From sea to shining seafood, from Cajun boudin and balloons, from jazz and jumpin’ jive, Louisiana has every possible type of festival you can imagine. Check out the best fall festivals around the state and find a festival or two where you can experience all the state has to offer related to food, fun, and festivities.
If you’ve never sampled authentic boudin, you don’t know what you’re missing. It is one of the unique food items that can be found in the state. It’s a blend of pork, rice, onions and parsley served in a sausage casing. Considered a classic Cajun staple great to eat any time of the day, the Boudin Wars held in Sulphur, Louisiana bring together local eateries and chefs for a competition called the Boudin Wars. Winner of the tasty competition receive the title “Best Boudin in SWLA,” but they aren’t the only winners. Ticket holders can sample traditional and exotic boudin from a number of vendors and then vote for their local favorite.
The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival in New Orleans is the celebration of the famous po’boy sandwich made famous by the streetcar strike in the late 1920s and the promise of one local restaurant to feed every “po’boy” that was hungry. This free annual event is held rain or shine, and brings together the best restaurants and live music to entertain and delight festival attendees with the unique homage to this popular and satisfying food. Wrist bands are required to purchase food on premise.
What do crawfish and art have in common? Would you like to be part of the largest arts and music festival in a five-state area? Then you’ll want to go to the Red River Revel held in Shreveport, Louisiana. This is nine days of audio and visual stimulation to the extreme with 80 performances on eight stages and over 100 art displays. The festival began in 1976, and has received national attention as one of the “Top 10 Fine Arts Festivals in the United States” by Sunshine Arts Magazine.
This festival has existed to raise awareness of the unique and limited landscape consisting of marshes and swamps and the plants and animals that live there. You can come for a day or make a weekend of it with overnight camping in the area. During the day, you can visit the dozens of food tents and sample shrimp etouffé, alligator sauce, jambalaya, and menu of other Cajun-specific foods. Your evenings will be full of some of the best Cajun music from bands around the state. And while you take part in this wonderful festival, you’ll be supporting the preservation of Louisiana’s wetlands for future generations.
Are you looking for a fun-filled festival to attend with your family? Then plan to go to the Louisiana Cotton Festival in Ville Platte. First started to celebrate the role cotton has played in the economy of this part of the state, especially during hard times, cotton is still the focus of the festival. Entertainment and education are an integral part of the schedule, with events like Le Tournoi, the ancient French game that’s similar to polo. Riders in the game battle the evils that threaten cotton: bollworm, boll weevil, flood, drought, rayon, nylon, and silk. It’s a fun time for all, and there’s music, food, and dance for all ages.
The Giant Omelette Celebration, started in 1984, is a celebration like no other. Using a 12-foot skillet and over 5,000 eggs, the town of Abbeville, Louisiana, transforms into an egg-citing place! The purpose of the celebration is taken from an ancient story about feeding the poor by joining together, and the festival has become known for its cultural impact called the Confrerie. There’s a children’s omelet, too, and it’s made of 600 eggs. In addition to making the enormous omlette, activities include an art show, food booths, live music, and a tour of local homes. The Giant Omelette Celebration is egg-actly where you should be!
It’s time to party in the park at the annual Highland Jazz & Blues Festival held in Shreveport, Louisiana. Come get funky with live music, great food, and artwork in the park at this awesome fun-for-all-ages event. This is food for your body, food for your mind, and food for your soul.
Would you like to swing on a star? Well, you won’t go that high, but at the Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival in Gonzales, Louisiana, you could take a tethered ride on a hot air balloon. This multi-day annual festival brings together the best of balloons, blues, and barbecue, food competitions, fireworks, and carnival rides. Admission is only $5 per person and kids eight and under are free. A special kids’ village is set up with face painting, arts and craft activities, magic shows, a petting zoo, and more.
The Bon Dieu Falls Festival in Montgomery, Louisiana, is one crazy shindig! With live bands playing every genre of music from gospel to rock, wild games of laser tag, and a cool car show, you won’t know exactly what to expect, but that’s part of the fun.