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Chamber brings a taste of New Orleans to downtown Joliet

Karen Sorensen | 6/12/2014, 11:54 a.m.
The annual event, which features Cajun-style food, drink, music and entertainment, is a fundraiser for the United Way of Will ...
Downtown Chicago Street was mobbed with revelers taking part in the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce's New Orleans North festival last year.

Revelers get into the spirit of the Big Easy and Mardi Gras at last year's New Orleans North fundraiser in downtown Joliet.

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce

Revelers get into the spirit of the Big Easy and Mardi Gras at last year's New Orleans North fundraiser in downtown Joliet.

A street performer at the 2012 New Orleans North festival.

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce

A street performer at the 2012 New Orleans North festival.

A little taste of the Big Easy comes to downtown Joliet Friday night with the annual New Orleans North festival.

The outdoor event, a fundraiser for United Way of Will County held by the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce, starts at 5 p.m. at Chicago and Van Buren streets. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the gate; attendees must be 21 or older.

There will be no shortage of New Orleans cuisine, including gumbo, jambalaya, po boy crab sandwiches, andouille sausage, fried chicken with dirty rice and biscuits and, of course, Hurricanes. If that's all a bit too spicy for you, there will also be beef tips, pizza, beer and other food items.

As for entertainment, live music will be presented by Hurricane Gumbo and Blind Whiskey.

There will also be a stilt walker; mime; Pamela Anderson impersonator; "The Great Boodini" juggler and magician; and Adrian & Mark, a Chicago subway band.

Each entry ticket offers the chance to win a three-night stay at Harrah's New Orleans and a $500 airfare voucher. Tickets must be dropped off at Harrah's Joliet, 151 N. Chicago, during its after party, which starts at 11 p.m. The drawing will be at midnight.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.jolietchamber.com/neworleans/ or by calling 815-727-5371.