The Acadia Parish town of Rayne is located in Louisiana's rice farming region, just 10 miles from the Rice Capital of Louisiana, Crowley. Rayne is part of a vast expanse of south Louisiana called the Cajun Prairie, and has been home to some of Cajun music's earliest stars, including the Godfather of Cajun Music, Harry Choates.
Rayne is best known as the Frog Capital of the World. According to legend, a French entrepreneur and chef named Donat Pucheu discovered an abundance of large frogs when he visited in the 1880s, and developed a business selling them to restaurants in New Orleans. As business flourished, the Louisiana Frog Company was founded, and by 1937, the company was selling the amphibians to public aquariums, universities (for research), restaurants (for the dinner table) and grocers (sold in cans as Frog a la sauce Piquante). In one year alone, the company shipped upwards of 500,000 frogs.
Business declined over the following decades, but Rayne's love of frogs did not. The Rayne Frog Festival was founded in 1973, and has grown by, um, leaps and bounds. At this annual fest, you can see the coronation of the Frog Festival Queens and the Mr. and Miss Tadpole contests. Other contests include frog-jumping, frog-eating and a frog cookoff. The Frog Festival is held every May.