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From Giant Omelettes to French Werewolves, Louisiana Coastal Festivals Celebrate Area’s Unique History and Culture

Tour du Teche

From Giant Omelettes to French Werewolves,

Louisiana Coastal Festivals Celebrate Area’s Unique History and Culture

 

Louisiana Coast, August 2016 – The Louisiana Coast is a region rich in history, culture, and food…and they’re not afraid to throw a festival to celebrate. Whether focusing on regional foods like gumbo and boudin, the area’s unique coastal geography, or interesting legends and lore, these festivals all celebrate something that makes a visit to the Louisiana coast unique, distinctive and memorable. Events happen year round, but the fall is an especially popular time to catch an authentic coastal Louisiana festival. Following is a list of some of the most interesting and unique festivals happening along the coast this fall.

Boudin Wars, Sulpher, LA

September 10

Boudin, a staple of Cajun cooking, is a traditional smoked sausage made from pork, liver, rice, onions, garlic and other spices. The debate over who makes the best boudin is always hotly contested, and for the fifth year in a row, local restaurants and chefs will compete for the coveted title of "Best Boudin in Southwestern Louisiana.” For the cost of a $10 ticket (which must be purchased in advance and are available online), visitors can sample all the boudin recipes and help choose the area's best.

Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival, New Iberia, LA

September 22-25

Celebrating its 75th year in 2016, this popular festival celebrates the importance of Louisiana’s sugar cane industry with parades, carnival, live Cajun and Zydeco music, a car show, sugar cookery, photography and art competitions, horticulture show and pageantry. New to this year’s festival is FarmFest, which takes place on the beautiful grounds of Shadows-on-the-Teche, a National Trust plantation home and garden in downtown New Iberia that was built in 1834 for sugarcane planter David Weeks. FarmFest will feature food vendors, a farmer’s market, sugar cane exhibit, live entertainment, a petting zoo, square dancing demonstrations and more.

Tour Du Teche and Berwick Lighthouse Festival, Port Barre to Berwick, LA

October 6-8

Tour du Teche is an annual, three-day staged race for canoes, kayaks, pirogues (the traditional Cajun canoe), and SUPs (stand up paddleboard) along the entire length of Bayou Teche through St. Mary, Iberia, St. Martin and St. Landry Parishes, for a total of 135 miles. There are two classes of Tour du Teche: Pro Race, in which some of the fastest paddlers from around the world vie for cash prizes; and Voyageur Race, where recreational paddlers challenge themselves for trophies, bragging rights and adventure. The Town of Berwick presents its Lighthouse Festival in conjunction with the race, where arts and crafts booths, live music, children’s activities and food and drink highlight this two-day festival held on the Atchafalaya riverfront in the shadow of the Southwest Reef Lighthouse in Berwick, which marks the Tour du Teche finish line. 

Wooden Boat Festival, Madisonville, LA

October 6-8                  

In St. Tammany Parish you’ll find three rivers, two lakes and jumping off points to the Biloxi Marsh, so it only makes sense that the Wooden Boat Festival would be one of its most popular events. The festival takes place on the Tchefuncte River (pronounced Cha-FUNK-tah) and features an impressive lineup of vintage wooden boats, live music, food and plenty to do for kids, but the most unusual part of the festival is the Quick ‘n Dirty Boat Building Contest. Teams pick outrageous themes for their boats, which have to be made in just 14 hours using only the materials provided to them. After the build is complete, teams suit up (costumes encouraged) and parade their creations through the festival before setting sail. Assuming one’s boat stays afloat, racers make two legs, one rowed and the other sailed. Trophies are given, but more importantly, winners get bragging rights for a whole year, and that’s everything.

Louisiana Gumbo Festival, Chackabay, LA

October 14-16

Chackbay is known as the Gumbo Capital of Louisiana, and for good reason. For more than 40 years, the Louisiana Gumbo Festival has been serving 600 gallons of chicken-and-sausage and seafood gumbo—as well as other specialties like jambalaya and crispy fried fish—to hungry visitors. Attendees can watch athletes run off their meal during the Gumbo 5K, catch the parade, and enjoy carnival rides. The sounds of Cajun culture are heard ringing through the small town throughout this three-day celebration as live bands take the stage and festival goers fill the dance floor.

Rougarou Fest, Houma, LA

October 22-23

The legend of the rougarou is a part of many francophone cultures, its name being derived from the French loup for “wolf” and garou, roughly meaning “man who transforms into an animal.” In English, it would be most closely described as a werewolf. In Terrebonne Parish, the locals hold festival to pay homage to this creature, who’s legend has been handed down through the generations. The family-friendly festival with a spooky flair celebrates the rich folklore that exists along the bayous of Southeast Louisiana. It is also the primary fundraiser supporting the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, a nonprofit organization charged with protecting Louisiana’s wetlands. Festival activities include mask making, folklore storytelling, costume contest, and a parade featuring homemade floats, costumed revelers, larger than life wildlife puppets and, of course, the Rougarou himself.

Giant Omelette Celebration, Abbeville, LA

November 5-6

Vermilion Parish lays claim to what has to be one of the most unique food festivals around: the Giant Omelette Celebration. This event was born of an effort to bring the town of Abbeville closer to its French heritage. According to legend, when Napoleon was traveling through the south of France he feasted on an omelette that was so delightful, he ordered the townspeople to gather all the eggs in the village to prepare a huge omelette for his army the next day. To celebrate this legend, each year a 5,000-egg “Omelette of Friendship” is made in front of the Vermilion Parish Courthouse, featuring such ingredients as bell peppers, onions, parsley, crawfish tails and Tabasco. All attendees are invited to taste the omelette. Live entertainment, food vendors, egg cracking contest, and other family-friendly activities round out the celebration.

 

Collectively known as the Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition (LTCC), the coastal parishes of Louisiana promote natural, recreational and cultural experiences to residents of and visitors to these parishes. The LTCC is also an advocate for the sustainable development of coastal communities and protection of the area’s fragile wetlands.

 

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Gillies and Zaiser

212-724-7783

media@gilliesandzaiser.com

www.gilliesandzaiser.com

LTCC-07-August 2016

 

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