The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has become an annual pilgrimage for me. For the past ten years, I've been accompanied by a friend who grew up in New Orleans. If you're attending Jazz Fest for the first time, here are a few tips...

#1 EAT..starting with breakfast. If you're spending the entire day, eat at least once while you're there.

#2 protect yourself from the sun...Bring a hat, sunglasses & a high SPF sunscreen. If you're visiting from someplace up north, remember you're hundreds of miles closer to the equator than when you're home.

#3 Hydrate!...It's widely recommended that the average person consume 2 liters of water daily. You'll probably need at least half-again that. Temperatures are expected to approach 90 degrees.

#4 Be careful where you park!!...NOPD has their own tow trucks & they like to use them.

#5 Wear comfortable shoes.

#6 Baby wipes come in handy...There's no place to wash your hands with soap & water. You can also use them to clean your sunglasses. Then there are the porta-potties....Last year, while waiting in line,  I noticed a near panic spreading among the nearby ladies. I asked what was wrong & was told there was no toilet paper. I was the recipient of hugs, and much praise when I pulled a pack of baby wipes from my pocket and started handing them out.

#7 Be nice...It's going to be crowded. Last Sunday, it was most crowded I've ever seen. A little patience goes a long way...