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Birthday Fests

I’ve written before about using the occasion of a birthday during a festival to change the way you think about celebrating (Thanks, Alysha!). 
What I didn’t mention there is that every year my husband’s family celebrates my mother-in-law’s birthday by attending the Friday of Greek Fest – and it’s perfect!
Her birthday is the 28th, which always falls on Memorial Day weekend, making gathering the family sometimes difficult. Also, as we all know, once you pass your, say, 21st birthday, celebrations take on a different cast. No longer are they about presents (though those are great), “celebrating” maybe a bit too much (though the ouzo and anastasi dry white wine at the fest is the perfect complement to the weather and food) and gathering everyone you know. 
“Adult” birthdays seem to be the best when they gather a group of people who love (or at least really like) each other for the purpose of celebrating the life of the one for whom everyone gathers. Sure, great food — goat burgers, gyros, feta fries, calamari, dinner platters, boxes of cookies and baklava sundaes, to name a few — great thirst quenchers (the above mentioned as well as their amazing iced tea) and really fun shopping at all price points add to the occasion. But it’s watching all of the families also gathered while listening to the live music and laughing at inside jokes that I’ll remember from each year. 
Last week I met with April Cardinale and Danielle Chauvin from St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital about their inaugural upcoming event, “St. Jude & the Big Easy Gala,” and they mentioned that as part of their research of a date (Oct. 3), they read the Louisiana Life festival calendar and were pleasantly surprised that there are more festivals in our state than there are weekends in the year. 
With those odds, everyone’s birthday can be a festival birthday!


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