Saturday night, I was walking Downtown enjoying the beautiful weather. I was strolling down the street, wandering in and out of different art galleries enjoying local talent. While passing by one little alcove, there was a little two man band starting up, a guitar case open for tips. I stopped to enjoy some “Brown Eyed Girl”, one of my favorite songs. With the sun was shining and the night not too hot, I thought, Man, I love me some Lafayette. And it’s so true. After moving away for a couple of years, I realized how much I had taken for granted. There is so much to do here. So much music, art, and creativity that seeps down into the very essence of the town, like a hot sauce in gumbo. (Another thing I love.)
What are some of my can’t miss events in Lafayette?
1. Art Walk
Art Walk is a monthly event Downtown. You can eat dinner at one of the restaurants, then meander through the galleries, Children’s museum, and when you get tired, find a place to sit and listen to a local musician.
2. Festival Acadien
Festival Acadien is two days of local music, Cajun and Zydeco. Multiple stages are set up at Girard Park, so you’re sure to find something to tap your toes to. Careful though, you may find yourself swooped up by a local to dance. There are also booths set up for local restaurants and artists.
(You can also find many videos on YouTube of past performers. Just type in Festival Acadien.)
3. Downtown Alive
Another Downtown Event, held in one of the Parc’s on Fridays in the Spring and Fall. This is also mostly local artists, with New Orleans and other area bands as well. Multiple genres are represented. You may hear an 80’s cover band one Friday, a Cajun band the next, and a New Orleans funk band the next.
4. Festival International
Every April, Downtown comes alive with sounds from all over the world. It is truly an amazing experience. I always like the Latin bands the best, but there’s something there for everyone. As with the other festivals, there are food and craft booths. It’s the longest festival, lasting from Wednesday to Sunday evening.
5. Mardi Gras
If you’re looking for a Mardi Gras experience without the Bourbon Street debauchery, Lafayette is the place to go. It’s truly a family friendly event. My favorite is the Rio parade, a newer Krewe, they always have lots of beads to throw. It’s a guaranteed good time.
You want to know what’s really awesome about all of these events? They are all FREE! All you have to pay for is whatever food or drinks you want. And you will want to eat some of the food. It might even be some kind of South Louisiana rule.
So, as the locals say, “Come pass a good time, cher.”