Boiled Crawfish

Crawfish Festival Season in Louisiana

Celebrate crawfish season with this guide to discover everything crawfish — all the festivals and all the crawfish you could ever want!

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival

Live music and dancing at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival.

Mudbug Madness Festival

Events like the Mudbug Madness Festival showcase the love affair with Louisiana's crawfish.

If the pelican weren't on Louisiana's state flag, the crawfish might as well be. It's just that important to the state's identity, economy and cuisine. The little red crustacean is found in Cajun and Creole food throughout Louisiana, cooked every which way imaginable. In fact, one of the most popular questions we hear is "when is crawfish season in Louisiana?"

Crawfish are part of Louisiana's history. The Houma Indian tribe has used the crawfish as its emblem for centuries. In the 1800s, Cajun settlers modified lobster recipes passed down from their coastal Canadian forefathers, substituting them with crawfish. Creole restaurateurs in New Orleans caught on, and once it took off in the Big Easy, the secret was out: Crawfish became synonymous with Louisiana cooking. Today, Louisiana leads the nation in crawfish production.

When is Crawfish Season in Louisana?

What makes crawfish even more of a precious resource is the fact that it's so seasonal. February to mid-May is the prime time to find fresh, live crawfish. For many who live in Louisiana, just the scent of a neighborhood crawfish boil is enough to evoke thoughts of springtime.

It's been said that Louisiana has a fest for everything. And it's true - we love a good party. Crawfish festivals are no exception.

Louisiana Crawfish Festivals Not to Miss

Louisiana Crawfish Festival

March in Chalmette - St. Bernard Parish is one of the most seafood-centric regions of Louisiana, with a commercial fishing industry that has thrived for decades. So it's no wonder the Louisiana Crawfish Festival is in the parish seat of Chalmette, located just a few minutes' drive from downtown New Orleans. Head to the fest for crawfish served up every which way, with sides of Cajun music, crafts and pageants.  

World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-off

March in Eunice - This Crawfish Étouffée Cook-off gives participants an opportunity to win over a panel of judges' hearts (or tastebuds, anyway) with the best batch of crawfish étouffée. Étouffée is Cajun heritage in a bowl, a stew made with a "blonde" roux, crawfish and vegetables, and served over rice. At this annual cook-off, a few lucky competitors are awarded bragging rights, but it just might be hungry festival attendees who are the real winners.

The Original Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival

April in Lake Charles - The unofficial capital of southwest Louisiana rolls out the red carpet for crawfish at this annual three-day party. Billed as a crawfish festival, the Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival is more like a party for the whole region that celebrates all there is to love about Lake Charles. Pageants, live music, midway games, locally made crafts and carnival rides are all part of this family-friendly event.

Crawfest at Tulane University

April in New Orleans - Two live music stages, 20,000-plus pounds of crawfish and tons of fun are to be found on Tulane University's Uptown campus at Crawfest each April. The legendary New Orleans college becomes Louisiana's crawfish capital for a day, with music by local bands and unlimited plates of mudbugs, soda and water for attendees. 

Slidell's Annual Crawfish Cook-Off

April in Slidell - Billed as the largest one-day event on the Northshore, the Hospice Foundation of the South-sponsored Crawfish Cook-off in Slidell boasts 60-plus teams vying for the title of Best Crawfish in St. Tammany Parish. Bands known well beyond the parish line play at this charity event and special attractions include a Kids Zone for children age 12 and under.

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival

May in Breaux Bridge - The first weekend of May each year, upwards of 30,000 people flock to south Louisiana for the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival to celebrate our beloved crustacean. The Louisiana Legislature named Breaux Bridge the "Crawfish Capital of the World" in 1959 and the festival was born in 1960. Replete with music, food and fun, this festival personifies the Cajun culture like no other. 

Mudbug Madness

May in Shreveport - One of Shreveport's premier events is Mudbug Madness, held Memorial Day each year at the city's Festival Grounds. With the tagline "3 Stages, 20 Acts, 1 Good Ol' Time," Mudbug Madness is a music-centric affair with crawfish-eating contests, magic shows for the kids, and some of Louisiana's biggest zydeco and Cajun bands.  

Crawfish Boils, Farm Tours, Restaurants and More

You won't just find crawfish on the festival grounds. Jeff Davis Parish offers crawfish farm tours, which give visitors an inside glimpse of crawfish ecology and the business of farming them. And don't miss out on a stay at Crawfish Haven, a part-crawfish farm, part-bed & breakfast where you can enjoy a delicious boil for dinner.

And, of course, Louisiana is full of restaurants that serve crawfish. Find hot and spicy crawfish everywhere from Hawk's Crawfish in Rayne, to Clesi's in New Orleans, to Debarge's Crawfish in Alexandria to Trapp's in West Monroe.

Learn more about Louisiana's crawfish history or learn from the locals just how to eat crawfish, and check out the rest of the amazing festivals happening in Louisiana year-round!