Notable Louisiana Trivia For Everyone

You can be a Crowley native or a tourist who has heard exciting tales from friends spending their vacations in New Orleans, and no matter your history with the southern boot-shaped state, there’s always more to discover. The following collection of cajun country facts is adapted from Mental Floss’s list of “25 Fascinating Louisiana Facts’, a true curation of details that could only have been learned by true first-hand cajun accounts and not on the back of Bourbon Street postcards. Enjoy this Louisiana trivia.

Capital Nickname- Louisiana Trivia 

It’s well known that the capital city of Louisiana is Baton Rouge, and it’s alleged that its name’s french translation of “red stick” is attributed to the French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. Supposedly he names the territory after an observation he made while wandering along the Mississippi River bluff, spotting a polie covered in animal blood. This odd sight served as a territory marker that signified the division of land between the Indian tribes of Bayougoula and Houma.

Notorious Notes- Louisiana Trivia

Often associated with Louisiana due to its prominence across the state, the musical genre of jazz was born in the state, despite the exact year being unknown. It’s often accepted that it originated in the later half of the 19th century or it was blown through a trumpet and into existence with the first jazz song recorded by Nick LaRocca and his “Original Dixieland Jass Band’s single, Livery Stable Blues.”

King of Cakes & Carnivale- Louisiana Trivia

Every Mardi Gras season brings a lot of tourism, culture, and acclaim to the city of New Orleans, but the Crescent City also sells approximately 500,000 king cakes annually with an additional 50,000 cakes being shipped out nationwide to out-of-state customers and fans of the classic dessert. Originating as part of an Epiphany tradition from the 14th century, the official cake of Mardi Gras is topped with the symbolic colors of purple, green, and gold, signifying justice, faith, and power, respectively. Whether they’re coming for the King Cakes or not, the city of New Orleans sees approximately 1.4 million people attending Mardi Gras in the famed city each year. Compare this to the 384,000 people that populate the city outside of the holiday, and it’s easy to find “where the party’s at.”

Gator Country- Louisiana Trivia

In the United States, Louisiana is among the top states housing the most alligators in the country, with over 300,000 residing in alligator farms and an additional 2,000,000 roaming the wild. The industry of alligator hides and raw meats collectively bring the state around $57 million annually.

Good Times- Louisiana Trivia

Often associated in tourist and cajun branding, the phrase “Laissez les bon temps rouler” is a word-for-word translation of “let the good times roll.” This exact phrasing, while wildly popular, is technically grammatically incorrect, at least in the French Language, where you would be corrected to “Prenons du bons temps” instead.

Elevating Spirits- Louisiana Trivia

Interestingly enough, the highest point in the state is the Driskill Mountain, located just East of Shreveport at a modest 535 feet above sea level. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the state’s lowest point is the city of New Orleans itself at an astounding eight feet below sea level. New Orleans is also the second lowest point of elevation in the entire United States, attributing to its cemeteries housing above-ground mausoleums instead of the tombstones and markers found in other cities.

Celebrated Capitals- Louisiana Trivia

Often celebrated for its individuality, Louisiana is home to many international accolades, including being home to the Crawfish Capital of the World (Breaux Bridge), Dog Trot Capital of the World (Dubach), Frog Capital of the World(Rayne), Cajun Music Capital of the World (Mamou), Duck Capital of the World (Ghueydan), and Rice Capital of the World (Crowley).

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The Cajun Hatter Returns to Cajun Country

This month a Louisiana hat-maker relocated his custom-made hat shop from New Orleans’ Magazine Street to the heart of downtown Lafayette in an attempt to reconnect with his cajun roots, as reported in an Advocate feature.

Colby Hebert, the owner of The Cajun Hatter, is relocating his shop to Jefferson Street so that he can connect with the culture that inspires a bulk of his commissioned orders. The decor of this new location, found on the main thoroughfare of Lafayette, Louisiana’s downtown scene, is aptly decorated with artifacts of Cajun culture at every turn. From the antique room divider in the front parlor space to the moss-laden accenta pieces, reminiscent of a swamp tour, the small Acadiana shop is definitively cloaked in the Acadian style.

Hebert moved his shop to its third location since starting the business; previously The Cajun Hatter had been located in New Iberia and Magazine Street in New Orleans. Hebert identified for The Advocate’s Julia Guilbeau that he felt as if he was doing something wrong by contributing to the legacy of his culture while being two and a half hours apart from it all.

Hebert had said that when in New Orleans, he “was working so hard and in so many ways not only to help with Cajun preservation but also just to step into that Cajun identity that I have in every way. It was at the point where I’m like, I can’t do this anymore and not be here in my culture and directly contributing to my culture.”

From a young age, Colby Hebert, a New Iberia native, was interested in hats as a fashion accessory and always found that he wanted to try his hand at creating something unique and bold in design. He began this journey as a hat collector, inspecting each piece and trying to understand the finer details involved in each hat’s construction. This natural curiosity soon led to Hebert making custom hats whether in his free time or as a part of his profession as a costume designer in the film industry.

From this experience in outfitting actors, Hebert began to see fashion not from the traditional perspectives of a wearer or an observer- but from that of a maker. Soon after departing from the film industry, he opened up a hat shop in New Iberia before later moving to New Orleans, and now Lafayette.

Back in Acadiana, Hebert remarked on the great opportunity he has with his business now by stating, ““we have a great thing here that a lot of people argue is dying out. Being here in that pivotal moment where we start to decide how we want to redefine culture here makes me feel good.”

As expected, each product made in The Cajun Hatter comes personally-crafted, as Hebert makes almost all of his hats by hand, using mainly wooden tools and decades-old traditional techniques of past haberdashers. In fact, the only “real machinery” used are his steamer and iron. Due to the notable quality of the materials, his prices begin at $400, covering the personalization of the product.

In true cajun-country fashion, the hats are being made with beaver, or more recently, felt nutria fur, which is such high quality that it’s likely to outlive the wearer. Hebert notes that nutria are quite an overpopulated species in Louisiana that continue to contribute to coastal erosion, so by using their fur, less overall waste is created.

“You want to make something that is sustainable, lasting and not something that is going to be material or consumer waste,” Hébert said. “[Customers] have chosen a type of fur that creates such a high quality felt that it might outlive you. It might outlive your children.”

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Five Outdoor Adventures to have in Louisiana

It’s no secret that Louisiana has a long and unique history that dates back to pre-America. Louisianans are known worldwide for their diversity, their love for their heritage, being home of Cajun culture, the birthplace of Creole food and jazz, and a state that knows how to celebrate. However, food isn’t the only thing Louisiana has to offer. With year-round warm weather and beautiful landscaping, Louisiana provides ample opportunity for outdoor adventures. You can find outdoor experiences anywhere – like New Orleans, in the Louisiana backwoods, or on the Gulf.

Here are just a few outdoor adventures to make sure you add to your Louisiana bucket list:

Paddling and Kayaking

More than 15% of Louisiana is covered with water – you have the Gulf Coast, swamps, bayous, marshes, and rivers. A great way to really dive into Louisiana’s aquatic ecosystems is through kayak, paddleboat, or canoe. In north Louisiana, you can glide along forests filler with hardwoods, cypress, and tupelo. To the south, there are more than seven water routes that snake through over 170,000 acres of protected wildlife. For a more urban experience, head to New Orleans and paddle in the waters of City Park or the Bayou of St. John.


Love to golf? The Audubon Golf Trailhas 16 beautifully landscaped golf courses throughout Louisiana, including:

The Wetlands in Lafayette

Audubon Park in Uptown New Orleans

Santa Maria Golf Coursein Baton Rouge

Island Country Clubnear Plaquemine

Even better news? Regardless of the time of year you’re traveling to Louisiana, the year-round weather means you can golf almost any day of the year!


Although Louisiana is known for its wetlands and marshes, there are a variety of hiking trails for people who prefer to take in the sights by foot. Just a few minutes outside New Orleans are the Barataria Preserve trails in Jean Lafitte National Park, where you’ll find wooden platforms that keep you away from the alligators. Or you can head to North Louisiana to Driskill Mountain, a 1.9 mile trail through the forest. This trail will take you to the highest point of Louisiana, 535 feet above sea level. Near the Mississippi border is the Tunica Hills State Wildlife Management Area, where you can experience wildlife, waterfalls, and rugged terrain.

Swamp Tours

Ready to get a closer look at what’s living in the swamps? You can take a boat ride through Louisiana swamps to get a closeup of the state’s plants, wildlife, and swamp creatures like owls, turtles, alligators, and swimming pigs. Most tour guides will include Cajun food and local music for a more authentic experience. If you’re lucky, you might end up in true Cajun country that’s only accessible by boat.


Beaches in Louisiana? There sure are! Get your relax on by heading to Mandeville, a drive that will take you over one of the longest over-water bridges in the world, and layout on the white-sand beaches of Fontainebleau State Park. About two hours south of New Orleans is the barrier island of Grand Isle, where you’ll find ten miles of coastline and sandy beaches bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

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A Guide To Cajun Mardi Gras

You already know about the carnival-style Mardi Gras, but what about a Cajun Mardi Gras? Cajun Mardi Gras is exactly what it sounds like – Mardi Gras – Cajun style. Traditionally, this festival is known as Courir de Mardi Gras and takes place throughout Acadiana.

This festival is rooted in French medieval history and was brought to Louisiana in the 19th century. Cajun Mardi Gras is celebrated on Fat Tuesday, which is February 25, 2020, and is commonly referred to as “the real Mardi Gras”. There are plenty of traditions that take place during Courir de Mardi Gras, like chasing chickens, a unique twist on trick or treating, and gumbo cookoffs.

Luckily,Louisiana Travel put together a guide to the traditions of Courir de Mardi Gras. Here they are!

Trick or Treat: Gumbo Style

 This main festival event is rooted in the name; a couriror “run” led by thecapitaineof the Mardi Gras. Participants will dress up in costumes and masks and will travel by horseback, foot, or trailer to make their way through the neighborhood while doing the other ancient ritual of begging. In Tee-Mamou, the capitaine will raise a flag to let the Mardi Gras runners to dismount their transportation and begin chanting the “begging song” called Le chanson de Mardi Grasand approach the houses.

The participants will then go from house to house singing and dancing for the owners so they can get different ingredients for the communal gumbo that is served later in the evening. The last ingredient and the main spectacle of the entire festival is the chicken.

Chase the Chicken

Much like most traditions, each town has a unique take on how they put on the Courir De Mardi Gras. Since the chicken is the highlight of the celebration, it’s hilarious to watch people chase the chicken throughout the neighborhood! In addition to the chicken run, you’ll see beautiful costumes and masks, hear traditional Mardi Gras songs, and try delicious homemade Cajun cooking.

Certain towns, like Mamou, Iota, Elton, Church Point, Faquetigue, and Soileau, you’ll experience food and events more authentic than the towns hosting the festival.

Want to experience a Cajun Mardi Gras yourself?

In Eunice, Louisiana, the week long festival begins on February 21, 2020. The first couple days set the tone for the celebration with music, crafts, and every traditional Cajun dish you can imagine, from boudin and crackins to backbone stew. Then, on the day of Mardi Gras, you can participate in the Courir de Mardi Gras downtown and collect ingredients for the communal pot of gumbo. You can end the celebration with a Cajun dance party at Lakeview Park and Beach.

If you head to Church Point, you can catch their 59th annual Courir de Mardi Gras that takes place on February 23, 2020. Here you can see buggies, wagons, and horseback riders decked out in colorful costumes, listen to live music, chase the chickens, catch a greased pig, and enjoy delicious gumbo!

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The Visitor’s Guide to Vernon Parish, Louisiana

Vernon Parish, Louisiana is a beautiful town filled with history and culture, beginning with being part of the “No Man’s Land” area, a strip of disputed territory where the border of Mexico once was. Many lives were fought for, lost, and won on the soil of Vernon Parish, adding to the celebrated rich history.

Read on to learn how you can celebrate with the locals and make the most out of your time in Vernon Parish, thanks to this list from Louisiana Travel.

See the Myths and Legends Byway

Known as Louisiana’s Wild West, Vernon parish was once home to the Coushatta and Atakapa Indians and to outlaws and gun-slingers with names like Leather Britches Smith. The Myths and Legends Byway is a section of the Louisiana Trails and Byways and follows different travelers’ journeys. To find out what life was like as a traveler on the frontier,  begin at Burr Ferry and follow the scenic backroads through Vernon and neighboring parishes.

Tour the Leesville Main Street Cultural District in Vernon Parish

One of six in Louisiana’s nationally accredited main streets, Leesville is brimming with history. Visitors can walk at their own pace throughout the well-preserved historical buildings, like the Wingate and Ferguson Houses on display. You can find local goods every Thursday and Saturday at the 3rd Market Street or head to Gallery One Eleven, a co-op of contemporary and traditional local artists that showcase west Louisiana culture.

Have fun at MayFest

This annual festival takes place the first full weekend of May and brings in food vendors, face painters, craftsmen, and artisans from Louisiana and Texas. You can find hand-blown glass, pottery, homemade candles, and many other types of crafts and trinkets. They also showcase local musicians and well-known Louisiana artists like Tab Benoit and the “Soul Queen of New Orleans”, Irma Thomas. Check out this guide to MayFest for more information.

Hike in the Kisatchie National Forest, Vernon Parish

Taking up a portion of Vernon Parish, Kisatchie National Forest actually stretches out through most of central and west Louisiana. Here you can find endangered bird species and natural areas that showoff Louisiana’s backcountry. Make sure to check out Little Cypress Recreation Area if you’re into horseback riding, off-road biking, or boating.

Dine in at the Vernon Parish Restaurants

Get your fill of quality Louisiana-style southern food like gumbo and jambalaya, along with other homestyle dinners. Check out restaurants like The Mustard Seed, BJ’s Diner, BubbaQue’s BBQ, and Wagon Master Steakhouse.

Wander the Talbert-Pierson Cemetery

Cemeteries are no stranger to Louisiana, inspiring many myths and scary stories of Louisiana’s eclectic culture and the Talbert-Pierson Cemetery is no exception. It’s filled with 13 grave houses with tombs as it’s occupants that date back decades.

Learn the history at the Museum of West Louisiana.

The Museum of West Louisiana is filled with artifacts that capture the region’s history, housing everything from railroad memorabilia to Native American artifacts made from stone and clay. This museum also features a series of paintings made by World War II German Prisoners of War during their time at Fort Polk.

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Nicholls Makes Strides In Coastal Restoration Efforts

Nicholls State University has once again made its place known as an official part of Louisiana’s efforts toward coastal restoration, preservation, and water management.

In a press conference held on the university’s campus in September, Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, and the President and CEO of the South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC) Vic Lafont announced the new Louisiana Coastal Technical Assistance Center (CTAC). The CTAC will be located on the Nicholls campus and will assist local companies and organizations that are competing to work as contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers on various coastal restoration projects in the state.

Other organizations represented at the press conference wereLouisiana Economic Development (LED), the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA),  and The Water Institute of the Gulf. The organizations came together to sign a memorandum of understanding for the creation of the CTAC.

Governor John Bel Edwards stated that the Pelican State will be funding hundreds of millions of dollars into coastal restoration throughout the next fifty years. In addition to preserving the coast, coastal restoration also helps Louisiana businesses by creating a market for them to compete in for work along the coast. It is the state’s way of making sure Louisiana businesses are at the forefront of the coastal restoration process.

The center will be overseen by the South Louisiana Economic Council, which will also help companies gain the necessary qualifications needed for coastal recovery bidding processes. Similarly, Nicholls will provide vast technical support and research services as its role as the CTAC’s higher education partner. Nicholls will also provide a shared office and business space that will be specifically dedicated to coastal restoration.

This is not the first time Nicholls State University has taken a stand in the realm of coastal restoration and preservation. The university has previously partnered with the University of New Orleans, Water Institute of the Gulf, and the Coastal Preservation and Restoration Authority. Just this past spring, Nicholls and the CPRA announced a joint effort to build a Water Research Center for Coastal Restoration on the university’s campus.

LED and CPRA is providing a combined $750,000 initially to establish the new center. After that, each agency will give $125,000 every year for three years. The first year will be the 2020 fiscal year.

“CPRA’s investments will transform the coast,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline Jr. “By teaming up with LED, Nicholls, SLEC, and the Water Institute, we believe we have a real shot at transforming the economy of South Louisiana as well. CPRA is measuring success in restored land and reduced flood risk, but CTAC also gives us the opportunity to measure our impact in jobs and business development.”

The Water Institute of the Gulf will join the newly established Coastal Technical Assistance Center in boosting employment and business opportunities within the water management sector. The Institute, which is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a leading applied research center with a focus on coastal and deltaic solutions across the world.

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