10 Must-Visit Louisiana Festivals
Would you like to party Louisiana style? These 10 fabulous festivals will help you experience what Lousiana do best: food, music and a rollicking good time!
Louisiana host a few hundred festivals each year, so it’s no easy task to whittle that list down to 10 must-visit Louisiana festivals. For a little help, they asked their Facebook friend, asked around the office and even questioned the waitress delivering the tray of boiled crawfish. And finally (in no particular order) came up with this list:
Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula: Each April, the “Strawberry Capital of the World” celebrates the sweet berry with one of the state’s largest free festivals. This family-friendly event offers old-fashioned fun, from strawberry eating contests to sack races. Be sure to sample the many strawberry-flavoured treats, including the shortcake.
Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette: For five days every April, downtown Lafayette is turned into an international music mecca, complete with six music stages, street musicians, arts and crafts boutiques, a world music store and more. All of the events, including cultural workshops and cooking demonstrations, are free.
French Quarter Festival in New Orleans: Hands down, New Orleans knows how to throw a music festival, and it's a hard choice to decide between Jazz Fest and French Quarter Festival. What tipped the scales was the price tag. French Quarter Fest (held in April) boasts 21 stages and 400-plus hours of live entertainment without charging you a dime. But do bring some dollars for purchasing festival foods and taking part in the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch.”
Christmas Festival of Lights in Natchitoches: How festive is Natchitoches during the holidays? Santa visits when he needs to catch the Christmas spirit. From around Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) through to New Year's Day, the historic, lakefront city is decorated with more than 300,000 Christmas lights. You can take a romantic carriage ride and enjoy fireworks over Cane River Lake.
Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge: Eat your weight in mudbugs, shimmy your way to victory in the zydeco dance contest and set your lawn chair in front of the Crawfish or Festival stage to hear incredible local music. You can cheer on the critters during the crawfish races with takes place each May. Make your own crawfish étouffée using the recipe from three-time Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival étouffée cook-off champion Mike Huval.
Red River Revel in Shreveport: An October tradition, the Revel is recognised as the largest outdoor arts festival in North Louisiana. You can shop beautiful works from more than 140 visual artists and hear live entertainment on three stages. There’s also a great children’s area, with art projects, a Ferris wheel and a geological dig site, too.
International Rice Festival in Crowley: It seems Crowley is best known for two things: producing one of the country’s largest rice crops and throwing one of Southwest Louisiana’s biggest parties! This October festival has been going on for nearly 80 years and a carnival, frog derby, queen’s pageant, parade and live music are among its many features.
Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival in Bogalusa: Although this is a new event, the inaugural Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival generated a lot of buzz and was named New Event of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals. This September festival pays tribute to Bogalusa’s amazingly rich music history.
French Food Festival in Larose: This October festival celebrates the Cajun way of life, from dancing to boat building and pays particular attention to food from the Cajun kitchens. You can sample traditional Bayou Lafourche dishes, like shrimp boulettes, crawfish fettuccine and tarte a la bouille, a custard pie.
Franklin Parish Catfish Festival in Winnsboro: Some 4,000 pounds of catfish are fried up and served at this Saturday festival held each April. You can take the family and enjoy the strolling street performers, a wide range of musical entertainment and much much more.
So, what do you think of the list? What's that? Mardi Gras is missing? No, its just the most famous February festival stands out among the rest! The weeklong Mardi Gras celebration takes place throughout the state and should definitely be on everyone's Louisiana bucket list.