Acadiana’s famous festival culture honors virtually everything from the food, heritage, music, wildlife, land and people. With the temperatures starting to warm and spring on the way, local festivals are popping up ahead of the summer months. Acadiana Lifestyle has prepared a comprehensive reference guide for all of the major festivals coming to the area this season.
The Big Easel
Date: Saturday, March 7 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: River Ranch Town Square, Lafayette.
About: The Big Easel is an outdoor art festival that is hosted in the River Ranch Town Square every spring. Artist tents fill the River Ranch Town Square in various mediums including oil, acrylic, wad, wood, pottery, jewelry, metal, mixed media, watercolor, glass and more! This is a free event to all who wish to attend. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the event.
Celtic Bayou Festival
Date: March 13 - 14
Location: Warehouse 535, 535 Garfield St., Downtown Lafayette.
Admission: $10, $15
About: A family friendly event held St. Patrick’s Day weekend to celebrate the Irish culture while instilling an appreciation of this heritage in current and future generations.
Patty in the Parc
Date: Saturday, March 14 at 6 p.m.
About: Every year, Patty In The Parc brings you top-notch entertainment as well as great food and drinks making it the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day destination for you and your crew. This year features Sir Mix-A-Lot, Wayne Toups and L.A. ROXX. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., music starts at 6 p.m. No ice chests or outside food or drinks allowed. Free entry for children under the age of 10. Tickets are non-refundable.
Acadian Memorial Heritage Festival and Wooden Boat Congrés
Date: Saturday, March 21
Location: Evangeline Oak Park, 122 Evangeline St., Downtown St. Martinville.
Contact: 337-394-2258 or info@AcadianMemorial.org.
About: This annual museum-style festival highlights Cajun tradition and music. The festival is free and open to all, Acadian or not. Consider wearing a costume and join in to celebrate the Acadian culture and St. Martinville.
Festival of Live Oaks
Date: Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: New Iberia City Park, 300 Parkview Dr., New Iberia.
Contact: 337-369-2337 or IberiaTravel.com.
About: Come celebrate spring at New Iberia City Park with fun, family-friendly activities, including a barbecue cook off, Easter egg hunt, live music, pony rides, children activities, crafts, sweet booths and more.
Acadiana Dragon Boat Festival
Date: Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Bouligny Plaza, 102 W Main St., New Iberia.
Admission: Boat registration - $2,200, viewing is free
Contact: 337-207-2806 or www.IberiaOnTap.com.
About: Experience authentic dragon boats racing down Bayou Teche that are powered to the finish line by 20 paddlers while one drummer keeps the beat. There is also a burger cook-off, vendors, live music and family-friendly activities throughout the day.
World Championship Crawfish Etouffee Cook Off
Date: Saturday, March 29, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Northwest Community Center Pavilion - 651 Samuel Dr., Eunice.
Contact: 337-457-2565, www.EtouffeeCookOff.org.
About: This event features professional and amateur cooks vying for the title of "World Champion," and is one of the best ways to taste some of the best crawfish in Louisiana. Teams compete to see who can cook the best crawfish etouffee in three categories: Amateur, Professional and Club/Organization. Once the judges have their samples from the booths, the public can buy the crawfish etouffee directly from the participants, and vote for the People's Choice Award.
Acadiana Po-Boy Festival
Date: Saturday, April 4 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Parc Sans Souci, Downtown Lafayette.
About: This festival celebrates the legacy of the humble poboy sandwich, expands its boundaries, and seeks to promote the culture & hospitality of Acadiana through food, music and fun. Vendors will be selling poboys, beverages, arts and crafts, kids activities, live entertainment and more.
Books Along the Teche Literary Festival
Date: Friday - Sunday, April 3 - 5
Location: Downtown New Iberia
Contact: 337-369-6446 or www.BooksAlongtheTecheLiteraryFestival.com.
About: The Festival celebrates the literary talent that our area has to offer by highlighting each year a different Great Southern Writer. Osha Gray Davidson is the 2020 Books Along Books Along the Teche Literary Festival Great Southern Writer!
Lao New Year Celebration
Date: Friday, April 10, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: Wat Thammarattanaram Temple, 7913 Champa Ave., Broussard.
Contact: 337-251-6624, www.IberiaTravel.com.
About: The Lanexang Village celebrates the Lao New Year every Easter weekend with a three-day festival that includes live music, a beauty pageant, parades, sand castle building, kids activities and several vendors selling clothes, jewelry, music and food from Southeast Asia.
Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week
Date: Sunday - Friday, April 19 - 24
Location: Chicot State Park.
Contact: 337-234-8360 or www.LAFolkRoots.org.
About: Balfa Week is not a school, or a festival, or a family reunion – it’s all those things and more. At Balfa Week, guests can learn knee-to-knee with master musicians and culture bearers surrounded by great folks from across the globe.
Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival/Wooden Boat Show
Date: Friday - Saturday, April 17 – 18
Location: Bayou Teche, Downtown Franklin.
About: The bear festival educates the citizens of Acadiana about the Louisiana black bear, a species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. The festival features a "Running of the Bears" 5K run/walk, arts & crafts booths, food booths, live music, Fun Zone and more.
Scott Boudin Festival
Date: Friday - Sunday, April 17 - 19
Location: 125 Lions Club St., Scott.
Contact: 337-233-1130 or www.ScottBoudinFestival.com.
About: This festival, held at the “Boudin Capital of the World,” offers a family friendly weekend with carnival rides, bands, arts and crafts, lots of food and boudin cooked many, many ways.
Date: Friday - Sunday, April 24 - 26
Location: St. John Francis Regis Church, 370 Main St., Arnaudville.
Contact: 337-754-5912 or www.LafayetteTravel.com.
About: Get a taste of the competition at the Mayor's Cook-off, which will feature a diverse variety of étouffées including crawfish, seafood, vegetable and even wild game. Festivities include carnival rides, award winning bands, bingo, Cash-n-Carry store, various vendor booths, an auto show and, of course, étouffée.
Stir the Pot: Seafood Cook-off and Festival
Date: Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Island State Park, 19501 Pleasant Road, Abbeville.
Contact: 337-652-2484 or www.FriendsofPalmetto.org/Stir-The-Pot.
About: This Louisiana seafood cookoff and fundraiser for Palmetto Island State Park includes activities like live music, auction and more.
Festival International de Louisiane
Date: Wednesday - Sunday, April 22 - 26
Location: Downtown Lafayette
About: Festival is a premiere International music and arts festival known for bringing a variety of unique and emerging performers to Louisiana that will feature seven music stages, arts and crafts vendors, local food and other family friendly activities.
El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia (New Iberia Spanish Festival)
Date: Friday - Sunday, April 17- 19
Location: Bouligny Plaza, Downtown New Iberia
About: This festival celebrates the 240th anniversary of the founding of New Iberia by the Spanish with gala, "Running of the Bulls" dog-friendly 5K/1mile fun run, parade, paella/tapas/jambalaya cook-off, Spanish dessert bake-off, Spanish re-enactment, Spanish family genealogy displays, live Spanish, Cajun & Zydeco music & entertainment; arts & crafts show; free Spanish dance lessons; visiting royalty paella eating contest; children's tent, mass and more.
Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival
Date: Friday - Saturday, May 1 - 3
Location: Parc Hardy, 2090 Rees St., Breaux Bridge
About: The festival celebrates the area’s famous succulent crawfish and status as a prime destination to sample the world famous sounds of Cajun music with more than 30 entertainers performing across three stages.