We know this time of year there is no shortage of things to do with kids in New Orleans. The cooler temperatures mean more fall family fun. However, if you do find yourself looking for a weekend getaway, look no further than Festivals Acadiens et Créoles: a festival that is certainly worth the drive. Our local NOLA writers have plenty of tips for traveling with the family from New Orleans, as well as tips on enjoying a trip to Acadiana! Here are New Orleans Mom, we know there’s nothing quite like festival season in Southeast Louisiana when the weather is crisp … and below are the 5 reasons you should make the drive to Lafayette for Festivals Acadiens et Créoles the weekend of October 14-16!
5 Reasons to Make the Drive to Lafayette for Festivals Acadiens et Créoles
Heeey NOLA neighbors! What are you doing the weekend of October 14-16? How about a play date at Girard Park in Lafayette? We invite you to take a short road trip to the other side of our beautiful Atchafalaya Basin and come brush up on your Cajun French while you ‘pass a good time’ with us at our annual Festivals Acadiens et Créoles. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an incredibly fun and unique music festival that brings together Louisiana’s absolute best Cajun and Creole bands, attracting thousands of people from across the country and around the World. Bonus: its FREE!
We love festivals just as much as you do. What’s not to love about live music, good food, and old fashioned fun? And what’s not to love about Lafayette? There are so many reasons to come visit us anytime, of course, but here are five Reasons you should make the drive to Lafayette for Festivals Acadiens et Créoles:
We’re the happiest people in the US.
At least, according to some fancy Harvard / CDC study that was published both nationally and locally (because, Lafayette pride). Of course, we agree because we are Lafayette and we live it every day. And we think it’s your turn to come to us so we can show you what all the fuss is about. You know we don’t pass up a good reason to go to NOLA (family, friends, the French Quarter, Mardi Gras, the Saints, etc.), but there are just as many reasons for you to come explore our fun, easy-to-navigate, and family-friendly city. So come on over to let us return the hospitality and show YOU a good time! Check out Lafayette Travel’s website to find great places to stay and learn about other fun things to do while you’re here. Why not make it a mini-vacation?
Free Entertainment for Family & Friends
Ok that’s many reasons wrapped in one, but they go hand in hand. Who doesn’t love some free entertainment while enjoying quality time with family and friends? (And we know most of you have friends in Lafayette, because around here everyone knows someone – or at least their mamma, brother, or neighbor’s cousin). Festivals Acadiens takes place beneath the sprawling oaks at Girard Park, right in the heart of Lafayette. What’s particularly nice about this free festival (aside from, well, everything else) is that it doesn’t feel too crowded. There’s plenty of space to settle in with picnic blankets and chairs to visit with said family and friends, and let the kids run around and dance to their hearts’ content. As a bonus, there are even walking / running trails, playgrounds, and ducks to feed in the park, among other relaxing things to enjoy together. Make sure the kiddos also check out La Place des Petits where they can enjoy free games and crafts!
The Festival de Musique includes five music stages going at once, showcasing the best of our local Cajun and Zydeco music. Featuring well-known artists including Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Wayne Toups & ZydeCajun, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Chris Ardoin, Feufollet, Cory Ledet, Geno Delafose, French Rockin’ Boogie and others. There is no shortage of fun and fantastic music lined up for you to swing, sashay, or boogie to. And, if you’re musically inclined, you can even bring your own instrument and join in on the fun at the “Jam Ça!”
We celebrate our local ‘flavor’ more than you may realize. Speaking of festivals, did you know our region hosts festivals and cook-offs celebrating everything from frogs, crawfish, and shrimp to boudin, poboys, and sugarcane? Yep. So we know a thing or two about serving and celebrating our local cuisine. Our region’s top Cajun and Creole restaurants and caterers will be serving all weekend long at the Bayou Food Festival. We guarantee you won’t find such a unique variety of tasty treats anywhere else. Whether you like your meats fried or smothered, want to venture into the wild for some alligator and frog legs, or just need a crawfish fix, you’ll find it here. Don’t forget to bring some cash, and don’t be ashamed to eat like a little cochon because there will be plenty of lively music to dance the calories away while you’re at it.
Louisiana Crafts Fair
What’s a unique music and food festival without arts crafts made by incredibly talented local artists? We’ve got that covered, too. Presented by Festivals Acadiens, and sponsored by the Louisiana Crafts Guild, you can shop for traditional to fine handmade pieces from across the region in a relaxed family-friendly artmosphere (see what we did there?). Before you head home, don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs such as CDs, pins, posters, or jewelry to support this wonderful free festival (hint: they make great stocking stuffers, too).
So pack your fiddles and washboards (or just your family and essentials will do), gas up the car, and come on over to Lafayette to play with us at the Festivals Acadiens et Créoles. The fun kicks-off in Girard Park at 5pm on Friday October 14, with the “Cutting of the Boudin.” We’re sure you’ll have a two-stepping, toe-tapping Bon Temps!
You won’t find another festival quite as unique as this, and it’s only about 2 hours away!
About Elizabeth B. Green
Elizabeth is a work-from-home research analyst for a global competitive intelligence firm specializing in the pharm/biotech industry. She also owns a local research consulting and recruiting biz, Research Acadiana. Most importantly, she’s a wife and a mother to three energetic children ages 7, 5, and 3. Born and raised in Lafayette, she went to Boston University for graduate school where she earned two Master’s Degrees in Communication and Public Health. It was there she fell in love with the city and a handsome law school student from Ipswich, MA. They eventually moved to Lafayette to pursue career opportunities and start a family. Now, when she’s not working, shuttling between car lines and a hundred after school activities, feeding kids, washing dishes, packing lunches, picking up toys, helping with homework, or tackling a never ending To Do list she wishes would do itself (..breathe..), she attempts to ‘practice running’ for her first half-marathon while simultaneously training for her first Disney trip with kids.