There are many reasons to visit Lafayette, the Happiest City in America according to the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.com. But what makes this destination vibrant, colorful, and full of joie de vivre is a great mix of festivals, dancing, music, and world-famous parties. Here’s a list of festivals and events you may not be familiar with to help you start planning your trip to the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole country.
The Celtic Bayou Festival is dedicated to celebrating and preserving Irish, Irish American and other Celtic cultures through entertainment. The first edition focused on music, dance, history, language and art that is native to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany. Festival goers were invited to trace their Celtic routes at the genealogy tent, children were delighted with an Irish storytelling puppet show, things got heated at the Guinness cook-off competition, and the event got its unique Lafayette touch with a Lenten Crawfish Boil.
The Acadiana Po’Boy Festival, as the name would suggest, is all about a sandwich considered Louisiana’s signature, the po’boy. The first edition brought together 19 vendors offering half-sized or even smaller po’boys for festival goers to sample. There was also live music, a great variety of beer on tap, a children’s activity tent to make it completely family friendly, and a world record of building the world’s largest po’boy. This festival is free to enter, but you’ll definitely be spending a lot to sample the deliciousness of this Louisiana creation!
Near Lafayette, Opelousas hosts the world’s largest Zydeco and LaLa music festival—the Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival. The first Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival dates back to 1982. It was organized because Creole and Zydeco music were on the verge of dying out. Since then, it has grown into a lively and much appreciated annual celebration of Creole music and culture that you simply cannot miss.
Another great fall festival you shouldn’t miss, the Latin Music Festival, turns the Moncus Park into an homage of Latin heritage and culture. This family friendly event is completely free for the Acadiana community and its visitors, and it delights festival goers with live music, Latin cuisine, and arts and crafts exhibition showcasing jewelry, paintings, textiles, and numerous other crafts.
The Steampunk & Makers Fair is a great mix of dressing up and becoming a steampunk hero coupled with a science fair all with a local twist, makes this festival a unique one not to be missed. Dedicated to science, technology, education, art, and mathematics, this all-ages event is organized by Cité des Arts and the Lafayette Science Museum, and gives you the opportunity for a real-life meeting with 19th century science fiction.
For a complete list of festivals and events in Lafayette Parish visit LafayetteTravel.com/Events.