Fast Facts About Baton Rouge
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
(Let the good times roll!)
Festivals for all!
Louisiana always offers a full schedule of weekend activities to provide fun breaks from school and work. The state is known for its festivals that celebrate a wide range of food, music and other cultural aspects and backgrounds. Here are just a few of the biggest held every year:
Greek, Latin & other cultures
A variety of international influences make Southeast Louisiana one of the United States’ greatest “melting pots” of culture — a tradition evidenced by festivals such as Festival Latino (Baton Rouge), Greek Festival (New Orleans) and Dragon Boat Festival (Madisonville).
Crawfish, rice, andouille & seafood
Louisiana is as famous for its food as any other aspect of daily life and celebrates many of its most popular flavors with Crawfish Festival (Breaux Bridge), Seafood Festival and Oyster Festival (New Orleans), Jambalaya Festival (Gonzales), Andouille Festival (LaPlace), Strawberry Festival (Ponchatoula), Rice Festival (Crowley) and many more.
Jazz, Blues & Festival International
Some of Louisiana’s most popular festivals center around music, another major component of the state’s lifestyle. People from across the country visit events such as Jazz Fest (New Orleans), Blues Fest (Baton Rouge) and Festival International (Lafayette).
Balloons, kites & more!
Other festivals in Louisiana celebrate a variety of themes, such as Red Stick International Animation Festival (Baton Rouge), Kite Fest Louisiane (Port Allen), Hot Air Balloon Festival (Gonzales), French Quarter Festival and Shakespeare Festival (New Orleans) and Renaissance Festival (Hammond).
The most famous of all Louisiana celebrations happens early every year when “carnival season” leads up to the Mardi Gras holiday, originating from French and Catholic cultural influences in the region. Mardi Gras is celebrated throughout the state — most notably in the New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas — through a variety of traditions that draw visitors from around the world.
Mardi Gras may be best known for its parades of floats and trucks full of costumed riders tossing beads, cups, treats and other trinkets to spectators. Bands, dancers and other entertainers sometimes also march as part of the celebrations.
Mardi Gras Balls
Another popular celebration during carnival season are Mardi Gras balls — large galas or parties where “krewes” of people wear elegant clothing and gather for food, drinks, music and dancing.
Beginning every year on “Three Kings’ Day” on January 6, bakeries and other stores will begin selling “king cakes,” which families, friends and other groups will share throughout carnival season. These pastries are made from French bread-style dough, with cinnamon or cream cheese, fruit, nut or sugar filling, and covered with purple, green and gold icings and toppings.