LA VIE DE VILLE: Le Marché des Fêtes is a step back in time

Saturday, December 14, 2013

From The New Orleans Advocate, December 11, 2013

by Robert Grove

Last weekend, the historic Pitot House hosted its fourth annual holiday event along the banks of scenic Bayou St. John. Le Marché des Fêtes, or holiday market, embraced our city’s rich Creole traditions and featured more than two dozen local vendors and artisans to the delight of shoppers seeking unique gifts for family and friends. Even the weather cooperated, with patrons bundling up for a shopping day experience that had the look and feel of a 17th century Creole village.

The day offered something for all. Papa Noël dusted off his vintage costume for the affair, and he was busy attending to important duties with the little ones in attendance.

Music also filled the air with performances by the Encore Academy Choral Group, guitarist John Rankin, a trio from members of 101 Drummers and traditional dance performances by the North Shore Vintage Dancers.

Nourishment options abounded with offerings from Dat Dog, Woody’s Fish Tacos, Eva’s Pralines & Pies and Brocato’s cookies. Bayou Brew Tea and Community Coffee featured warm beverages to complement the local eateries. Perfect on the chilly day!

Inside Pitot House, shoppers discovered a mini-bookstore with a focus on local authors. It proved the perfect place to pick up some wonderful books by some of my favorite New Orleans writers while supporting the beloved Pitot House. Upstairs, guests were invited to tour the residence, which was all dressed up in traditional Creole décor, courtesy of Perfect Presentations. It’s hard to duplicate that view from above on the spacious verandas that overlook Bayou St. John and Le Marché festivities below.

The Pitot House falls under the auspices of the Louisiana Landmarks Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving history by preserving architecture.

The house and museum was once the home of New Orleans’ second mayor, James Pitot. Today the circa 1799 Creole West Indies colonial-period home serves as living window into our past.

Through regular events such as Le Marché de Fêtes, visitors can connect with the past while enjoying one of the most beautifully preserved historic properties of the area. To learn more about the Pitot House, visit www.louisianalandmarks.org.

La Vie de Ville captures city life New Orleans style every Thursday for The New Orleans Advocate’s Crescent City News section. For coverage of your community event, please email me in advance at robertagrove@hotmail.com.