8th Annual Bayou Vermilion Festival & Boat Parade

Dates: September 28, 2019

Price: No

Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Let the good times flow during our 8th Annual Bayou Vermilion Festival & Boat Parade set for Sunday, May 20th beginning at Vermilionville Living History Museum & Folklife Park (300 Fisher Road, Lafayette, LA 70508). The purpose of event is to increase awareness of the river as a viable source of recreation for Lafayette Parish citizens. In addition, we celebrate the efforts of Bayou Vermilion District to conserve and preserve sites along the river, trash/debris clean up and water quality management.

The Bayou Vermilion Festival kicks off at Vermilionville with various free activities - yoga, face painting, kids’ crafts, a bubbles station, live music and much more! Arrive at 10 a.m. to partake or earlier to enjoy our NEW addition this year – The Catfish Rodeo & Cook-Off (see below).


If you're an early bird and would like extra time on the water, please sign-up for the Pre-Paddle beginning at 8:00 a.m. from Acadiana Park Nature Station, arriving at Vermilionville for 12:00 p.m. for the festival. Or, you can begin your paddle at Vermilionville at 2 p.m. with a celebratory toast by this year’s Grand Marshal. The parade ends at the Camellia Bridge Canoe and Kayak Launch near the Camellia Blvd. Bridge with a celebration complete with live music by Patrick Henry and the Liberation Band, food, drinks and lots of fun. Online pre-registration is open for the 7th Annual Boat Parade and closes on May 19th. Be sure to rent your vessels online TODAY; limited supply available. For additional information, vessel rentals and to pre-register, please visit BayouVermilionDistrict.org/events/boat-parade. If you do not have a chance to register, no worries. You can also register at Vermilionville the day of the event.


We would like to encourage parade participants to decorate your boat and wear a costume! In an effort to create a more festive atmosphere, we are asking residents and businesses - along the parade
route - to participate by decorating your yard and inviting friends & family to watch the parade. There will be a 'Spirit of The Bayou' Contest for best boat & costume and best yard decorations. Those that do not live along the parade route can watch the parade at Vermilionville, Beaver Park, Rotary Point or at the Camellia Bridge Canoe and Kayak Launch.


7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. |Drop off your paddle craft at Acadiana Park Nature Station (1205 E. Alexander Str., Lafayette, LA 70501) boat corral, then park your car on Bellaire Rd. at the Camellia Bridge Canoe and Kayak Launch near the Camellia Blvd. Bridge. A shuttle will bring you back to the parades starting point at the Nature Station.

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. |Pre-parade paddle launches from Acadiana Park Nature Station, led by Jesse Guidry.

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Drop-off your paddle craft or claim your rented craft at Vermilionville's boat corral, then park your car on Bellaire Rd. at the Camellia Bridge Canoe and Kayak Launch near the Camellia Blvd. Bridge. A shuttle will bring you back to the parade's starting point at Vermilionville.

10:00 a.m. | Meet & greet with the Bayou Operations Team, kids' crafts & activities including a bubble station, "Bayou Bones" Art Exhibit plus more

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. | Free yoga class along the Retention Pond 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Free face painting

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Live music by the New Native Brass Band

12:30 p.m. | Line up to load your paddle craft for the parade into the water at the canoe launch

2:00 p.m. | Parade launches from Vermilionville, led by the Grand Marshal and the New Natives Brass

4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. | Music by Patrick Henry and the Liberation Band, food by La Cuisine de Maman, beverages (including our special Floatilla Ale by Bayou Teche Brewing), vending, games by Olympic Grove, prizes announced for "Spirit of the Bayou" contest and more at Camellia Bridge Canoe and Kayak Launch near the Camellia Blvd. Bridge.


New this year, we are incorporating the Catfish Rodeo & Cook-Off for fishing aficionados and chefs. We have partnered with Wildlife & Fisheries to stock the river with bass and catfish at multiple locations. Plus, The Department of Environmental Quality has released results stating that the Vermilion can be used for secondary contact (fishing), and there are no eating restrictions on the fish caught in the river. In essence, you can consume the fish that you catch.
So, whether casting is your call or you make a mean courtboullion, we want to see you on the Vermilion. Find rules/regulations and other specifics, please visit BayouVermilionDistrict.org/bayou-fest-catfish-rodeo-cook-off.


7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. |Catfish Rodeo Registration at Vermilionville, Beaver Park & Rotary Point

7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. |Catfish Rodeo commences and ends at Vermilionville; pre-registrants can begin at 7:00 a.m.

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Catfish Cook-off at Vermilionville - Pre-registrants can begin set-up only at 9:00 a.m. If you did not pre-register online, please arrive at 8:30 a.m. to complete registration.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.|Rodeo weigh-in at Bayou Vermilion District dock

12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.|Catfish Cook-off Tasting & Judging

12:45 p.m. |Catfish Rodeo & Cook-Off Awards and Kayak Raffle held on the dock of Vermilionville

Come and celebrate with us during the greatest Bayou Fest of the year in Southwest LA!