The Creole State is a charming amalgamation of cultures, history and landscapes, with French, Spanish and British influences throughout its prairie-spotted landscape. Famous for the food, spirit and music of New Orleans, Louisiana a great place to be for a good time. And that includes a festival or two, with a great many to dip your toes in throughout the year.
The New Orleans Mardi Gras is one of the most famous events in the USA, and now attracts almost 1.5 million revellers each year. With a storied and interesting history, it’s no wonder that many consider this to be the greatest show on earth – it’s a colourful and crazy swell of music, marches, food, parades, floats and unbridled excitement. Beaded, masked and costumed entertainers, performers and attendees come together to lose their inhibitions and fall in love with the intoxicating atmosphere. It’s a parade like no other, and it’s waiting for you to join in line.
The storied heritage of Louisiana is also honoured in the French Quarter Festival, which draws over 700,000 gatherers. In the heart of the French Quarter, vibrant and varied musical performances are offered for fans of jazz, Latin, funk, classical, blues, swing and more, reflecting the hodgepodge beauty of the state and its people. Over 100 entertainers wow the gathered crowds, with a program of local, national and international entertainers. The event also includes the world’s largest jazz brunch, in which tune-keen chewers can sample some of the best local and international foods, all linked to the varied culinary scene of the state.
Food is also celebrated (and swallowed!) in the Louisiana Andouille Festival, where the smoked and smelly delicacy is offered in all its glory. The continental sausage, which was brought to Louisiana by French colonists, is now adored in every corner of the state. It’s a cult and iconic meaty treat, and though it’s not for everyone, the festival ensures that all comers are welcome – with plenty of other foods available for those with more delicate stomachs. The festival also features a broad mix of live musical performances, cooking competitions, eating competitions, a car and bike show, arty events, arts, crafts, market stalls and more.
Other Louisiana festivals are centred around books, films, cocktails and arts. Much like its history, Louisiana is and has a little bit of everything – so give it a sample!