[Courtesy of Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival]

Louisiana Food Fests to Visit in 2024

07:00 April 02, 2024
By: Kimmie Tubré

Indulging in a Bounty of Food Festivals Statewide

Did you know Louisiana stands out as one of the most festival-centric states in the USA? While New Orleans hosts some of the most renowned and lucrative festivals, the state boasts many unique and popular annual events. With approximately 400 festivals taking place each year, these festivities span all seasons from fall to summer, but spring emerges as the quintessential "festival season."

The spring season, marked by mild weather and the onset of crawfish season, provides an ideal backdrop for indulging in the festive spirit, especially when that spirit comes with an appetite. Known for our food culture, one of the best ways to experience the unique foods of Louisiana is to visit one of the many food-related festivals. While the Big Easy has many amazing food festivals each year, it is not the only city in this state with food fests that represent its culture. Here are a few food festivals happening this spring that you must experience.

Scott Boudin Festival (April 5-7)

Scott, La.

Head just west of Lafayette in the region of Louisiana where boudin reigns supreme. Named the "Boudin Capital of the World," this 10-year-old festival is filled with Cajun culture, Louisiana hospitality, and, of course, boudin.

Jean Lafitte Seafood Festival (April 12-14)

Jean Lafitte, La.

While only 30 minutes away, Jean Lafitte offers a much different scene and culture than the Big Easy. The 200-year-old fishing village hosts an annual seafood festival where guests can enjoy the delicious Louisiana dishes of the Cajun town. Festival goers can also engulf themselves in the culture by enjoying live music, swamp tours, kayak rentals, carnival rides, an art walk, and more.

[Courtesy of Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival]

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival (April 12-14)

Ponchatoula, La.

Less than an hour from New Orleans is a deliciously sweet festival that has become one of the more popular festivals in the state. Starting in 1972, with only 11 booths and a $500 budget, this festival has grown tremendously. Today the festival hosts more than 300,000 patrons eager to taste every strawberry variation available.

Annual Étouffée Festival (April 26-28)

Arnaudville, La.

If you've ever been to St. Landry Parish, then you know that they are serious about their étouffée. This 34-year-old festival and cook-off showcases a diverse array of étouffées, including crawfish, seafood, vegetable, and wild game.

[Courtesy of Plaquemines Parish Seafood Festival]

Plaquemines Parish Seafood Festival (April 26-28)

Belle Chasse, La.

Located just 20 minutes from downtown New Orleans is Plaquemines Parish, a parish known for fishing and filled with some of the best fishermen in the state. This festival is the perfect place to taste delicious seafood dishes while celebrating the rich heritage of the region.

Gonzales Jambalaya Festival (May 24-26)

Gonzales, La.

Did you know that Gonzales is the jambalaya capital of the world? Their impressive skills of cooking the tastiest jambalaya led the city to hosting their first festival in the late '60s, which grew to crowds reaching more than 50,000 by 1971. Today, the fest is filled with contests, pageants, music, and more.

Soul Food Festival (June 14-15)

Franklin, La.

Hosted by The 100 Black Men of St. Mary Parish, this festival may be at the end of the spring festival season, but it still brings all the festival favorites. Guests can enjoy soul food, music, health, and heritage, as well as a 5K race. Fairly new to the festival scene, this four-year fest will give you a soulful time and a full belly.

Louisiana Loves its Crawfish

It's a fact that Louisianians love their crawfish. If you fit that description, then you may want to check out these three mud-bug filled festivals.

Make sure to chack out the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival (May 3-5). This festival celebrates the delicious Cajun delicacy while also including live music, traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine, and a crawfish cook-off.

Speaking of cook-offs, the Mud Bug Boil Off (May 11) in Thibodaux, La. is certainly a tasty show worth seeing.

More Than Food: Other Unique Festivals Outside of New Orleans

[Courtesy of Croatian Fest]

Croatian Fest (April 20): Held in Belle Chasse, this festival recognizes and celebrates the Croatian American community that developed in southeastern Louisiana. The fest showcases lots of authentic Croatian food, as well as charbroiled oysters, and also hosts traditional music performances.

Festival International de Louisiane (April 26-30): Held in Lafayette, this festival is a celebration of the diverse cultures that contribute to Louisiana's unique heritage. It features a mix of international and local music, food, and art.

Louisiana Pirate Festival (May 2-12): Held in Lake Charles, this festival celebrates the region's pirate history with a fun and unique twist. It includes a pirate parade, live entertainment, food, and various family-friendly activities.

Rayne Frog Festival (May 9-11): Held in Rayne, LA, this festival is all about the frog, from slimy frog races to frog jumping contests. This festival is over 50-years-old and also has a parade, block party, delicious food, and a plethora of events throughout the festival days.

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