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Faubourg St. John neighbors complain of illegal Jazz Fest vendors

A couple dances to OTRA at the Jazz and Heritage stage. (photo taken by Zach Brien at the Jazz & Heritage Festival 2015, MidCityMessenger.com)
A couple dances to OTRA at the Jazz and Heritage stage. (photo taken by Zach Brien at the Jazz & Heritage Festival 2015, MidCityMessenger.com)

With the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival less than two months away, members of the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association are tallying complaints to bring to city officials about the longstanding event, ranging from illegal parking to overcrowding and other public safety concerns.

This year, complaints about illegal vendors working outside the festival are rising up to the top of the list, according to Jimmy Farenholz, the neighborhood association’s Jazz Fest liaison.

“We’ve had a major major problem with them,” he said, adding that he’s already begun working with the city to address the issue. “We are going to try to settle that problem this year.”

In one instance, Farenholz said a woman had enlisted about 40 children to sell water outside of the festival last year without a legal permit to sell.

“As you know the city won’t let our vendors, our stores sell anything outside their stores, but some how we can’t seem to crack down on these people standing out on the street that have no license and pay no taxes,” he said. “They are allowed to sell whatever they want to at will.”

Farenholz encouraged Faubourg St. John residents to contact him about any other issues or requests for the city, and asked neighbors to be specific about the location of their complaints. In the past, he said, he’s addressed the neighborhood’s potholes, burnt-out streetlights, illegally parked cars and abandoned cars.

The city fixes some issues, such as malfunctioning streetlights, as early as a month before the festival, he said.

Farenholz said he would start taking requests when he emails neighbors on Monday.

Neighbors have been asked to use this format when giving the location about a request.

5 Replies to “Faubourg St. John neighbors complain of illegal Jazz Fest vendors

  1. The street vendors are part of what makes the JazzFest what it is. The neighborhood yuppies should have to pass a test before they move into and try to change New Orleans’ character…

  2. Those “illegal” vendors are public servants. Do you know how expensive a beer is inside those gates!! Why do the neighbors care about where the money goes? Trust me, those vendors ain’t using that money to fly to cancun. They are most certainly spending that money in the city and this is a good thing.

  3. Isn’t Farenholz an actual criminal? I’m surprised he’s not being more enterprising and robbing the street vendors instead of complaining about them

  4. Frankly, with all the other crime in the city, they are worried about people tying to make a few bucks selling water for a buck? Give me a break!

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