With about 400 different festivals each year, it’s no wonder Louisiana is often called the Festival Capital of America. We celebrate just about everything that contributes to our unique culture, every indigenous dish, every type of music that's played here and even the crops we harvest.
And while great festivals are found year round in Louisiana, arguably the best time of the year for festivalgoing is spring. Along with gorgeous weather and blooming natural settings filled with teeming wildlife (including alligators), visitors will find some sort of celebration in every corner of the state and on every weekend.
Here are some suggestions for your Louisiana spring festival list:
April could be the best month for the true music lover to travel in Louisiana, because some of the state’s biggest and most diverse music festivals are found in a span of just a few weeks. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is one of the most renowned annual music events in the U.S., offering jazz and other Louisiana indigenous genres such as Cajun and zydeco mixed with major U.S. touring artists on multiple stages. It comes on the heels of the French Quarter Festival, a free-admission celebration of jazz and its subgenres in the historic district near where it was born and evolved. In between those two events is the Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival, a two-day riverfront concert in Louisiana’s oldest city, and Lafayette’sFestival International de Louisiane, which mixes the music of French Louisiana and that of Francophone influenced countries worldwide.
May is a great time for the traveling food lover’s trek through Louisiana. Indigenous Creole cuisine is the centerpiece of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, which, of course, also inludes fine wines from Louisiana and abroad. The state’s Cajun cuisine is showcased alongside Cajun and zydeco music at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, Shreveport’s Mudbug Madness and Lake Charles’ two-week Contraband Days festival.
Don't pack up your stretchy pants yet. June ushers in more deliciousness with fests celebrating catfish, oysters and smoked meats. The New Orleans Oyster Festival is such a delicious weekend that festival organizers advise you to prepare for by fasting for a week beforehand. Since 1975, catfish has been the main attraction at the Louisiana Catfish Festival in Des Allemands. The last weekend of June each year, head to the Smoked Meat Capital of the World, Ville Platte, to partake in the Louisiana Smoked Meat Festival.
Check out our festivals and events page to see what's happening this weekend or next month.