Every year, locals flock to the streets of downtown Lafayette to experience Festival International. But the music and arts event also attracts a lot of out-of-towners. Some are from other parts of Louisiana; like John Bhim and Shellie Pergola, who travled from New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Pergola explains why she loves coming to Festival each year, “It’s awesome. You have bands from all over the world, lots of dancing music, sunshine. I think [the fact that it’s] free is a big one because you can just come enjoy it and try it out if you’re not sure the first time around.”
Others came from cities in neighboring states. Alvin Jordan drove in from Dallas, “I come every year. My best friend is from here and so it’s just kind of a tradition. I come down every year to see what’s new.”
Then there’s people like Terri Colburn who travel across the country for Festival. She came all the way from Idaho and is already making plans to come back next year, “We flew in to New Orleans then came here Wednesday. I love it! I think it’s an annual trip.”
Finally there are those who come from even further away. People like Thierry Elies, who came to Lafayette from across the world, “I’m from Ploubazlanec in Brittany, France. I came to see a band from Brittany, from my hometown.”
But he isn’t a Festival first-timer. Elies explains why he’s come back the past 3 years and plans to do it again, “The cajun atmosphere, you know the poeple speaking French, and the food. Oh the food.”