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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!
When most people think of Cajuns, they think of pirogues on the bayou. But Eunice – named for the town founder’s beloved wife – is the “prairie” Cajun capital of Louisiana. The week here starts on Saturday mornings, with hot boudin sausage, coffee and the open Cajun jam session at Savoy’s Music Center. This 40-year-old tradition, where old hands play alongside up-and-comers, was started by a local accordion-maker and is still going strong. On Saturday evenings, the historic Liberty Theater broadcasts a live Cajun radio show. It makes sense that Eunice would also house the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Here, greats like “Doc” Guidry and “Happy Fats” LeBlanc are commemorated, and the story of Cajun music is told. For the rest of the story, visit the Prairie Cajun Cultural Center, which is one of the few places you’ll find National Park Service rangers alongside Cajun chefs dishing up jambalaya.