Jazz Fest neighbors make most of crowdsUpdated:
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Jude Kernaghan bought a lot near the New Orleans Fair Grounds just four weeks ago and plans to build a house on it.
But first, the fest.
"I thought it'd be an interesting thing to cross off the bucket list, park some cars at Jazz Fest," he says.
As thousands flock to the Fairgrounds for two weekends of music, those living closest experience both the best and worst of the annual event.
The crowded streets usually trap Addie Martin in for the weekend, so she and her husband host what they call Porchfest.
"It's impossible to live a normal life when you live so close to Jazz Fest," she says. During Jazz Fest, you might as well embrace it and it's really great to just get together with all our friends and host people. This is like the biggest party we throw all year so we just like having people over."
Martin says she might not even go in this year because the most fun is often what happens outside the festival grounds.
"We figured out over the years that we really enjoy just being at home and hosting our friends because we have a lot of friends that either go for a little while or don't go but live close by and so it's just a good way for us to entertain and hang out with people," she says.
Shawn Kennedy tries to make the weekend fun even though Jazz Fest means a lot of work.
Her family has been working to turn the old St. Rose of Lima campus into the Bayou Treme Center, an arts & education incubator for children.
This is their biggest fundraiser of the year.
"It helps us with the rent," says Kennedy. "It helps us with the upkeep, the insurance and, most importantly, it helps to let people know that the project is still alive."
Back at Kernaghan's lot, business is good.
He also sells water to thirsty fest-goers.
"If you keep them sealed, you can bring them into Jazz Fest," he says. "It's a good deal and we'll keep you hydrated, keep you alive to enjoy the entire fest."