Louisiana can properly claim the title "festival capital of the world," with more than 400-plus festivals scheduled annually around the state. In the spring, however, the festival action goes into warp speed.
Every weekend—and sometimes the weekdays in between—brings a new round of events that makes it hard for a festival-goer to choose. Consider the Boggy Bayou Festival in Pine Prairie or the Railroad Days Festival in DeQuincy—just a few of the celebrations that kick off March and April's great outdoor gatherings. Soon thereafter comes the fabulous French Quarter Festival in New Orleans—a celebration of music and food in one of the country’s most historic neighborhoods.
But how can you catch that event and also taste the bounty at the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival or the Cajun Hot Sauce Festival in New Iberia? Not to mention the Kite Fest Louisiane in Port Allen? And what about the Franklin Parish Catfish Festival—no catfish lover should miss the delectable variety of fresh catfish at this event.
Well, you can’t attend them all, but you could give it a good college try – as long as you save some energy for yet another onslaught of festing on the following weekend. “Bring on the music,” could be the call for this round, as it brings events such as the Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival in central Louisiana, and Lafayette’s Festival International de Louisiane.
April is all about the music! At the beginning of April head to Baton Rouge for the annual Baton Rouge Blues Festival. The Blues Fest is one of the oldest blues festivals in the nation, first held in 1981. The festival honors Louisiana's own blues artists and specifically the unique sound of swamp blues. And at the end of April ... well, let’s just say that if you love music—no matter what kind of music—you'd better get yourself to New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival rolls across two weekends at the end of April and the beginning of May, with lots more music in area clubs and dancehalls on the days in between.
Of course, you'll want to save time to hop over to Lake Charles in May. That's when the annual Louisiana Pirate Festival (formerly known as Contraband Days Pirate Festival) unfolds, with music, food, games, contests—all of which occur around a pirate theme that hearkens to the days of Louisiana's "patron" pirate, Jean Lafitte.
For more about Louisiana’s cornucopia of food, music and heritage festivals, take a peek at our festivals section. See you at the fest!