Ten Festivals Not to Miss in Louisiana From Spring to Fall


Louisiana hosts a few hundred festivals each year, which makes it hard to narrow it down to a top ten list.  Here are some random ones that are high on list. Since Mardi Gras is such a huge event and an international draw, you can read more about it on our site here.

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, Ponchatoula: Each April, the “Strawberry Capital of the World” celebrates the sweet berry with one of the state’s largest free festivals.

The family-friendly event offers old-fashioned fun, from strawberry eating contests to sack races. Be sure to sample the many strawberry-flavored treats, including the shortcake.  

Festival International de Louisiane, Lafayette: For five days every April, downtown Lafayette is turned into an international music mecca, complete with six music stages, street musicians, arts and crafts boutiques, a world music store and more.

All of the events, including cultural workshops and cooking demonstrations, are free.

French Quarter Festival, New Orleans: Hands down, NOLA knows how to throw a music festival, and we admit it was hard to decide between Jazz Fest and French Quarter Festival.

What tipped the scales was the price tag. French Quarter Fest (held in April) boasts 21 stages and 400-plus hours of live entertainment without charging you a dime. But do bring some bucks for purchasing festival foods and taking part in the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch.”

Christmas Festival of Lights, Natchitoches:  Santa comes here when he needs to catch the Christmas spirit. From around Thanksgiving through New Year’s, the historic, lakefront city decorates with more than 300,000 Christmas lights. Take a romantic carriage ride and enjoy fireworks over Cane River Lake.

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, Breaux Bridge: Eat your weight in mudbugs, shimmy your way to victory in the zydeco dance contest and set your lawn chair in front of the Crawfish or Festival stage to hear incredible local music. We love cheering on the critters during the crawfish races. Held each May. Make your own crawfish étouffée using the recipe from three-time Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival étouffée cook-off champion Mike Huval.

Red River Revel, Shreveport: An October tradition, the Revel is recognized as the largest outdoor arts festival in North Louisiana. Shop beautiful works from more than 140 visual artists and hear live entertainment on three stages. There’s a great children’s area, with art projects, a Ferris wheel and a geological dig site, too.

International Rice Festival, Crowley: It seems Crowley is best known for two things: producing one of the country’s largest rice crops and throwing one of southwest Louisiana’s biggest parties! The October festival has been going on for nearly 80 years and a carnival, frog derby, queen’s pageant, parade and live music are among its many features.

Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival, Bogalusa: Though a new event, the inaugural Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival generated a lot of buzz and was named New Event of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals.  The September festival pays tribute to Bogalusa’s amazingly rich music history.

French Food Festival, Larose: This October festival celebrates the Cajun way of life, from dancing to boat building, and pays particular attention to foods from Cajun kitchens. Sample traditional Bayou Lafourche dishes, like shrimp boulettes, crawfish fettuccine and tarte a la bouille, a custard pie.

Franklin Parish Catfish Festival, Winnsboro: Some 4,000 pounds of catfish are fried up and served at this Saturday festival each April. Bring your family and enjoy the strolling street performers, a wide range of musical entertainment and much more.

Photo credit: Image of French Quarter Festival from CityProfile.com.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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