Lafayette festivals draw thousands from all over - KLFY News 10

Lafayette festivals draw thousands from all over

Festival International de Louisiane Festival International de Louisiane
Festivals Acadiens et Créoles Festivals Acadiens et Créoles

Festivals are a way of life in Southwest Louisiana traditionally celebrating crops and culture that have for decades and continue to provide economic stability.

They also provide a lot of family fun.

In the Hub City, two major festivals are noted for attracting large crowds - Festivals Acadiens et Créoles and Festival International.

According to the festival's website, Festival de Musique Acadienne is set for Oct. 10 - 12 this year and will showcase the best of Cajun and zydeco music beneath the spreading oaks of Girard Park in Lafayette.

Festival de Musique Acadienne, celebrating 36 years of entertainment, originated as the tribute to Cajun music festival, an event that was designed to attract and educate the younger generation to the traditional values of the Cajun culture. Festival de Musique Acadienne now attracts Louisiana's best Cajun and zydeco bands and draws thousands of people from across the country and around the world.

Also garnering global attention, Festival International de Louisiane.

"Lafayette is on the map often because of the festival." said Missy Paschke-Wood.

According to the Executive Director Missy Paschke-Wood, the festival formed in 1986, as a community-based non-profit arts organization that provides a free family event celebrating the French cultural heritage of southern Louisiana - primarily a combination of French, African, Caribbean and Hispanic influences.

Historic downtown Lafayette is transformed into an entertainment mecca featuring six music stages, food court areas, street musicians and animators, arts and crafts boutiques, art galleries, beverage stands, cultural workshops, and a world music store.

It costs a lot, well, at least over one million dollars to put on such a massive event but the global advertising this festival garners is, priceless.

"Can you put a price tag on that sort of advertisement?"

paschke-wood -

"I couldn't. If I could, I couldn't afford it, so it is priceless." said Paschke-Wood.

Equally priceless and much appreciated - the volunteers and financial backers of festival.

"It costs over a million dollars for us to put on the festival every year and a lot of people don't realize as soon as the festival ends, work starts on the next festival." said Paschke-Wood.

Often booking acts more than a year out - sometimes two or three.

"Right now we're actually reaching out to bands for 2015 because especially the international artists plan their tour years in advance." said Paschke-Wood.

But this year's festival is a only few months away. The 28th annual Festival International de Louisiane will be held from April 23 - 27.

"Just last week we unveiled the pin design and poster and artist." said Paschke-Wood.

As for who is booked.

"You're trying to get me to tell secrets! I will not do it! I can not, but we're 95% booked and I can assure you that nobody will be disappointed!" said Paschke-Wood.

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