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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!
The Mississippi River runs alongside Plaquemine, the parish seat of Iberville Parish. The city is rich in small-town charm, with old plantation homes that recall its founding in 1775. Plaquemine (whose name is a Native American word for "persimmon") is a former logging town that gained notoriety for an engineering marvel known as the Plaquemine Lock. The lock system allowed for transport of boats between the Mississippi River and the wild inland waterways of the Atchafalaya Basin, and it was designed by the same man who later became chief engineer for the Panama Canal.
Learn more about the city's importance to the state's rivers and bayous at Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site, and make sure you see other nearby attractions such as the Iberville Museum (housed in the former 1849 parish courthouse), the historic homes of Turnerville, Nottoway Plantation and Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park. Cyclists should take advantage of the 22-mile-long Plaquemine to Grosse Tete biking trail.