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Mirliton Festival 

The humble mirliton may be lumpy, awkward and strange-looking, but it shines in local cuisine nonetheless. Maybe its outsider rock-star status in the world of gourdlike fruits is what drove the Bywater neighborhood to name their festival for it. Long a funky, eclectic haven where laid-back natives and transplanted artsy types have created a unique, quirky little village of only-in-New-Orleans cool, Bywater celebrates the 2006 Mirliton Festival with music by the Morning 40 Federation (pictured), Kermit Ruffins, the Happy Talk Band, Washboard Chaz, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes and the Andy J. Forest Band. Plus there are arts and crafts from local vendors and food from Elizabeth's, Bacchanal and other area restaurants. Tickets $5. --ÊAlison Fensterstock

11 a.m. Ð 6:30 p.m. Sat., Nov. 4

Markey Park, 3300 Royal St. (at Piety St.); www.bywater.org

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