Acadiana doesn’t need an excuse to have a good time, especially since there is a festival just around the corner at any given time of the year. The area’s famous festival culture honors virtually everything from the food, heritage, music, wildlife, land and people. With the temperatures starting to warm and spring about to bloom, local festivals are popping up ahead of the summer months. Here are all of the festivals you need to check out this spring!
Celtic Bayou Festival
Date: March 15-16
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.
Acadian Memorial Heritage Festival and Wooden Boat Congrés
Date: March 16
Location: Evangeline Oak, 122 Evangeline St., Downtown St. Martinville.
About: This annual museum-style festival highlights Cajun tradition and music. The festival is free and open to all, Acadian or not.
Festival of Live Oaks
Date: Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: New Iberia City Park, 300 Parkview Dr., New Iberia.
Contact: 337-369-2337, 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: March 23, 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, www.IberiaOnTap.com/Dragon-Boat.
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.
World Championship Crawfish Etouffee Cook Off
Date: March 31, 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.
Books Along the Teche Literary Festival
Date: Friday - Sunday, April 5 - 7
Location: Downtown New Iberia
Contact: 337-369-6446, www.BooksAlongtheTecheLiteraryFestival.com.
About: This literary festival honors Iberia authors and others from around the world while focusing on James Lee Burke's legendary literary character, Dave Robicheaux,and his hometown.
Acadiana Po-Boy Festival
Date: Saturday, April 6
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.
The Big Easel Art Festival
Date: April 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: 1100 Camellia Blvd., Lafayette
About: Seventy artists will set up tents in River Ranch Town Square to display their work representing a variety of mediums.
Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week
Date: Sunday - Friday, May 5 - 10
Location: Chicot State Park.
Contact: 337-234-8360, 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.
Lao New Year Celebration
Date: Friday, April 19, 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.
Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival/Wooden Boat Show
Date: Friday - Saturday, April 19 – 20
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.
Scott Boudin Festival
Date: Friday - Sunday, April 5 - 7
Location: 125 Lions Club St., Scott.
Contact: 337-233-1130, 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 26 - 28
Location: St. John Francis Regis Church, 370 Main St., Arnaudville.
Contact: 337-754-5912, 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.
Stir the Pot: Seafood Cook-off and Festival
Date: Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Palmetto Island State Park, 19501 Pleasant Road, Abbeville.
Contact: 337-652-2484, www.StirThePotCookOff.com.
About: This Louisiana seafood cook-off and fundraiser for Palmetto Island State Park includes activities like live music, auction and more.
Festival International de Louisiane
Date: Wednesday - Sunday, April 24 - 28
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 26- 28, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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,cook-offsand more.
Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival
Date: Friday - Saturday, May 3 - 5
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.
LA Smoked Meat Festival
Date: Friday - Saturday,May 17 & 18
Location: Northside Civic Center and Pavilion, Downtown Ville Platte.
About: Everyone is invited to take part in our two day celebration of Culture, Cuisine and Heroes! Come enjoy delicious food, live music, and a great time on both Friday and Saturday night.