Last Wednesday, April 24, marked the beginning of the 33rd year for Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, Louisiana. The festival ran through the weekend, ending Sunday, April 28, bringing with it musical performances by artists from over 20 countries as well as visual art, workshops, great food, and more.
Festival International de Louisiane is a non-profit organization that relies on volunteers to keep this event free to the public. Over 300,000 people attend each year as well as continue to go back in order to support the country’s largest international music and arts festival. But it’s not just locals who flock to Downtown Lafayette each year. The five-day festival draws in people from neighboring cities, states, and even other countries.
While many think of dancing the night away, when it comes to Festival, many others are focused on eating their hearts out. Local vendors line the street near Parc Sans Souci, as well as up and down efferson Street serving just about anything you could want. One menu item that has become a Festival staple is Bon Creole’s crawfish and spinach boat. It’s a $9 bread bowl filled with creamy spinach and crawfish, and to many, it just isn’t Festival until you’ve had one.
Artists of all varieties also set up shop so that festival-goers can check out their work. You can find anything from caricature drawings and license plate art to handmade jewelry and cutting boards.
If you missed the festival this year, you could find solace in knowing that you can start planning for next year now. Festival International de Louisiane is always held from Wednesday to Sunday during the last full week in April. If you’re planning on attending for the first time — my advice: Get a crawfish and spinach boat, support the festival by buying a Festival pin, and, of course, bring your own toilet paper!