Spring Festivals are some of the most highlighted times of the year in Louisiana. There are hundreds of festivals across the state of all types. Some honor the local produce like the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival or the Franklin Parish Catfish festival. Some are odes to certain music genres like the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. Others are nods to history and culture like Lafayette’s Festival International. All of them are tons of fun for everyone and offer lots to do, great food to eat, and exciting activities. Here are some of our favorites based on the festival guide published by Louisianatravel.com.
While most people know about the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, it seems that this festival is smaller, less well-known, and the locals like it that way. They are able to see some of their favorite acts without all the hullabaloo. As stated on their website, their mission is to “promote the Vieux Carré and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well-being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans.” 2019 brings the 36th Anniversary of the festival and locals will tell you that it gets better with time.
The Louisiana Pirate Festival is a wonderful chance to experience Southwest Louisiana’s joie de vivre or “Joy of Life.” Celebrating the legendary life of pirate Jean Lafitte, it is held on the grounds of the Lake Charles Civic Center and Seawall. There will be great live entertainment showcasing Louisiana musicians and great Louisiana cuisine, a Pirate Ball and parade, Fireworks Display and much more. The story goes that pirate Jean Lafitte docked his boat right on the shore and buried his treasure somewhere along the bank. Witness the cannon fire as the citizens of Lake Charles defend the seawall against the pirates!
Lafayette hosts this festival all over its downtown area every April. It’s one of the few free festivals of its size. It brings in over 300k people and acts from all over the world including many bands that don’t speak English and who carry hand-made instruments. Festival International is known for exciting discoveries and culture sharing. There are plenty of food trucks offering local fare from all over Louisiana, arts and crafts, shopping, and activities. The official lineup has been released and the festival also offers a free app to help you organize your favorite shows and create a schedule for yourself.
May brings this fun festival to one of the oldest settled towns in Louisiana. It has hosted legendary artists such as .38 Special, Trombone Shorty, Edgar Winter, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Family Stone, Grand Funk Railroad and many, many more. The main stage is located on the banks of the Cane River in the historic downtown area. There will be music for all tastes; not just Jazz and R&B but also country, rock, zydeco, and much more. With food trucks and booths lining the riverbank, the gorgeous setting and festive music makes for an incredibly unique experience for all ages.
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