Louisiana celebrates 'Contraband Days'
Folklore has it that the pirate Jean Lafitte buried his treasure near Lake Charles. The Contraband Days Festival celebrates the legend.
Based on the legend of Jean Lafitte's buried treasure, the Lake Charles area celebrates Contraband Days for two solid weeks.
Contraband Days – scheduled in late April and early May – is the only pirate festival in the state and the longest-running festival next to Mardi Gras. Buccaneers roam the festival grounds throughout the event, so be sure to being your camera, and when posing with an authentic buccaneer, you have to say “Arrrgh!”
Salty pirates sail in from Lake Charles and take over the city by making the mayor walk the plank! Spectators line the seawall to see this much anticipated event with the battle between the City of Lake Charles and the pirates, cannons and all. After the storming of the seawall, with pirates running the city, that means fun and frivolity for all in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana.
Each day, Contraband Days is in full swing with stages of entertainment, carnival rides, food booths, contests and events. The events include a sailboat regatta, a five-mile run, arm wrestling, tennis tournaments, bed races, pirate costume contests and live music.
Contraband Days was chosen as a Top 100 Event in North America by the American Bus Association. For general information, contact the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau at 337-436-9588 or visit www.visitlakecharles.org. For the latest info on Contraband Days Festival events, log onto or call 337-436-5508.