Louisiana's Must See-It-To-Believe-It Festivals
These are some of the unique, the beautiful and the one-offs of Louisiana festivals that you will want to experience.
These are the Louisiana festivals that are so unique, you won't want to miss them. These events are quirky and guaranteed fun whether it's a well-known event or a lesser-known Louisiana festival. They’re definitely diverse, but all have one thing in common: You won’t find many other festivals like these, anywhere!
Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival
The Fur & Wildlife Festival tests the skills of outdoor enthusiasts in an array of competitions, including trap setting, goose-calling trials, nutria skinning, and oyster shucking. The festival is dubbed one of the "oldest and coldest" festivals in Louisiana.
Festival International de Louisiane
For more than 25 years, Festival International de Louisiane has been celebrating south Louisiana's French cultural heritage. Native musicians as well as performing artists from Europe, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean play on the festival's six stages — more than 18 different world nations are represented at the festival! And more than 300,000 festival-goers will gather in Lafayette for the Festival International de Louisiane.
Louisiana Pirate Festival
Formerly known as the Contraband Days Festival, 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 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Yes, pirate attire and jokes are encouraged.
Rayne Frog Festival
West of Lafayette in the "Frog Capital of the World," the town of Rayne dedicates its annual festival to its favorite amphibian. The Rayne Frog Festival delights visitors with frog racing and jumping competitions, as well as live music, dancing, frog cookoffs (yes, they are tasty) and the Grand Parade.
Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo
Bayou St. John in New Orleans sets the stage for the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo where festival-goers arrive in canoes, rafts, paddleboards and homemade boats to enjoy the non-stop live music from the waters of the bayou. The festival is packed with a huge live music lineup, food, arts and even a floating bar. If you don't want to be waterlogged all day, the majority of the festival can also be experienced on the shore.
Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival
The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival is held every Labor Day weekend. The shrimping and oil industries are admittedly strange bedfellows for a festival, but this event celebrates the livelihood of these two vital south Louisiana industries. A great cultural microcosm of Louisiana, the festival is everything great about the state – food, music, children’s activities, historic events and more.
Zwolle Tamale Fiesta
For more than 40 years, the town of Zwolle has celebrated its Spanish and Native American heritage with the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta, a three-day event held the second weekend of October each year. More than 15,000 people gather in Sabine Parish to attend the celebration each year, and they consume tens of thousands of tamales.
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. Simply put, a Rougarou is the French Cajun version of a werewolf that lurks in the swamps. Get your spook on while you dance to music, eat delicious Cajun food and celebrate the magic of the wetlands.
Sabine Freestate Festival
The Sabine Freestate Festival, a family-friendly event held in the village of Florien, honors the strange and fascinating past of this region that was once known as “the Neutral Strip,” a buffer zone between Spain and the United States in the years following the Louisiana Purchase. The festival honors its quirky history with crafts, games, a parade, a treasure hunt, quilting demonstrations, bull rides, Wild West-style shootouts and much more.
These are just a handful of the whacky and unique festivals that Louisiana loves to celebrate. More than 400 festivals take place each year, meaning you will find a festival that suits your tastes. Learn more about festivals in Louisiana! Check out our crawfish festivals and gumbo festivals. And if you're looking for fests based on the time of year you plan on visiting, we've got spring festivals, summer festivals and fall festivals! Laissez les bons temps rouler!