Church is an important national historic site and a beloved landmark in New Orleans and is now in need of repairs and improvements.
New Orleans, LA — On Saturday, October 3, 2015, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Historic Faubourg Tremé Association (HFTA) will host the first annual Tremé Festival. The free festival will kick off an effort by the organization to fundraise for much-needed repairs and improvements to the St. Augustine Catholic Church.
“HFTA has done lots of good in this neighborhood related to quality of life issues,” said Adolph Bynum, Sr., an active member of the Historic Faubourg Tremé Association, and the originator of the Tremé benefit festival. “Now it’s time for us to work with keeping Tremé’s historic sites and other cultural activities alive and thriving.”
The Tremé Festival will be held on the streets bordering the church, located at the corner of Henriette Delille and Gov. Nicholls Streets.
The festival will feature food, crafts, and music performances by John Boutte, Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers, James Andrews and the Crescent City Allstars, Shannon Powell, Leroy Jones Quintet, New Breed Brass Band, Lil Glen and Backatown, and the Tremé Brass Band.
The festival will also feature a second-line procession led by Roots of Music as well as crowd pleasers such as the Zulu Connection and the Stilt Walkers and Drummers. The festival is free and open to the public.
Families who attend the festival will enjoy the kid’s fest, a part of the festival that will offer face painting, building projects’ and entertainment. Free health screenings and tours of St. Augustine Church and the surrounding neighborhood will also be offered.
To kick off the weekend, a patron party will be held on Friday, October 2nd at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart St., from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $100 and parking is available at the site.
Renowned local artist, Terrance Osborne who has roots in Tremé, has designed and donated a limited edition poster that will be available for purchase. Proceeds collected will go to the church for repairs.
The festival will wrap up with a gospel mass at St. Augustine Church on Sunday, October 4th at 10 a.m. followed by a gospel extravaganza from noon to 4 p.m. featuring St. Anna’s Gospel Choir, St. Augustine’s Choir, and the Zion Harmonizers.
The Tremé Festival is made possible in part by title sponsor, Reily Foods. To learn more about HFTA, St. Augustine Catholic Church, and the Tremé Festival, or to purchase patron party tickets, Tremé festival 2015 posters or to donate, please visit www.tremefest.com.
About St. Augustine Church
St. Augustine Church has a rich and important history in America. It was dedicated on October 9, 1842. Free people of color bought more pews for their families than any other contributors, and then bought all the pews of both side aisles. The side-aisle pews were given to slaves, who were welcomed to worship there, a first in the history of slavery in America. The mixture of pews resulted in the most integrated congregation in the United States.
Free people of color, white people, ethnic people, and slaves regularly attended the church together.
A month after the church was dedicated, Henriette Delille, a free woman of color, and Juliette Gaudin, a Cuban, knelt publicly at the alter and pledged to work for orphan girls, the uneducated, the poor, the sick, and the elderly among free people of color. That was the beginning of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family, the second-oldest African American congregation of religious women in America.
Historical figures Homer Plessy, of the famous U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy vs. Ferguson, and Alexander P. Tureaud, Sr., a giant among the civil rights attorneys of the 1960s were members of St. Augustine Church.