ravelers can get a taste of pirates,
peaches and crawfish at a series of festivals across the state this
spring and summer.
In the southwest part of the state, near the Gulf of Mexico and
not far from the Texas border, is Lake Charles, a city that
overlooks a freshwater lake with a white-sand inland beach.
Lake Charles is the home of Contraband Days, a festival that
celebrates the lore of pirates in the Gulf of Mexico.
This year, held April 30 to May 12, the event spotlights the
life of Jean Lafitte, the French pirate who became an American hero
by helping the Yanks in the War of 1812 against the British.
In addition, the festival will feature live music, Cajun
cuisine, carnival rides, a lighted boat parade and fireworks.
Information about accommodations, tickets or transportation is
available from the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors
Bureau at (800) 456-SWLA (456-7952) or from the Web site at www.visitlakecharles.org.
Another fete in Louisiana this spring is the Breaux Bridge
Crawfish Festival, slated for May 3 to 5 in Breaux Bridge, which is
known to residents as the "heart of Cajun Country."
The three-day event will feature 38 Cajun and zydeco bands on
three stages, crawfish cuisine in great variety and all manner of
carnival happenings, such as contests and a parade.
For more information, log onto the Web site at www.bbcrawfest.com
or call (337) 332-6655.
June 13 to 15 are the dates for the CenturyTel Louisiana Peach
Festival in Ruston, a festival that celebrates peach season in
northern Louisiana. This year, the festival celebrates its 52nd
Ruston is a small town (population 22,000) located in the
north-central part of the state, about 80 miles east of Shreveport
and 35 miles from the Arkansas border to the north.
More information is available at www.rustonlincoln.org.