From frogs to shrimp to pecans, Louisiana is home to some of the finest festivals
Louisiana has a rich history of tradition and celebration that contributes to the creation of exciting events across the state. Check out these seven festivals if you’re looking for some unique Louisiana fun.
Cochon de Lait Festival in Mansura, Louisiana
French for a roast suckling pig, Cochon de Lait is a festival all about celebrating Cajun traditions by sharing good food. Originating in 1960, this festival grew from the town gathering to roast small pigs to several 200-pound hogs being roasted for 14 or 15 hours. Aside from the roasting and eating, this festival has several other events. These include hog calling, crafts, a pageant, boudin eating (pork sausage) and a 5K run on the second day. Perhaps most interesting are the competitions in the Greasy Pig Arena. If you’re able to catch a pig, you can take it home with you. This event is popular and Mansura expects a large crowd on May 12 and 13 of this year.
Rayne, Louisiana Frog Festival
Help Rayne and Acadia Parish celebrate their agricultural industry with this frog-themedfestival, scheduled for May 11-13 of this year. This will be the 51st festival that Rayne has held, celebratingculture,memoryandtraditionswithmusic,foodandotherattractions.Highlightsof this weekend celebration include frog racing and jumping, a frog eating contest, and a “paint the town” movement where everyone is decorated with frogs. Other attractions include food, carnival rides, and an arts and craft show.
Louisiana Corn Festival in Bunkie
Taking place the second full weekend of June, from the 8th to the 10th this year, the Louisiana Corn Festival honors the agricultural impact of corn with a few days of fun. You can expect live bands, games, contests, corn cooking, a street, dance, a parade, a pageant and much more. All proceeds go back to the community, helping to keep the area thriving. So, join thousands of others in giving back and have a good time while doing it.
Delcambre Shrimp Festival in Louisiana
Twenty miles Southwest of Lafayette, you’ll find Delcambre, Louisiana, the site of the famous Shrimp Festival. This festival is longer than the others, typically lasting five days at the end of October. What began as a fundraiser in the 1950s has grown into one of the top 10 festivals in the state. Over the course of the week, you can go to a fais-do-dos (a Cajun dance party) and experience what a traditional public dance is like; accordion, fiddle and all. You can also witness the iconic blessing of the shrimp fleet at the bay and the shrimp cook off. With the addition of carnival rides and delicious food, this festival is a must-see event.
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Louisiana Cotton Festival (Ville Platte)
Another celebration of agriculture, the Cotton Festival is intended to further and support the prosperity of a crop that the community was built on. This festival wants to spread goodwill with exciting events like a parade and the election of the Cotton Queen and King, along with a fais-do-do of its own. Other opportunities for entertainment and excitement include a 4-H contest, cook off, contradance, and an event where knights on horseback will battle the “seven evils of cotton.” This is an experience you can’t get anywhere else.
International Rice Festival (Crowley)
Originally the “National” Rice Festival, the International Rice Festival was created to celebrate another prominent industry and its hardworking farmers. This once small festival that began in 1947 now provides live concerts from local artists and a carnival with a wide selection of rides. This festival also has its own 5K run/walk, a rice eating contest, frog derby, a classic car show, and a parade. The 86th annual festival is scheduled to take place from the 19th to the 22nd of October this year, anticipating thousands of guests to join their celebration.
Louisiana Pecan Festival (Colfax)
This festival is another long-standing community celebration, this team featuring the pecan crop that’s native to Colfax as the star of the show. The first festival began in May 1968, with the next one taking place during the first full weekend of November this year (the 3rd to the 5th). The weekend begins with a Children’s Day that features family friendly fun like games, a petting zoo, fun jumps, and a rock wall. All of which are free to the public. The next two days will feature carnival rides, arts and crafts, food, and a street dance. Stop by the festival’s Country Store for homemade jams, jellies, and pies, along with other goods. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a performance of the festival’s ambassadors, The Pecanettes, that wow guests with their dancing each year.
Each festival offers a unique experience for your visit to Louisiana. Theres every flavor of fun at these traditional, community-based festivals.
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By Quinn Valdivia
Main photo Louisiana Corn Festival