Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival

September 2, 2023
Yambilee Festival Grounds, Opelousas

The Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival, the world’s largest Zydeco and LaLa music festival, celebrates the spicy culture of Louisiana Creoles by highlighting, documenting, preserving and enhancing their rich heritage. Not only does the annual Festival spotlight the talent of both seasoned and new Zydeco artists, but it also has grown to encompass and share all avenues of the region's rich culture. It is an annual cultural production of Southern Development Foundation in its commitment to promote the cultural awareness of Zydeco music & its heritage.

2022 Schedule of Events

Zydeco Season Opening - Thursday, August 4

Zydeco Festival Season party begins at the Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center. With the official opening of the year 2022, the 40th Annual Original SWLA Zydeco Music Festival will serve light refreshments, music, and celebration, the event takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Opelousas Museum, 315 N Main St, Opelousas, LA 70570.

Kickoff Dance - Friday, September 2

The party will get started early the night before at Evangeline Downs at 9 p.m. with Lil Nate & The Zydeco Big Timers, Grammy winner Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Grammy nominees Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie and Corey Ledet; along with Mike Broussard & Nu Edition Zydeco, Jeremy Frugé & The Zydeco Hot Boyz and Rusty Metoyer & Zydeco Krush. 2235 Creswell Lane Extension, Opelousas, LA 70570

Big Zydeco Parade - Saturday, September 3

Parade route East Landry Street and Wallior Street. The Zydeco parade lines up at 8:30 a.m. with scores of zydeco fans, businesses, social clubs, dance groups, and trail riders. The parade rolls at 10 a.m., passing by the Zydeco Breakfast on Landry, as they head to the Festival Grounds.

Zydeco Breakfast - Saturday, September 3

Join them for the annual Zydeco Breakfast in downtown Opelousas. From 9-11 am, under the oak trees on the Courthouse Square, you can listen to the sounds of Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys. Local downtown eateries will feature an assortment of breakfast items for sale. Thanks to Opelousas Tourism, with support from Opelousas Main Street, Inc., the City of Opelousas, and the St. Landry Parish Government, hosts the free event each year to get people excited about SW LA Zydeco Festival music and activities.

40th Annual Original Southwest Zydeco Festival

This year’s celebration takes place on the Yambilee Festival Grounds beginning at noon and winding down in the wee hours of the night. Gather your friends and family for a full day and night of music, traditional Creole food by vendors and food trucks, along with arts and crafts.

History of Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival

In 1981 fearful that Creole and Zydeco music was dying out, The Treasures of Opelousas-a group of concerned citizens under the guidance and sponsorship of Southern Development Foundation-organized the Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival.

The first Zydeco Festival in 1982 was started on a farmer’s field in the Plaisance community on the outskirts of Opelousas, with four hundred people in attendance and has continued to grow ever since.

The Zydeco Music Festival is a living reminder to never to forget where we come from, to always appreciate and respect our past, and most of all to continue our legacy in keeping the rich culture alive.

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Getting to 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.

Plan Your Escape

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.

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