Festivals & Events in Lafayette Louisiana
The popular saying “laissez les bon temps rouler” means “let the good times roll,” and that’s just what locals in Lafayette do almost every weekend. No matter what time of year, there’s a festival or event happening, complete with food, music and good times. In the spring and fall when temperatures cool off, Lafayette’s events really heat up. Several free concert series make Lafayette the self-proclaimed “Free Music Capital of the World,” and even some of the best festivals are free. For this reason, Lafayette was chosen to host the global Music Cities Conference in 2018, which discussed the “Power of Diversity & Music in City Building.”
While Cajun and Zydeco music are most plentiful, the area’s musicians are talented enough to add country, swamp pop, blues, pop and gospel into the mix. And the same goes for food. Sure, you can find all the Cajun delicacies at most any festival, but you’ll also notice French, Spanish and Hispanic influences.
Seasonal and holiday celebrations are plentiful as well, and almost all events are family-friendly.
Festival International de Louisiane
The largest international music festival in the country takes place right in Downtown Lafayette. Each April, more than 300,000 festival goers gather over a span of five days for musical performances by artists from more than 20 French-speaking countries, along with workshops, exhibits, visual art, theater and more.
Festivals Acadiens et Créoles
One of the largest Cajun and Creole celebrations in the country, Festivals Acadiens takes place the second full weekend in October at Girard Park each year. The four-day, family-friendly event includes local music, food and cooking demonstrations, the Louisiana Craft Fair, a children’s area, symposium and other cultural events.
South Louisiana Songwriter’s Fest and Workshop
Held for the first time in 2018, this unique event takes place on six stages at Blue Moon Saloon and Warehouse 535 and combines the intimate, intensive and creative songwriting process with a public-facing festival. Songwriters collaborate for four days in May, then debut their creations, offering a true behind-the-scenes look at the “stories behind the stories.”
Acadiana Po-Boy Festival
Celebrate the legacy of the humble po’boy sandwich during this April festival with more than 20 vendors selling po’boys, along with arts and crafts, kids activities and live music.
Sample boudin from across the state at this October event held in Parc Sans Souci. A boudin eating contest, live music and children’s activities are also included.
The Market at Moncus Park
Find seasonal, farm-based products and artisanal creations from local producers, along with a Cajun jam session, every Saturday at the Horse Farm off Johnston Street.
Oil Center Hub City Farmers Market
Held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, rain or shine, in the Grant Mollet parking area across the street from Champagne’s Market, vendors sell everything from produce to artisan foods and arts and crafts.
Festival of Light
Lafayette’s Oil Center comes alive at the beginning of December with this evening event that includes musical stages, a living nativity, trolley rides, photos with Santa, shopping and carnival games.
Carnival season in Lafayette features both city and country versions of Mardi Gras, with krewes holding balls, parades rolling down the street and masked riders chasing chickens in the countryside. Events culminate on Fat Tuesday with a festival at Cajun Field, several parades and a Mardi Gras Indian competition.
Safari of Lights
For the holiday season, the Zoo of Acadiana lights up with dozens of animal displays, an Elves’ Eatery and pictures with Santa.
Presented by the Lafayette Science Museum, this concert series is offered during spring and fall and pairs boxed lunches for purchase with free, local live music at Parc Sans Souci.
Concerts at Couret
Offered once a month during summer. Held at Abilene Park in Couret Farms in Upper Lafayette.
Also seasonal, this Downtown concert series happens on Friday evenings and presents some of the best regional bands on stage for free.
An intimate concert series hosted by Acadiana Center for the Arts, Louisiana Crossroads pairs local and national musicians for live music and conversation.
Rhythms on the River
Offered in the fall and spring, this six-week, free concert series is held on Thursday evenings in River Ranch Town Square and presents local bands, along with food and beverages for sale.
Offered once a month March-November. Held at Sugar Mill Pond Town Center in Youngsville.
Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission
(337) 232-3737 | lafayettetravel.com
(337) 291-5566 | www.downtownlafayette.org