where fans can buy handmade crafts.
Last year, more than 400,000 people attended the festival, which is held annually over two weekends at the Fair Grounds Race Course. City tourism officials say hotel occupancy is at 99 percent for Friday and close to that for Saturday.