Mardi gras may be the most popular festival held in New Orleans, Louisiana, but it is not the only festival, that draws crowds to the state. The state hosts a number of festivals through the year attracting visitors with diverse interests. Each of the festival highlights different aspects of the state’s rich culture.
Adai Caddo Pow Wow
The Adai, from Northeastern Texas and northwestern Louisiana were among the first natives who met the Europeans. The festival celebrates the culture and heritage of this Native American tribe. Tribes from as far as Mexico and Oklahoma gather here to sell traditional food and crafts, and celebrate their heritage day with traditional dances. Visitors attend the fair to learn more about the heritage and enjoy tamales, Indian fried bread and other traditional food. The festival takes place during October in the Natchitoches Parish.
Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship
The adventurous Hot Air Balloon championship festival is held near the Baton Rouge, Gonzales, over four days. It is a new addition to the festival calendar, but is already well attended as it offers an eclectic mix of food, music, entertainment, parachute shows and hot air balloon rides. World hot air champions gather here to compete and exhibit their navigational skills. During the autumn evenings, there is an awe-inspiring display of illuminated balloons, known as the “Balloon Glow”. You can enjoy this fun festival during the month of September.
The Crawfish festival is paradise for the connoisseur of Cajun cuisine. The festival is held at Breaux Bridge, “the Crawfish capital of the world”, since 1959. It is a heady mix of Cajun food and music. The Zydeco, Swamp and Cajun music jams and the aromas from the various booths fill the air. Traditional Louisiana cuisine is celebrated with étouffée, jambalaya, gator on stick, po-boys and other traditional Cajun dishes. Enjoy this heady mix during May.
Louisiana Strawberry Festival
After Mardi Gras, the Strawberry Festival hosted by Ponchatoula, is the biggest crowd puller in the state. A hugely popular festival held during April, this country festival hosts events like strawberry eating contests, sack races, egg tossing, rides, live music, berry creations and a pageant. The festival celebrates the agriculture produce and the berry creation recipes are hugely sought after long after the competitions are over.
The Voodoo fest held around Halloween, is not a macabre production but a music and food festival rolled into one. The festival attracts electronic and rock stars like, Pearl Jam, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Nine Inch Nails. The City Park hosts commercial headliners, local music and even burlesque performances. There are plenty of booths offering food, drinks and carnival rides as young people are enjoying the revelry of an outdoor party, bidding adieu to the summer.
photo credit: (www.frommers.com)