NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The French Quarter Festival has finally made its way back to New Orleans!

Ahead of the celebration, Mayor LaToya Cantrell will be joined by NOPD, EMS, and other emergency crews to discuss safety preparations.

The press conference begins at 12 p.m. and can be watched live on the player above.

A big change coming to this year’s festival is the eco-friendly features. With thousands of people expected to flood the Quarter, this year’s event will be the first to “geaux green.”

Thanks to a grant, festival organizers gifted food vendors a $500 subsidy to help cover the costs of eco-friendly materials.

“All of our beverage supplies and packaging on-site will be recyclable, and all of our food supplies from food vendors will be compostable,” FQFI Food & Beverage Director Kenneth Spears explained.

Some food vendors are preparing for their FQF debut and are bringing Louisiana flavor with them.

“Our festival-only, full-of-flavor, golden, naked, EatFit, NOLA-approved whole wings,” said Nicole Mackie with Ma Momma’s House of Cornbread, Chicken & Waffles.

And thanks to the financial support, Mackie says she is happy to help make New Orleans a greener place.

“Those items are more expensive, but it’s definitely something that will benefit the entire planet, so I’m happy to be a part of that,” Mackie explained. “Ma Momma’s House, again, (couldn’t be) happier.”

With the change, officials hope to reduce the festival’s waste by 80%.

“The main decision is that I think we really, really care about the environment and the earth, and we want to see the earth sustain, survive, and be good for future generations,” said Spears.

There will also be 3 different types of trash bins: recyclables, compostables, and landfill items. A green team will be on-site to help attendees with the stations.

French Quarter Fest kicks off Thursday, April 21, and runs until Sunday, April 24.

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