- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - French Quarter Festival organizers say the free music festival, created 33 years ago to bring locals back to the historic neighborhood, brought in more than 700,000 locals and tourists from Thursday through Sunday.

French Quarter Festivals Inc. says two new stages brought the total to 23 and helped spread out the record crowd.

The French Quarter was the first area settled in New Orleans by the French, who founded the site in 1718. It covers about two-thirds of a square mile (1.7 square kilometers).

A news release Wednesday said Aaron Neville’s festival debut boosted opening-day attendance by more than 60 percent. It says about 1,700 performers participated.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu is quoted as saying the festival has an economic impact of nearly $190 million.

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