|The combination jogging and bicycling trail looping the Festival Grounds in City Park New Orleans, LA dedicated December 17, 2012. The new picnic pavilion is in the background.|
Christmas came a few days early for fitness buffs when City Park officials and politicians from New Orleans city government cut the ribbon on Festival Grounds, a former golf course redeveloped with a one-mile jogging/cycling path, a "fitness zone"with gym quality workout machines and five grass playing fields. The paved path is 18 feet wide and striped to give cyclists and joggers their own lanes.
Festival Grounds is off Wisner Blvd, and just north and across Freidrichs Ave. from Big Lake where there is a .75 mile asphalt track, and a small gravel environmental education path. Paddle boats and single-speed bicycles can also be rented from the boat house beginning in spring. The tracks at Big Lake and Festival Grounds are not lighted at night.
Built to accommodate large outdoor gatherings such as music festivals when not serving as an outdoor gym, Festival Grounds has four small power plants, installed to supply the increased electrical power lights and amplifiers at music festivals require. The park is already home to the annual three-day VooDoo Music + Arts Experience. The 2013 date is Nov. 1-3.
The 50- acre chunk of land, part of the park's Bayou Oaks, South Golf Course that closed in 2004, also has restrooms and a picnic shelter with 4,000 square feet of covered space. Lights in the shelter and restrooms are solar powered. There is a signed parking space for FEV's (Fuel Efficient Vehicles).
Errol Laborde, who attended the ribbon cutting 12.17.2012, remembered that when his father headed up the park in the 1950's the revenue from the park's four golf courses was important for the operation of the park. When asked what he thought his father would think of replacing golf with a fitness area/festival ground, Laborde said his father, "would be very proud of the changes."
For more information contact 504.482.4888.