Experience Louisiana’s One-of-a-Kind Festival Scene

Five Rayne Frog Festival pageant contestants with frogs Photo courtesy of Louisiana Tourism


Louisiana has over 400 fairs, festivals, and events honoring anything you can imagine — from traditional cuisine and local music to its melting pot of cultures and more. 

For a full-on celebration of Cajun culture, Festival International de Louisiane is a must. Local musicians as well as performing artists from Europe, Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean play on the festival’s stages.

The Louisiana Pirate Festival honors Louisiana’s “patron” pirate (and hero of the War of 1812’s Battle of New Orleans), Jean Lafitte. Fireworks, carnival rides, games, and live entertainment are all part of the pirate-themed fun of this family-friendly event in Lake Charles. Pirate attire and jokes are encouraged.

West of Lafayette in the “Frog Capital of the World,” the town of Rayne dedicates this hoppin’ fest to its favorite amphibian. The Rayne Frog Festival delights visitors with frog racing and jumping competitions as well as live music, dancing, frog cook-offs (yes, they are tasty), and a parade.  

Bayou St. John in New Orleans sets the stage for the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, where festivalgoers arrive in canoes, rafts, and homemade boats to enjoy the nonstop live music from the waters of the bayou.

The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival uniquely blends the livelihoods of these two vital south Louisiana industries. The festival embodies everything great about the state — food, music, children’s activities, historic events, and more.

For decades, the town of Zwolle has celebrated its Spanish and Native American heritage with the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta. More than 15,000 people gather in Sabine Parish to attend the celebration each year.

Speaking of local delicacies, one of Shreveport’s premier events is Mudbug Madness, one of several Louisiana festivals celebrating the state’s most popular (and tastiest) crustacean. Mudbug Madness is a music-centric affair with crawfish-eating contests, magic shows, and some of Louisiana’s biggest zydeco and Cajun bands.  

The Rougarou Fest is a free family-friendly festival with a spooky flair that celebrates the rich folklore that exists along the bayous of southeast Louisiana, including the legend of the Rougarou — essentially the French Cajun version of a werewolf. Get your spook on while you dance to music, eat delicious Cajun food, and celebrate the magic of the wetlands. 

From around Thanksgiving through the New Year, historic Natchitoches decorates with more than 300,000 lights for the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Take a scenic carriage ride and enjoy fireworks over Cane River Lake.

Visit LouisianaBonTemps.com to learn more about Louisiana celebrations and how to join the fun! 

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