Stephanie’s Top 5 Louisiana Festivals For 2017
As we head into festival season, I always put together a list of my 'Must See, Must Do' events for the coming months. We have so many festivals here in Louisiana, that it's hard to choose just some of them to attend, but I try to hit as many as possible!
French Quarter Fest, which was started in 1984, was originally designed to bring people into this historic area of New Orleans after the World's Fair. It is completely free, and is held the first weekend in April. There are 23 stages with local music around the French Quarter, lots of great Louisiana cuisine, and fantastic arts and crafts. If you are looking for a real Cajun / Creole experience, this festival is probably for you.
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is the last weekend in April, and first weekend in May, and brings thousands of visitors to the fairgrounds every year. Jazz Fest not only showcases national acts on four different stages, but many of our finest regional and local musicians as well. The food at Jazz Fest is legendary for being delicious, and cheap, and there are two different locations for fine arts and crafts, including some of our best Louisiana artisans.
Festivals Acadiens et Creoles is a wonderful blend of everything we love about our Cajun and Creole culture. Local and regional music, food, arts and crafts, and lots of unique flavor. Thousands of visitors head to Girard Park in Lafayette for this festival held the third weekend in October. This is truly the best of everything that is considered 'Cajun' in Louisiana!
The annual Herb and Garden Festival in Sunset is not a traditional music and food event, but it is still one of my go-to favorites every year. I wouldn't miss this charming festival held on the grounds of the old Sunset High School the first Saturday in May. There is a plethora of vendors selling Louisiana art, local and regional products, and of course lots of plants and herbs native to Acadiana. And the best part is that all of the proceeds benefit the Sunset Garden Club.
Celebrating the humble mudbug in Breaux Bridge every May is a time honored Louisiana tradition. The Crawfish Festival is the largest gathering of Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop musicians in the world, with 30 different bands in 3 days. Not to mention unbelievably delicious crawfish dishes, local cuisine, arts and crafts, and really great people watching in the heart of Cajun country.