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By Bailey Bridler from Orange142
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Festival Acadiens et Creole festival in Lafayette
Wayne Toups plays at the Festival Acadiens et Creole in Lafayette. ©Philip Gould

When you think of Louisiana, do you think of jazz and bowls of gumbo and jambalaya? Maybe lots of spice and alligators? Whatever it is that comes to mind, there’s one thing for sure: Louisiana is good for the soul. From warming foods, to music that speaks to the heart, there’s something special about this place that can cater to everyone, whether adventurous, curious, inspired, or just really hungry.

This fall, come explore your inner soul and enjoy these Louisiana events:

For the Adventurous Soul

The soul that wants to try new things, step off the beaten path and embrace fall with a care-free attitude can find joy in these events. 

  • Gumbo Cookoff: Join over 20,000 attendees in October and be the judge of your favorite gumbo following this season’s “Hidden Treasure” theme. Alternatively, attend the Bridge City Gumbo Festival, complete with rides, games and, of course, all the gumbo you desire! 
  • Alligator Festival: For the true risk taker, (or true alligator lover), this festival comes complete with food, drinks, music and crafts, all for a great cause. Join the Luling community, in September, where you can play with baby alligators for just $1!
  • River Rat Paddle Challenge: Running for the third year in September, this race is held on the Ouachita River as a benefit for Horse Assisted Therapy Services of North Louisiana. Come join the race or join the cheer squad from the sidelines.
  • Shake Your Trail Feather: An annual musical event in October, participants get to paddle down the bayou, celebrating the 130-mile-long Bayou Teche Trail, dressed up like birds, and led by a band on a raft. Prizes, food and beverages are all ready to go for this event and the opportunity to dress up, sing and eat food on the Bayou is as fun as it sounds.

For the Curious Soul 

If you aren’t adventurous, but still have a soul that is inquisitive, eager to learn and ready to discover, here’s how you can feed your curious soul in Louisiana:

  • La Fete Des Vieux Temps: This event in October is known as the “Festival of Old Times.” It celebrates traditional music, dancing, crafts and Cajun food, welcoming everyone to enjoy the history of Louisiana. 
  • Rougarou Festival: Come to downtown Houma in October and get to know LA’s version of Big Foot or Loch Ness. Partake in the costume contest or watch the parades, all while supporting the Wetlands Discovery Center.
  • Red River Revel Arts Festival: Ready to learn more about Red River Revel art? This festival is the largest outdoor art festival in northern Louisiana. The near 200,000 attendees speak volumes for the nine days of fun that await. From music to food to friends it’s all waiting for you to discover in Shreveport. 

For the Inspired Soul

From art to culture to film and history, there is a lot to be inspired by in Louisiana this season. Here’s what not to miss: 

  • Festivals Acadiens et Créoles: A music festival in October celebrating the rich history and culture of Louisiana music, stemming from the early Creole and Acadian people. Enjoy music as well as Culture Sur la Table, a Louisiana Craft Fair, and events for the kids! Come learn about Cajun and Creole history and bring the whole family.
  • International Rice Festival: Held in Crowley in September, the International Rice Festival is the area’s oldest agricultural festival, established in 1937. The event brings attention to the importance of rice as a staple of gumbo and jambalaya and helps encourage communities to come together over food and music.
  • Chuck Fest: The culmination of music, art, food and drink, there’s a lot to love about this Lake Charles event held in October. With five stages for live music, authentic Southern Louisiana food and nearly 15,000 people in attendance, you’re sure to have a great time. 
  • Louisiana Film Prize Fest: Taking place in Shreveport in October, it’s the SXSW of Louisiana film and it is sure to be an impressive show! Come see who is selected as the winner to take the Louisiana Film Prize for the top film. 

Whether you are curious or adventurous, into good food or just wanting to enjoy some music, come to Louisiana, and you are sure to find some fun. Want more ideas? Check out Fall Things to Do in Louisiana Part 1.

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