The flood waters from Katrina had barely been pumped back into Lake Pontchartrain when the despicable mayor of San Antonio began working to keep the beloved New Orleans Saints in the Alamodome permanently. Fortunately, the esteemed NFL Commissioner, Paul Tagilabue, put the kibosh on the move, recognizing it would be gauche to steal from a city that had just suffered the worst natual disaster in American history. Instead, the Saints will play every home game, before sellout crowds no less, in the Superdome. (Kickoff in 39 days.)

But that has not stopped some in (Thanks) Houston, our friendly Gulf South neighbor to the west, from working to keep the Essence Festival, the hugely popular music and empowerment seminar that was relocated to Houston while the Superdome undergoes disaster repairs. The Houston Chronicle reported earlier this week that music executive Mathew Knowles, the father of Beyoncé, is working with Houston city officials to land the Essence Festival again in 2007. Before this year, the festival had never been held outside New Orleans. Over this past July Fourth weekend, the festival pumped an estimated $90 million into the (Thanks) Houston economy.

Obviously fearing a NOLA media maelstrom, the (Thanks) Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau politely refused The Weathers Report‘s request for comment and directed all inquiries to the festival organizers. An Essence spokeswoman had earlier explained the group was negotiating with Houston and New Orleans, and that a decision for 2007 was expected within the next few weeks.

Perhaps Mayor Nagin is working feverishly behind the scenes to keep the festival in New Orleans. But probably not. Just last month, (Thanks) Houston welcomed the permanent relocation of Bisso Marine, a marine salvage company that had been headquartered here for 116 years. (It is unknown whether Nagin kept his election night promise to send them a post card.) Instead, we better hope there is a Paul Tagliabue of R&B Music.

(Keegan Chopin, Senior Correspondent in The Weathers Report Houston Bureau, contributed to this story.)


Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 13:43:38 -0500
From: “Lindsey F. Brown” <lbrown@ghcvb.org>
Reply-To: lbrown@ghcvb.org
Subject: RE: Essence Festival –


Going forward, all information about the Essence Festival in Houston will come directly from the festival. Thanks!

—-Original Message—–
From: sweathers@weathersreport.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 11:50 AM
To: Wanda Zuchniewicz
Subject: Essence Festival – http://www.weathersreport.com

Good morning. I’m working on a story for The Weathers Report concerning Houston’s efforts to have the Essence
Festival permanently relocated from New Orleans. Would someone from the Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau care to comment on that? Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you.



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