Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!
LOUISIANA has it all!
Whether it’s gumbo, Cajun or Creole, zydeco, blues, Lobster in-the- pot,
crawfish, or Tabasco “red” from Iberia, the place where it’s made and home to more than 18 festivals each year ( www.Iberiatravel.com/ 888-942-3742 ), Louisiana is the festival capital of America. More than 400, in fact, last year. Come for the music, the food, the sites and sounds of the people who know that “laissez les bon temps rouler” or to enjoy life is the best way to go. No wonder Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the country’s most celebrated event, and thanks to their Cultural Districts program, there are 51 in all throughout the state, and Louisiana promises “good times” throughout the year.
On Oct. 26 the State Museum in New Orleans pays tribute to the debacle of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana’s worst hit in nearly a century. The exhibition is located in the Presbytere in the French Quarter at Jackson Square from Tues. thru-Saturday, 10-5pm. Call 800-568. 6968 or visit www.KatrinAnd Beyond.com. In November the Main to Main Festival takes place. Here’s where the locals travel to each part of the state to celebrate their roots. Over 300,000 attended this event. The show goes on!
The Parishes — there are 68 of them. Wherever you go in the state you’ll find “home”
in any one of them.
Lafayette, for one, offers a positive economic climate for business and industry. It was voted the 2nd best mid-size city to start a business according to Fortune and the only city in the state voted in the top 100 places to live according to the 2010 Relocate America web-site. CEO for economic development, Gregg Gothreaux, states that it allows for a
unique opportunity to settle there where the median value for a home site is less than $150,000. You can’t beat that! And its cultural side is impressive, too. The Museum Loop offers a chance to visit nine museums for a single ticket. Visit the Acadian Village and Center, and the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and Vermillionville. The River Ranch center, a mix of shopping, food and a variety of services, are all in walking distance of their Main Street. The Place Lunch Experience, another venue provides real down-home cooking at a fair price. Meat 3, Quick Lunch and Blue Plate Special are some
of these restaurants.
Fore more info try www.lafayette.org
or call 337-593.1400
St. Landy Parish is the Home of Zydeco Music. There are 13 cities just north of Lafayette where you’ll find it and 12 months of festivals where you can pick and choose your favorites. The Catfish Festival in February, the World Championship Crawfish & Etouffe Festival in March, the Yambilee Festival in October and the Cracklin Festival in November are very popular. The Bayouteche Corridor in the Atachafalaye National Heritage trail is for nature lovers everywhere.
Located in the center of the state, Landy Parish is a four hour drive from Houston, and two hours west from New Orleans. Call 877-948. 8004 or access www.cajuntravel.com for more details.
St Martin Parish is “Where Cajun Began.” It’s the home of Longfellow’s epic poem-Evangeline and voted the “Crawfish Capital of the World”. Over 20 festivals take place here every year including the annual Cajun Music Awards Festival in August and the annual Creole Zydeco Festival in September. The parish is the gateway to the Atachafalya basis which is considered one of the most culturally diverse waterways in the U.S. The parish is located only 10 miles north of Lafayette, and 50 miles west of Baton Rouge. Call 888-565. 5939 or try www.cajuncountry.com for updates.
Jeff Davis Parish is one of the smallest in the state but is known for
its Mardi Gras festival in February-March and is said to be the original
pageantry. It’s famous for its Roastin’ with Rosie BBQ Festival which takes place in September. There’s a BBQ Cook-Off and a Southern Seafood Competition that bring visitors from all parts of the state and beyond. The entry is only $5. The Culinary Trail is all Cajun and runs from the cities of Jennings, Welsh and Lake Arthur. Jeff Davis hosts 14 festivals from September to November alone. The phone there is 337.821.5534 or try www.jeffdavis.org
For a more detailed account of what the state offers go to www.louisianatravel.com. The phone at the state capital in Baton Rouge is: 225-342.8100.