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!
Morgan City's unforgettably named Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival on Labor Day weekend is a dual celebration of its prime industries. But throughout the year visitors can easily see the impact of the oil and seafood businesses on this city in the middle of the Atchafalaya River's massive delta. Even in the heart of Morgan City's 19-block historic center, recognized as part of the state's Main Street Program, one can climb the flood barrier known locally as the Great Wall for a bird's eye view of the industrial vessels and shrimp boats plying the busy river before sampling a Cajun-style treatment of the fresh shellfish at a local restaurant. Tour a historic drilling rig and learn about Louisiana's ties to the industry at the International Petroleum Museum or get a close encounter with the area's natural heritage at the Swamp Gardens & Wildlife Zoo, which features alligators and black bears.