Lafayette’s annual Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, held the second full weekend in October, provides the ideal opportunity to discover Lafayette’s blend of food, music and culture that makes the city so unique. For over 40 years this free festival has offered locals and visitors alike the opportunity to experience three days of nonstop music, dancing, food as well as crafts and a genuine Cajun and Creole experience like no other.
12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. - Bach Lunch in Parc Sans Souci with brown bag lunch and live music
5:30 – 8:45 p.m. - Opening night of the festival with live music
1 p.m. - Arrive at Festival site. Visit the Bayou Food Festival where you'll find food booths featuring the area's best Cajun and Creole foods. Visit the Festival de Musique Acadienne featuring Cajun and Zydeco music, and the Louisiana Crafts Festival featuring handcrafted items, crafts demonstrations and performances.
10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Festivals Acadiens et Créoles or enjoy full day of touring including brunch at an area restaurant.
October 7-9, 2016
October 13-15, 2017
October 12-14, 2018
October 11-13, 2019
October 9-11, 2020
In the 1930s folklorists John and Alan Lomax visited South Louisiana to record Cajun and Creole songs to be added to the Library of Congress Archive of American Folk Song, now the Archive of Folk Culture. It was the first time Cajun and Creole songs were captured on tape for archival purposes.
In 1964, Dewey Balfa, Gladdie Thibodeaux and Louis “Vinesse” Lejeune were invited to perform at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island — the first Cajun musicians ever accorded that honor. Balfa didn’t know how the South Louisiana music would be received and was surprised that audience members sat and listened, as opposed to dancing like they did back home.
At the end of Dewey Balfa’s set, the audience responded with a standing ovation.
Buoyed by Lomax and inspired by Newport, Balfa was determined to ignite that same respect and adoration in his home state. He came back to Louisiana with a purpose to bring home the echo of that Newport applause back to Louisiana.
The result was “A Tribute to Cajun Music” on March 26, 1974, in Lafayette’s Blackham Coliseum, a culturally significant event that would evolve into today’s Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, a culturally rich, multi-layered free festival.
More than 40 years later Festivals Acadiens et Creoles continues to evolve and celebrate the cultures of South Louisiana in Lafayette, the heart of Cajun & Creole Country, with a combination of food, music and cultural demonstrations.