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:
March visitors will want to check out the Audubon Pilgrimage in St. Francisville. While most of south Louisiana carries a heavy French cultural influence, the little town north of Baton Rouge has a distinct English heritage, readily obvious in the architecture of local homes and churches, their flowery gardens and the district’s shop-filled, walkable downtown. The pilgrimage allows visitors to tour local plantation homes that predate the American Civil War as well as private historic homes that are typically not open to travelers.
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’s Festival 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.