19 Popular Festivals In Louisiana, USA

festivals in louisiana
| 9 min read

Residing on The Gulf Coast, Louisiana offers a rare character that sets it apart from other areas of the United States. A true fusion of French, African, American, and French-Canadian practices combines to create a fabulous blend of Creole and Cajun cultures. This beautiful state also offers amazing accommodations for travelers, including yurts and Airbnbs with a pool. To get to the heart of and experience all of Louisiana’s eclectic nuances attendance at one of a myriad of regional festivals is a must. From big-name events like Mardi Gras to lesser-known gatherings like a crawfish festival, Louisiana oozes Southern hospitality and festivals are one of the places to witness it. If your interest is piqued about this Cajun and Creole state, then scroll down to see the popular festivals in Louisiana, USA.

1. French Quarter Festival

Royal Street during the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans
Source: Photo by user MusikAnimal used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Started in 1984, the French Quarter Festival boasts the biggest free music extravaganza in the United States. Hear music throughout the French Quarter from top artists performing everything from jazz and rhythm and blues to zydeco and New Orleans funk. This festival gives attendees an intimate look at the French Quarter via complimentary tours. If you crave catfish po'boys, crawfish étouffée, and jambalaya, then check out the signature feature of the festival: the world’s largest jazz brunch where the most renowned eateries in the city gather so you can sample their tasty cuisines. There’s also a crawfish-eating contest, art shows, and kid-friendly arts and crafts.

French Quarter Festival

Address: French Quarter, New Orleans, LA

Website: French Quarter Festival

Takes place: April

Price: Free

Visited this place?

2. Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Considered the crawfish capital of the world, it’s no surprise that the small town of Breaux Bridge offers a festival showcasing its most abundant food item. Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is the go-to place for crawfish-loving addicts. Aside from providing all-you-can-eat crawfish, this festival also hosts a vibrant parade, a crawfish-eating contest, the largest collection of Cajun and Zydeco musicians assembled in one spot, a dance contest, a fun crawfish étouffée cook-off, crawfish race, exciting carnival rides, and interesting arts and crafts fair.

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival

Address: 1290 Rees St, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517

Website: Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival

Takes place: May

Price: 5 - 10 USD

Visited this place?

3. International Rice Festival

International Rice Festival
Source: Photo by user Ctrzj used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If rice is a fave food in your diet then head over to the International Rice Festival. Established nearly 80 years ago, the International Rice Festival is an autumn mainstay on the Louisiana festival landscape. Located in the tiny town of Crowley, a place known for producing the United States’ largest rice crops, it seems fitting that this place would be the perfect choice to host the International Rice Festival. This outstanding seasonal festival features a fun-filled carnival, a wacky frog derby, a nifty parade, live music, a festive queen’s pageant, a rice and gravy cook-off, and lots more.

International Rice Festival

Address: Crowley, LA

Website: International Rice Festival

Takes place: October

Price: Free

Visited this place?

4. French Food Festival [Last event in 2019]

The 41st French Food Festival royalty coronation ball was held on September 20, kicking off festivities. Pictured are...

Posted by The Lafourche Gazette on Wednesday, 15 October 2014

With a significant portion of Louisiana’s ancestral roots closely intangled with the French, you would be correct to expect the phenomenal French Food Festival. Found in the charming small-town parish of Larose, this inviting festival is a celebration of French/Cajun flavors and its unique cuisines. Attendees can sample mouthwatering regional dishes such as savory shrimp boulettes, creamy crawfish fettuccine, and tarte a la bouille: a delicious and decadent custard pie that should always complete any meal.

French Food Festival

Address: 307 East 5th Street, Larose, LA 70373

Website: French Food Festival

Takes place: October to November

Price: Free

Visited this place?

5. Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

H͟a͟ ͟p ͟p ͟y N͟a͟t͟i͟o͟n͟a͟l͟ D͟a͟i͟qu͟i͟r͟i͟ D͟a͟y!͟ You know our flavor of choice!

Posted by Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Inc on Sunday, July 19, 2020

When spring’s in full bloom so are the strawberries at Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. If you’re a strawberry fiend then this jovial festival is a save-the-date event. One of Louisiana’s biggest free festivals, Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival pays homage to this juicy berry with a splendid family-friendly celebration. Strawberry-flavored treats are not in short supply so make sure you get your fill, particularly the heavenly strawberry shortcake. This festival also offers lots of fun activities like adrenaline-pumping sack races, two music stages providing plenty of great tunes, a wide variety of food booths, and, of course, thrilling strawberry-eating contests.

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival

Address: 301 N. 6th Street, Ponchatoula, LA

Website: Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival

Takes place: April

Price: Free

Visited this place?

6. Festival International de Louisiane

2006 Festival International Main Stage
Source: Photo by user HorsePunchKid used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Festival International de Louisiane is a full-force international music and arts extravaganza held in downtown Lafayette, one of the best places to live in Louisiana. This five-day event hosts musical performers from more than 20 different countries, making it a nirvana for those whose musical tastes are broad and diverse. Sway to music from no less than seven music stages, enjoy stellar street musicians, browse a top-notch world music store, wander the vibrant arts and crafts booths, gorge on delicious local food, and much more. There are even complimentary culture workshops to broaden your horizons further!

Festival International de Louisiane

Address: 315 Lee Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70501

Website: Festival International de Louisiane

Takes place: April to May

Price: Free

Visited this place?

7. Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival [Last event in 2019]

Paying tribute to Bogalusa’s incredibly rich music history is the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival. With a large amount of buzzworthy talk, this relatively new music event - established in 2011 - is quickly becoming the ultimate spot to spend the day listening to great music. The musical lineup runs deep with a wide range of acts. There’s also an extensive menu of good eats from a platoon of food vendors. In between music sets you can take a break and peruse the excellent craft booths.

Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival

Address: 625 Willis Ave, Bogalusa, LA 70427

Website: Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival

Takes place: September

Visited this place?

8. Red River Revel

The Red River Revel Arts Festival, Shreveport, LA
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Shreveport-Bossie... used under CC BY 2.0

Red River Revel is a fabulous arts festival with a generous amount of superb music thrown in. A fall-season classic, Red River Revel is considered the biggest outdoor arts festival in this region of Louisiana. Art fanatics will love the over 140 visual artists displaying their wondrous creations and live entertainment from three stages is sure to enhance the already festive mood. The kids aren’t left out either at this event with an area providing stimulating art projects, a fantastic geological dig to arouse their exploring interests, and an exciting Ferris wheel!

Red River Revel

Address: 101 Crockett St, Shreveport, LA 71101

Website: Red River Revel

Takes place: October

Price: 5 USD

Visited this place?

9. Mardi Gras

New Orleans Mardi Gras 2019 - Iconic Moon
Source: Photo by user Bart Everson used under CC BY 2.0

The granddaddy of all festivals in Louisiana, Mardi Gras has become synonymous with New Orleans. The celebrations beckon thousands of bead-wearing partygoers to the city in what has been called the largest free party on earth. Attendees can witness over 60 colorful parades replete with revelers dressed in flamboyant costumes tossing necklaces of brightly colored plastic beads, wrapped candies, and other dazzling trinkets from outrageously adorned floats. While several different Mardi Gras celebrations are thrown throughout the city, no two are exactly alike and you would benefit from hitting as many as possible to enjoy the full effect of this wild and crazy festival!

Mardi Gras

Address: New Orleans, LA

Website: Mardi Gras

Takes place: Usually held January to February

Price: Free

Visited this place?

10. Baton Rouge Blues Festival

By Jordan Hefler Photography

Posted by Baton Rouge Blues Festival on Sunday, 9 April 2017

Shake your booty to stellar blues music at the astounding Baton Rouge Blues Festival. Established in 1981, this festival is one of the earliest free blues festivals in the United States and it is committed to preserving what is known as the city’s unique Swamp Blues music. Internationally renowned performers and acclaimed local blues legends can be found on the stage of this one-of-a-kind event. The Baton Rouge Blues Festival is always packed with fun arts and crafts booths and expert food vendors ready to tempt you with their enticing food items.

Baton Rouge Blues Festival

Address: Baton Rouge, LA

Website: Baton Rouge Blues Festival

Takes place: April

Price: Free

Visited this place?

11. Bayou Country Superfest [Last event in 2019]

If you live for country music then the Bayou Country Superfest is all you need to know when it comes to a cool country-laden line-up. Held in the quaint city of Baton Rouge - a town on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River - this two-day music festival has hosted heavyweight country performers like Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lamber, and Blake Shelton. This cut-above country music fest has been held at such venues as Louisiana State University’s prominent Tiger Stadium and has become a Louisiana Memorial Day tradition.

Bayou Country Superfest

Address: Baton Rouge, LA

Website: Bayou Country Superfest

Takes place: May

Visited this place?

12. Essence Music Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Essence Festival on Sunday, July 7, 2019

A standout of New Orleans’ summertime music scene is the Essence Music Festival. Held at the huge Mercedes-Benz Superdome, this festival is one of the biggest showcases of African-American talent. Essence Music Festival has seen Chris Rock, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, and Patty Labelle take center stage. Even former U.S. President Barack Obama gave a speech in 2007. In addition to top music headliners, this festival affords the many contributors to the African American community an opportunity to showcase their merchandise in an energetic outdoor marketplace. See works by accomplished artists, culinary professionals, craftsmen, and more.

Essence Music Festival

Address: Sugar Bowl Dr., New Orleans, LA 70112

Website: Essence Music Festival

Takes place: June to July

Visited this place?

13. Soul Fest

Located in the pleasant surroundings of the Audubon Zoo, Soul Fest attracts more than 20,000 attendees to this annual springtime event. This family-friendly festival is dedicated to showcasing significant figures that have contributed to the African- American community’s rich history. Musical artists perform a large variety of music from jazz and rhythm and blues to inspiring gospel and lively brass band music. Visitors can savor a hearty feast of genuine soul food and Creole cuisines and there’s also arts and crafts and a Kid’s Cultural Tent filled with educational and engaging activities. Be aware you can access Soul Fest with the price of zoo admission.

Soul Fest

Address: 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Website: Soul Fest

Takes place: March

Price: 30 USD

Visited this place?

14. New Orleans St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day Parade 3 Magazine Street
Source: Photo by user Derek Bridges used under CC BY 2.0

St Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to indulge in lots of revelries in New Orleans. Spanning several days of mirth, New Orleans St Patrick’s Day is an exuberant time that offers lavish parades, costumed people, beautiful flowers, and colorful floats. But don’t expect shiny beads tossed around like during Mardi Gras festivities; St Patrick’s Day celebrants throw onions, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes! You can surely get a satisfying amount of corned beef and cabbage to eat as well. Like Mardi Gras, various activities are provided throughout the city and every bash is more festive than the last.

New Orleans St Patrick's Day

Address: New Orleans, LA

Website: New Orleans St Patrick’s Day

Takes place: March 17

Price: Free

Visited this place?

15. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Source: Photo by user Doug Anderson used under CC BY 2.0

Also known simply as Jazz Fest, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a spectacular weeklong event featuring a multitude of musical artists, expert cooks, and accomplished craftspeople who display their talents to 400,000 festival-goers. Each year this fun-inducing spectacle is held at the expansive Fair Grounds Race Course and multiple stages are erected to showcase the great-sounding music. Foodies will be thrilled to stroll the grounds and sample dishes from two huge food sections supplied with mouthwatering authentic Louisiana cuisine. Shopaholics are sure to find amazing souvenirs to take home handcrafted by top-notch artisans.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Address: 1751 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70119

Website: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Takes place: April to May

Visited this place?

16. Tales of the Cocktail

Tales of the Cocktail - Cocktail with berries
Source: Photo by user Bart Everson used under CC BY 2.0

If you want to become a cocktail aficionado, then Tales of the Cocktail is a must-visit destination. Considered the world’s top-tier cocktail event, guests are welcome to experience informative cocktail-making seminars, flavorful tastings, and fun competitions to determine the best new cocktail at this yearly spirited celebration of mixology. Master cocktail makers from all over the globe descend on this event and if you love a professionally prepared martini, margarita, or Tom Collins, you would be foolish to miss this event.

Tales of the Cocktail

Address: New Orleans, LA

Website: Tales of the Cocktail

Takes place: July

Visited this place?

17. Satchmo Summerfest

Satchmo Summerfest Second-line 8
Source: Photo by user dsb nola used under CC BY 2.0

With the indelible mark that jazz music has left on New Orleans, it’s no surprise that the city throws a party called Satchmo Summerfest celebrating the king of jazz trumpeting, Louis Armstrong. A native of the city, Armstrong - nicknamed Satchmo - is a revered figure and what started in 2001 as a celebration of his 100th birthday has flourished into a joyous three-day event. This festival is packed with fine music like classic and modern-day jazz performances, lively brass bands, an energetic parade, and special events that include a Louis Armstrong birthday bash, a Louis Armstrong-focused art show, and fave dishes of Louis Armstrong.

Satchmo Summerfest

Address: New Orleans, LA

Website: Satchmo Summerfest

Takes place: July to August

Price: 5 USD

Visited this place?

18. Voodoo Experience

Voodoo Masked Drummer
Source: Photo by user Vincent & Bel... used under CC BY 2.0

Initially called the Voodoo Music Festival, Voodoo Experience is a wild music event possessing an exhilarating atmosphere. Since its inception in 1999, this festival has established itself as one of the most in-demand events in New Orleans. Oozing thrilling vibes, guests can listen to outstanding music from local rock bands and international artists on two central stages along with a collection of smaller venues. Taste incredible food and explore stimulating cultural and crafts activities. Browse a large selection of jewelry, books, and clothing from top vendors eager to show you their merchandise. This festival is situated under the tall oak trees of New Orleans City Park - the city’s biggest green section - making for an ideal spot for an exciting festival.

Voodoo Experience

Address: 5 Victory Ave., New Orleans, LA 70124

Website: Voodoo Experience

Takes place: October

Visited this place?

19. Franklin Parish Catfish Festival [Event had passsed]

Anybody hungry? We'll be frying up TWO TONS of catfish on Saturday -- just for you! Who's coming? (And if fish isn't...

Posted by Franklin Parish Catfish Festival on Monday, 6 April 2015

Since 1988, locals and tourists have flocked to the Franklin Parish Catfish Festival in the tiny northeastern town of Winnsboro, just to get a sample of the more than 4,000 pounds (1,814.3 kilograms) of fresh catfish fried up and served at this light-hearted event. No worries if you’re not keen on fish because there’s plenty of lip-smacking barbecues to keep you satisfied. There are non-eating activities, including an impressive antique car show, sensational magic shows, and a popular lumberjack competition. Guests can also expect to hear uplifting gospel and country music filling the downtown-area streets.

Franklin Parish Catfish Festival

Address: 805 Jackson St, Winnsboro, LA 71295

Website: Franklin Parish Catfish Festival

Takes place: April

Price: 5 USD

Visited this place?

Unforgettable Louisiana festivals

If you want to party Louisiana style, then one of the top ways is to check out a smile-inducing festival. Whether you’re in full-foodie mode and want to sample every morsel of Cajun cuisine or you need to hear some great jazz music to sway to, this uncommon state in the United State’s southern region is the place to experience an out-of-this-world adventure.

Before you leave, make sure to check out some flea markets and theme parks in Louisiana too.

Visited this place?
Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Catherine has written professionally for over 10 years, and a sizable amount has been travel writing. Her desire to see the world was sparked at a very young age. Growing up, there were many family...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Louisiana
Looking for accommodation?
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.