In 2023 Lafayette Parish will celebrate its bicentennial with a series of events throughout the year that honor the history of the parish and look to what the future holds.
Lafayette Parish has a long and profound history of various cultures, starting with the indigenous Atakapa-Ishak, Choctaw, Chitimacha, and Opelousa. They were some of the first to inhabit the area. About 18,000 Acadian refugees settled in the area after being expelled from Canada in 1755 when Great Britain captured the land from France. The Acadians married other native, French, Spanish, and African settlers, forming the many cultures that make up Lafayette Parish.
It has been nearly two-hundred years since we were chartered by the Louisiana Legislature in 1823. Two years earlier, in 1821, Jean Mouton, a wealthy planter donated a parcel of land to the community known as Vermilionville, for a Courthouse, and a Cathedral. Jean Mouton became known as the founder of Vermilionville, that became the city of Lafayette in 1884.
26-31 – Cinema on the Bayou Bicentennial Celebration (Various Locations)
Bicentennial Anniversary Declaration (Lafayette City Hall)
1-2 – Cinema on the Bayou Bicentennial Celebration (Various Locations)
17 – Lafayette Bicentennial Friday Night Parade (Downtown Lafayette to Cajun Field)
21 – Ossun Mardi Gras Bicentennial Courir (Ossun)
17-18 – Celtic Bayou Festival Bicentennial Celebration of Irish Culture (Hideaway on Lee)
4, 11 & 25 – Azalea Trail - Trolley Tour of Lafayette Parish’s Historic Garden Districts (Various Locations)
Downtown Alive! Bicentennial Celebration Featuring Wayne Toups (Downtown Lafayette)
7-9 – Lao New Year Bicentennial Celebration of Lafayette Parish’s Southeast Asian Culture
12-16 – Cycle Zydeco – Lafayette Parish's Cajun & Creole Cycling Festival (Various Locations)
26-30 – Festival International de Louisiane Bicentennial Celebration (Downtown Lafayette)
From Many, One: The Story of the Diverse Communities that Shaped Lafayette Parish (Lafayette Parish Downtown Library)
10 – Pride Acadiana Bicentennial Celebration (Downtown Lafayette)
11 – Creole Culture Day Bicentennial Celebration of Creole Culture (Vermilionville)
Musical History of Lafayette Parish and Beyond Hosted by Herman Fuselier (Acadiana Center for the Arts)
Instrument Makers of Lafayette Parish Hosted by Barry Ancelet
13 – Acadian Culture Day Bicentennial Celebration of Acadian Culture (Vermilionville)
Lafayette Bicentennial Memories Exhibit (Lafayette Parish Main Library)
Downtown Alive! Bicentennial Celebration featuring the premiere of Roots of Fire Documentary (Downtown Lafayette)
9-12 – Southern Screen Festival Bicentennial Celebration (Various Locations)
11 – Native American Day Bicentennial Celebration Lafayette Parish’s Native American Culture (Vermilionville)
27-28 – Localpalooza Bicentennial Celebration (Downtown Lafayette)
2-23 – Christmas Through the Centuries (Acadian Village)
Christmas Tree Bicentennial Decoration Competition (Downtown Lafayette)
The city of Lafayette, LA is located in the center of Lafayette Parish at the intersection of I-10 and I-49 between New Orleans and Houston and only 35 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. The eight parishes that comprise the area are Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Vermilion. Acadiana is made up of 22 South Louisiana parishes that extend from south of Alexandria in the center of the state, to Lake Charles on the west, south of New Orleans on the east, and to the Gulf of Mexico in the south.
Lafayette, LA is at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole Country, an area known as the ‘Happiest City in America’ and it’s no mystery. Whether your passion is for our rich cultural history, the bustling culinary scene or distinctive blend of Cajun and Zydeco music, you can be sure you will leave beaming from ear to ear. Plan your escape to the Happiest City in America.