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Looking for top-notch, inexpensive family entertainment, great food, a beautiful outdoor experience and some of the best music in the world? Two words: Louisiana festivals.
More than 400 Louisiana festivals occur each year – which makes it easy to see why Louisiana is often called the Festival Capital of America. We celebrate just about every crop harvested, every indigenous dish, every type of music that's played here – ranging from Cajun and zydeco to Delta blues, New Orleans jazz, Louisiana's own swamp pop, country, salsa and more. Excellent Louisiana food is a given at any festival. And as always, Louisiana festivals offer abundant opportunities for meeting new friends.
Themed festivals range from a Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula and Tomato Festival in Chalmette to the great Festival International in Lafayette; from the big Contraband Days Pirate Festival in Lake Charles to the Holiday Festival of Lights in Natchitoches. From the Red River Revel in Shreveport to the Catfish Festival in Washington. Of course, you'll want to visit the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, or the big family-fun French Quarter Festival.
And for the biggest of them all? That's right, Louisiana is home to Mardi Gras! But that's another story – and a very large one across the state!
Founded in the 1890s, DeRidder boasts a large collection of historic buildings. Key sites include the stately Beauregard Parish Courthouse and the Beauregard Museum, which documents DeRidder’s history. But the town’s trademark is the renowned Gothic revival building known as the “Hanging Jail.” There, at the top of a spiral staircase, in view of the other prisoners’ jail cells, the condemned would meet their demise in spectacular fashion. But fear not, the people of DeRidder pride themselves on welcoming strangers. With the Fort Polk army base—and its thousands of soldiers in the neighborhood—DeRidder has gotten used to seeing unfamiliar faces. Beyond the town limits, a paddler’s paradise awaits, with lush waterways available for canoeing. From the Whiskey Chitto River east of the city to the Sabine River at the Texas border, the seat of a pirogue offers nature lovers a placid, leafy atmosphere punctuated with abundant Louisiana birdlife.