Acadiana is a lively region full of culture and kind people. In fact, Lafayette was recently named the happiest city in the U.S. If you really want to get out and experience this joyful culture for yourself, here is an all-you-need list of events you can check out throughout the year.
- Have a boat that you’ve been dying to show off? Come register for the Bayou Vermilion Festival and Boat Parade! You can decorate your boat, wear a costume, and float on down the Vermilion River. If you don’t have a boat, you can watch from the Camellia Bridge or other points along the river. More than just a boat parade, you can enjoy live music, cook-offs, face painting, and more each year in May.
- If you love Zydeco music, you’ll definitely want to be at the LARGEST one-day Zydeco music festival in the world. Come out to Zydeco Extravaganza to hear some of the most famous Zydeco musicians every year on Memorial Day weekend. It’s a great chance to bond with the community, and with people from out of town as Zydeco fest draws people from all over the world.
- Each spring, beautiful pink, red, and white azaleas bloom all over Lafayette. March 18th was recently named “Azalea Trail Day” in Lafayette, marking a day for Acadiana residents and visitors to enjoy the floral displays and other family-friendly events at Parc de Lafayette.
- The largest international music festival in the U.S. is held in Louisiana. You heard us. Right here in Lafayette. Festival International is a five-day music fest held every year in April with performances from artists from more than 20 countries. Although the music is international, the main purpose is to celebrate French culture and the connection Acadiana has to French culture all over the world. You don’t want to miss it!
- Cycle Zydeco is four days of biking and five days of parties to give attendees a full tour of Cajun country. This Cajun and Creole biking event occurs every year the week after Easter. It’s not just a festival, but a festival on wheels! You can check out other biking events hosted by Cycle Zydeco on the TRAIL website.
- If you love boudin, you’ll want to head over to Scott Boudin Festival for the boudin eating contest. This event is held every year in April in Scott, LA with live music, great Cajun food, arts and crafts, and carnival rides.
- If you can trace your roots to Ireland, you’ll definitely want to check out Acadiana’s St. Patrick’s Day event, aka Celtic Bayou Festival. If you aren’t of Irish descent, you’ll still want to attend to see Celtic bands, Irish food cook-offs, and all sorts of unique entertainment.
- The Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is held the first weekend in May in historic Breaux Bridge. Spend the weekend listening to authentic Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop music. It isn’t called a crawfish fest for nothing! Enjoy the world-famous race of the crawfish and taste crawfish prepared in a number of different ways, along with other Cajun food delicacies.
- The Acadiana Indian Association hosts Holi Festival every year on the last Saturday in March. This family-friendly celebration combines Indian and Cajun culture in celebration of life through bright colors and dance.
- Want to get in a little exercise during Mardi Gras season, but still want to party, too? The Lundi Gras Bar-A-Thon is the ultimate fun run with adult bevs, a costume contest, and delicious food served when you finish.
- You haven’t lived in Acadiana if you haven’t had a poboy – a traditional Louisianan sandwich served on a French baguette. The Acadiana Poboy Festival celebrates the legacy of this delicious sandwich with food, live music, games for kids, and most importantly, poboys from multiple vendors.
- Every spring, you can head to downtown Lafayette for the city’s longest-running outdoor concert series. Downtown Alive is a free, all-ages concert featuring local and regional artists, as well as food and drinks from local vendors.
- We can’t have an Acadiana events list without mentioning Mardi Gras! Over a ten-day period, there are several events throughout Acadiana including the traditional Courir de Mardi Gras, king cakes, Mardi Gras balls, costume contests, and Mardi, Mardi more. Mardi Gras always falls on the Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) right before Lent.
- Beer lovers unite at Gulf Brew! Come out to Acadiana’s largest craft beer festival held each summer at Blackham Coliseum. In addition to the finest craft brews, you’ll also enjoy live music and great food.
- You’re never too old for carnival rides! Every summer, you can come out to the Cajun Heartland State Fair for 11 days of entertainment, games, food, and fun. Bring the whole family to enjoy the festivities.
- Brisket, pork chops, drumsticks, and sausage are just some of the delicious meats you can taste at the Bayou Barbeque Bash. Of course, food is the most important part, but a barbeque wouldn’t be a barbeque without family, friends, and fresh air. In July, you can head out to downtown Morgan City for all of this and more.
- Every Fourth of July, Acadiana celebrates Independence Day with a free event at Parc International in Downtown Lafayette. Uncle Sam’s Jam is for kids of all ages and it’s full of face painting, food, activities, and of course, the night ends with a bang in a glittering fireworks display.
- All summer long celebrate Lafayette’s local restaurant scene at Eat Lafayette. More than 100 local restaurants from various culinary backgrounds provide specials and deals as part of this effort to promote locally-owned business.
- For the latest and greatest gadgets, tools, and products for all things outdoors, check out LA Outdoor Expo and Boat Show. Hundreds of vendors showcase items that will have you up-to-date with boating, hunting, and camping needs. Come out to the Cajundome in July for shopping, learning, and fun.
- You may have heard of Sundance or Cannes, but did you know Acadiana has it’s very own film festival? Each November, you can attend Southern Screen which hosts film screenings, panels, red carpet events, parties, and workshops.
- Do you have a special recipe for gumbo, jambalaya, or any other South Louisiana dish? Then you’ll defo want to enter the annual Blackpot Festival and Cook Off. Even if cooking isn’t your specialty, you can come enjoy live music, great food, and camping at Vermilionville.
- The Bayou Roundup is an annual music, food, and culture festival held on the historic Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette. Vroom, vroom. This fest is also known for featuring custom, vintage, and hot rod cars.
- If you’re a fan of comics, movies, and all things science fiction, then there’s a huge chance you’re aware of Comic-Con. This huge comic book convention originally launched in San Diego, but it is now hosted all over the country including right here in Lafayette. Come out to Louisiana Comic-Con for the ultimate fan event held at the Cajundome Convention Center in October.
- Most of us have heard of Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning, but did you know Tony Chachere’s now hosts a food festival? Every fall, you can head out to Plate Lunchapalooza at Sugar Mill Pond for a day of food, live music, and family fun.
- In 2016, Steampunk Festival was named one of the top 20 events in the Southeastern U.S. So what is this renowned event? It’s a celebration of science fiction in the modern world. Creative and innovative people showcase their own music, stories, art, costumes, and creative 19th-century paraphernalia.
- A weekend of biking, beer and... omelettes?? That’s right, Bikes, Brews, & Omelettes for Two is a 200-mile cycling event in November with biking, brewery tours, and, at the end of the event, a GIANT 5,000 egg omelette.
- Festivals and events are fun, but an event that supports a good cause is even better. The Jeep Jaunt Jam benefits the American Lung Association in Louisiana. Come out in October and support this cause with a 40-mile jeep parade, lunch, prizes, and indoor events for all ages.
- Festival Acadiens is Lafayette’s annual cultural festival. Every second weekend in October, this festival provides a fun musical and culinary Cajun and Creole experience. This event also includes a craft fair with artisans from all across Louisiana.
- Live music, fresh air, and good people. That’s the experience of Rhythms on the River – six weeks of free live music in the River Ranch Town Square every Thursday evening in the fall. There will also be local restaurants selling food and drinks.
- Each January, Cinema on the Bayou film festival screens films from all over the world right here in venues around Lafayette. After eight days of various films, enjoy a closing reception with live music and drinks.
While you're checking out the events and festivals, be sure to pop into local Acadiana businesses. Find your way to local through the FREE Towny app! Don't miss out, cher!