Events in Washington Louisiana

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 town of Washington, the third-oldest settlement in Louisiana, is a former French trading post that flourished thanks to the river the bayou that runs through it. The town was founded in 1720 on the banks of Bayou Courtableau, and eventually rose in prominence as a steamboat port that brought cattle, sugar and other farm goods from Cajun Country to markets in New Orleans. The last steamboat left Washington in 1900, leaving behind homes and warehouses that today form the heart of the town's historic district. In fact, 80 percent of the city is on the National Historic Registry.

See one of those historic buildings from the inside by dining at Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant, or choose from one of the city's bed and breakfast accommodations. Washington is also a destination for cyclists—check out the Washington-Breaux Bridge Trail or the Washington to Eunice to Sunset Trail for details for examples of how to see Cajun Country on two wheels.

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