by Jeanie Riess
Gleason Gras-goers will feel right at home in Champion Square Friday, with a slew of local musical acts ringing in the annual event and its accompanying New Orleans Saints Pep Rally.
Galactic and Friends will headline, bringing some funk to the start of another football season, and Andres Osborne, Kevin Griffin (of Better than Ezra), John Michael Rouchell, The Breton Sound and Coyotes will also take the stage in the battle against ALS. Griffin is back for his second Gleason Gras performance, a decision he says is simple, given the friend he's found in Steve Gleason.
Appearances by Saints players, coaches and other special guests will turn heads, not to mention Gleason himself, plus Saints fan contests and a viewing of the Lombardi Trophy is on tap from 4 to 7 p.m.
Over 5,000 people packed the event last year, and Team Gleason is expecting a similar turnout for the third annual Gleason Gras Friday. The event raises awareness for ALS and supports the Gleason Family Trust, the organization established to to help offset the costs of life with the disease.
Gleason Gras is free and open to the public, though VIP and tailgate zone tickets are still available at www.gleasongras.org. The entire event runs from 4 to 10 p.m.
Listen to music, see the stars of New Orleans football and eat a Juan's Flying Burrito (or a specialty from one of 15 other food vendors) for a good cause.