Rapides is among Louisiana’s largest parishes and is known for its central location. It stands mid-way between the Texas and Mississippi borders, and halfway between Arkansas and the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, it represents a sort of cultural crossroads in Louisiana. Here, French culture dissolves into an Anglo-Saxon culture with deep roots. Here, the traditional Catholic culture of south Louisiana meets the Protestant culture of the north. Each Labor Day, Rapides Parish celebrates its centrality with the “Cenlabration” festival in one of the state’s principal cities, Alexandria. The parish itself is considered part of the Alexandria metropolitan area. However, it offers plenty of camping, fishing and hunting for the outdoor set. It contains the Indian Creek Reservoir, Alexander State Forest, Wildlife Management Area and even part of the Kisatchie National Forest. It is also the site of Louisiana’s largest concentration of nurseries, celebrated in the Louisiana Nursery Festival.