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News in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

Louisiana's Cajun Bayou Breaks Ground on New Visitor's Center

Louisiana's Cajun Bayou Breaks Ground on New Visitor's Center

Raceland, Louisiana (May 17, 2024) – In 2021, Category 4 Hurricane Ida hit southeast Louisiana, ravaging much of Lafourche Parish. One of the architectural casualties was the parish’s visitor center, which was so damaged that it had to be torn down and removed after the storm. For the past two and a half years, the tourism office has been operating out of a modular unit in the former center’s parking lot.

Now – nearly three years later – Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism is thrilled to announce that ground has been broken for an all-new and permanent Visitor’s Center constructed in partnership with Lafourche Parish Government.

Located along Bayou Lafourche on the same lot as the former center (4484 LA-1 in Raceland), the new visitor center aims to enhance the overall tourism experience in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou. This state-of-the-art facility will provide travelers with a wealth of information about local restaurants and attractions, Cajun culture, and special events. The 4,874-square foot building will offer new interactive exhibits and displays, traveler information, restrooms, and space for staff offices.

As a significant investment in the region's tourism promotion program, the new center will play a key role in attracting more visitors to Louisiana's Cajun Bayou and driving business to the area’s tourism partners. With its unique blend of Cajun heritage, rich history and breathtaking landscapes, the area attracts travelers from near and far. The center will provide a central hub where those visitors can access information, plan their trips with the assistance of knowledgeable staff, and begin their journey up and down the bayou.

Funding for the new building was provided by FEMA, insurance payouts, and Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism with the support of Lafourche Parish Government. This project also wouldn’t be possible without architect Gros Flores Positerry, contractor Onshore Construction, and exhibit designer Cote Blanche Productions. Construction is estimated to be completed in one year.

Louisiana's Cajun Bayou Tourism invites everyone to stay tuned for updates on the progress of the visitor center via their social media.

FUTURE LOUISIANA'S CAJUN BAYOU VISITOR'S CENTER:


Fresh Air & Fresh Events: Your Spring Social Calendar in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

Fresh Air & Fresh Events: Your Spring Social Calendar in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

Louisiana's Cajun Bayou is ready to welcome visitors from near and far this spring with a lineup of exciting events that showcase the vibrant and unique culture of the region. Mark your calendars and spring into a fun festival season down on the bayou!

Play it Forward
Friday, March 8

The Bayou Country Children’s Museum may be for kids during the day, but for this one night a year, it’s all about the adults! A cocktail trail, gaming tables, silent and live auctions, and live music and entertainment will make this night fun for those age 21 and over. All proceeds from this event will benefit the museum.
Choctaw Fireman’s Fair
March 8-10

We’re turning up the heat for the Choctaw Fireman’s Fair, with rides, games, music, a parade, and, of course, delicious Cajun food.
Bayou Lafourche Cleanup
Saturday, March 16

In partnership with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou will be working with volunteers to pick up trash and help keep the bayou beautiful. For a list of clean up locations and registration information, head HERE.
Krewe des Lutins Irish Italian Parade
Saturday, March 16

Celebrate St. Patty’s a day early with the return of the Krewe Des Lutins Irish-Italian parade. Heads up and hands out … because veggies will be the popular throws for this parade!
Spring Arts Walk
Friday, March 22

Visit with local artists on the sidewalks of downtown Thibodaux. Support both small businesses and local artisans by popping into the boutiques and restaurants along the way.
Annual Blessing of the Fleet
Saturday, April 6

For the 108th time, the people of South Lafourche will gather to bless this year’s fishermen and their fleet. Event goers will also enjoy live music, a boiled shrimp lunch and boat parade open to all!
La Fete Du Monde
April 19-21

This festival is known as the swamp pop extravaganza of Louisiana's Cajun Bayou. It features live music, dancing, Cajun food, games and carnival rides for all ages.
Thibodaux Firemen’s Fair
May 2-5

Attendees will enjoy the famous Thibodaux Fireman's Fair Burger, live music, rides and games, a 5k run/walk a parade, and a live auction benefitting one of the largest volunteer firemen fairs in the country.
Mud Bug Boil Off
Saturday, May 11

You’d better come hungry, because this all-you-can-eat crawfish cook-off event will leave you stuffed to the brim. If you’re not a competitor busy cooking up a good time, there will be live music, an auction and other fun for the whole family to enjoy.
Don't miss the chance to join in the festivities and soak up spring in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou!


Immerse Yourself in the Game of Petanque in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou!

Immerse Yourself in the Game of Pétanque in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou!

While other destinations pride themselves on offering a full range of traditional winter activities, here in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, we’re proud to be the home to an unexpected winter activity that’s deeply rooted in a different type of tradition. We’re known for our vibrant culture, and visitors expect to be fully immersed in the Cajun way of life during their time here. Because of the mild weather we experience in the winter months, now is a great time to play or watch a game of pétanque. This traditional French lawn game is popular here on the Bayou. It’s similar to the Italian sport of bocce, but we think it’s even better.

Pétanque, pronounced "pay-tonk," is a leisurely game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. It involves standing in a small circle (cercle) and throwing metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden target ball that’s called the cochonnet (fun fact: that’s French for “little pig”!). Similar to bocce, this game requires strategy, precision and a bit of luck. Oh … and good balance. The sport’s name is derived from words that mean “foot planted.” Your feet must remain in the cercle while you toss … and that can be more challenging than it sounds.
Whether you are a seasoned pétanque player or a curious beginner, the pétanque courts in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou offer a friendly and inclusive environment. Gather your friends, challenge your family, or meet fellow enthusiasts at the courts at Peltier Park in Thibodaux. The Thibodaux Pétanque Club meets every Saturday at 8:30 AM and anyone is welcome to join to learn how to play. The game can be enjoyed casually during a weekend getaway or organized into a competitive tournament, adding a touch of friendly rivalry to your Bayou adventures. 

Pétanque perfectly complements our laid-back lifestyle and invites everyone to slow down, relax and enjoy the company of others. So, if you’re seeking a unique and entertaining experience that also forges new athletic skills, be sure to add a game of pétanque to your itinerary when you’re exploring Louisiana's Cajun Bayou!


Sip Your Way Through Mardi Gras with these Cocktails and Drinks!

Sip Your Way Through Mardi Gras with these Cocktails and Drinks!

Let the good times roll! It is Mardi Gras season down in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou and the party is already in full swing. Through February 13, there will be plenty to celebrate, between the numerous parades, King Cake Festival and tasty Carnival-themed treats found around town.

This year, Mardi Gras enthusiasts will also be able to enjoy a “Second Line” beverage trail through the parish. With nearly ten stops, there are plenty of opportunities to get your Carnival drink on! As an added bonus, a percentage of each themed drink purchased will go toward the Lafourche Education Foundation, the organizers of the now-legendary Bayou King Cake Festival.

Here are some of the cocktails being offered for the Second Line, along with a description of the featured beverage:

Beck’s: Mardi Pardi Punch 
4293 LA-1, Raceland
This colorful cocktail blends vodka, Blue Curacao, grenadine and sweetener, all under a sugared rim. It’s best enjoyed with a side of live music.

Big Mikes BBQ: King Cake Shot
120 Laura Drive, Thibodaux
Need to order something that keeps your trail time down? Stop into Big Mikes for a quick King Cake Shot. Fifolet rum, RumChata, whipped cream and a Mardi Gras-colored sugar rim come together for the perfect shot. If you prefer to take your time at each stop, stay for a while and enjoy their king cake bread pudding.

Cinclare: Too many to name!
601 W 3rd Street, Thibodaux
This bistro is going all out for the Second Line, with four different cocktail options named after local krewes. The Shaka Mama (rum, Ancho Reyes Chili Liquer, Orgeat, pineapple, lime), Chronos Carre (Rittenhouse Rye, cognac, cacao-infused vermouth, Benedictine, Ristretto), Cleophas Courir (ginger spice-infused vodka, blackberry preserves, lime) and Ambrosia Maid (cranberry-infused vodka, Ruby Port, Noilly Rouge, pomegranate, ginger ale) – we’ll take one of each, please!

Cuvee: King Cake Colada
116 Rue Angelique, Thibodaux
This drink is comprised of 504 King Cake spiced rum, pineapple juice and orgeat syrup. It pairs well with Cuvee’s mini sweet potato king cakes.

Fremin’s Restaurant: King Cake Martini - (Pictured Above)
402 W. 3rd Street, Thibodaux

This restaurant specializes in Cajun-inspired Italian and American dishes, all of which are best enjoyed with their seasonal King Cake Martini. Caramel vodka, RumChata, butterscotch schnapps, house-made cream cheese syrup and a tiny baby floating on top of a whipped cream topping complete this glass of sweetness!

Grady V’s: Les Bons Temps Tini
900 Country Club Boulevard, Thibodaux

Stop in for a king cake burger or king cake bread pudding and top off your festive meal with the Les Bon Temps Tini. Made with Skyy Espresso vodka, Baileys, RumChata, Frangelico and a sugar rim, this tasty take on an espresso martini is the perfect complement to the restaurant’s other Mardi Gras offerings.

Spahr’s Seafood: The King Cake Russian
All three locations – in Thibodaux, Des Allemands and Galliano
While most people head to Spahr’s during Carnival season to enjoy their legendary king cake beignets, the restaurants’ King Cake Russian cocktail is this season’s drink of choice!

Come on down and enjoy all the flavors of Mardi Gras with the Lafourche Education Foundation's Second Line trail this Carnival season. Cheers!


How to be King of King Cake this Mardi Gras Season!

How to be King of King Cake this Mardi Gras Season!

It’s January, so … ‘tis the season in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. Carnival season, that is! This year, Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 13th. Though the big day is still a few weeks away, festivities are already in full swing. One of the best ways to get into the spirit is by indulging in a seasonal treat.

To everyone up and down the Bayou, king cakes are an integral part of Mardi Gras. This colorful confection is the iconic culinary symbol of the Carnival season … with good reason!

Named for the three kings (or wise men) who brought gifts to baby Jesus, the king cake tradition is thought to be brought to Louisiana from France in the 19th century. The cinnamon pastry ring is commonly topped with white icing and decked out in three different colored sugars: purple, which symbolizes justice; gold, which represents power; and green for faith. Watch that dental work, because the cakes come with a plastic baby tucked somewhere in them. The “winner” – whoever gets the baby in their piece – is responsible for providing the next king cake!

Though some bakers sell the beloved cakes year-round (adjusting flavors and colors for the various holidays), consumption skyrockets during Carnival season. Here are some places up and down Bayou Lafourche where you can find a tasty king cake:

Ninette’s Cake Shop
1050 S. Acadia Road, Thibodaux, LA 70301
985-447-1714

The Willow Café
713 West Third Street, Thibodaux, LA 70301
985-448-0444

Mudbug Brewery
1878 LA-3185, Thibodaux, LA, 70301
985-492-1610
Note: Not your typical King Cake - Enjoy their King Cake Ale!

Duet’s Bakery
18134 W Main St, Cut Off, LA, 70354
985-6326954

Cajun Pecan House
14808 W. Main Street, Cut Off, LA 70345
985-632-2337
Note: They ship nationwide!

If you’ve worked your way through all the bakeries and still can’t get enough of this sugary Mardi Gras dessert, you’ll want to mark your calendar for the Bayou King Cake Festival, which will be held in downtown Thibodaux on Saturday, January 27th. Attendees can sample king cakes baked by local bakeries, restaurants and even home cooks and vote for their favorite. The event will give you plenty of opportunities to scout out who makes the best on the Bayou … and map your route to their store, or figure out how to get invited to their home for a great party! It’s never too early to plan ahead when king cake is involved.

King cakes are an important part of the culture in Louisiana, especially along Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, because they represent how the traditions of the Acadian French – or Cajun – people have become indelibly linked to life in the state of Louisiana. The cake’s name and back story is deeply rooted in the Cajuns’ Catholic faith, but the simple act of enjoying a piece of cake is something everyone can do. The fact that cakes can be shipped to friends and family all around the country ensures that Mardi Gras joy isn’t limited to Louisiana … though the cake sure does seem to taste better when you eat it here!

We hope your Mardi Gras is as amazing as a slab of king cake!


Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice: Check out our Fall Food & Drink Specials!

Pumpkin spice and everything nice – that’s what fall is made of! The restaurants in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou have geared up for a mouthwatering fall season, offering a delectable array of special food and beverage menu items. Here are some of the places where you can experience the flavors of fall up and down the Bayou:

Big Mike’s BBQ

All month long, this smokehouse is giving people “pumpkin to talk about” with their Oktoberfest boo-ze options. A lengthy list of German beer has come to play, along with jumbo Bavarian pretzels and Schwenker pork chops.

CherAmie’s

Nothing screams fall like apples, cranberries and walnuts, which you’ll find featured in several of CherAmie’s dishes in Cut Off. Want a drink to go along with it? Their October drink special is a salted caramel martini!

Cinclare

Their new seasonal menu is out and though you won’t find pumpkin spice anywhere on it, you’ll find other flavors of fall, especially in their popular brown butter pecan blondie. With maple vanilla marshmallow, candied bacon and buttermilk caramel, your taste buds may just decide that pumpkin spice is a thing of the past.

Cuvee

This beloved wine bar just released an unbe-leaf-able fall cocktail lineup, including an apple pie Moscow mule and a tiramisu espresso martini. Any cocktail pairs well with their seasonal lobster bisque, the perfect dish to get you into the sweater weather spirit. a full list of their cocktail specials can be found HERE.

Grady V’s

Their Hocus Pocus float is sure to put a spell on you (it features pumpkin spice RumChata,) but the real slay is their Buffy the Vampire Slayer Burger. Pepperjack cheese, roasted garlic aioli, a sunny side up egg, angus patty and a garlic butter roll pierced by a wooden stake will have even the bravest vampires running for the hills … and diners running for a breath mint.

Spahr’s Seafood

Though Sphar’s is known for their catfish chips, this month, pumpkin pie bread pudding and a purple rain cocktail are the wonder-fall stars of their seasonal menu.

You can’t talk about fall food in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou without mentioning the iconic festivals that take place at this time of year, like the Louisiana Gumbo Festival in Chackbay. From October 13-15, you have the chance to indulge in delicious gumbo while celebrating fall and Cajun culture.

As autumn unfolds, Louisiana's Cajun Bayou invites foodies from near and far to experience the cuisine that helps make the parish and its Cajun Bayou Food Trail so legendary. Whether it's exploring the local year-round flavors or indulging in a restaurant's seasonal menu, you’re in for a treat … and the only trick will be getting your pants to button after lunch.


Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Wins Shining Example Award from Southeast Tourism Society

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Wins Shining Example Award from Southeast Tourism Society

Raceland, Louisiana (September 29, 2023) – Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, the destination marketing organization for Lafourche Parish, announced Friday they were a recipient of a Shining Example Award for Best Marketing from the Southeast Tourism Society (STS). Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou was selected among nominations from several destinations across the Southeast, and were on hand to receive the award at the STS Connections Conference in Jackson, MS on Wednesday night.

The award recognizes the “You Gotta Try This!” campaign which was launched by Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou in April 2022. The campaign aimed to promote the unique and flavorful culinary scene in Lafourche Parish, and was supported through targeted digital and print media, social media, and public relations outreach.

“We are very thankful to be recognized on a regional level for our marketing efforts over the last year for the “You Gotta Try This” campaign” said President/CEO Cody A. Gray. “We are always encouraging people to wander off the eatin’ path while visiting Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, and are appreciative of all of our tourism partners who helped us achieve this award.”

The tourism office worked with several restaurants and tourism partners up and down the bayou to collect new photo and video assets, and this year relaunched their Cajun Bayou Food Trail with the addition of three new Food Trail restaurants and a new Food Trail T-shirt.

For more information about Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, visit their website at lacajunbayou.com. For more information about the Southeast Tourism Society, visit their website at southeasttourism.org.


It's Fall Y'all! Come Celebrate our Upcoming Events in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou!

It's Fall Y'all! Come Celebrate our Upcoming Events in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou!

It’s fall, y’all … which means that festival season is in full swing in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. We’re back this season with many of the same festivals that everyone already knows and loves – such as the French Food Festival, Acadia Music Fest (Pictured above), La Fete Des Vieux Temps and more! You won't be-leaf what is happening this Fall, so come join us and check out below what else is happening up and down the bayou:

La Fete des Vieux Temps
October 6-8

Immerse yourself in authentic Cajun culture with the “Festival of Old Times,” an event featuring tasty Cajun food (as if there’s any other kind), music, dancing, and an arts-and-crafts show. Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism now oversee events at the Lafourche Pavilion, so (not to be biased) this year’s event is sure to be the best one yet!

Louisiana Gumbo Festival
October 13-15

Do you prefer your gumbo with sausage? Or perhaps with chicken? Maybe seafood? Whatever your preference, come enjoy authentic gumbo made from scratch at the Louisiana Gumbo Festival, along with live music and demonstrations. Nearly 500 gallons of gumbo will be made throughout the weekend, so come hungry!
Coco’s 10th Birthday Carnival
October 21

Oh, snap! It’s the 10th birthday of Coco, the gator mascot for the Bayou County Children’s Museum. Grab the kids and celebrate big top-style with carnival rides and games, hot air balloon rides and more. See you and your enfants there later, alligator!

Monsters on Main
October 27

Bring your little ghosts and ghouls to Downtown Thibodaux for a fun evening of free trick-or-treating with participating businesses.

French Food Festival
October 27-29

We hope you’ve got some stretchy pants, because this festival celebrates local dishes influenced by both the French and Cajun cultures. Sample the various dishes while taking in the live music … but be sure to not eat so much that you can’t join in the dancing. The festival received a 2022 Lafourche Parish Bayou Ambassador Award and was named the parish’s 2022 Event of the Year, so come see what the buzz is all about.

Acadia Music Fest
October 28

Local, national and international artists come together on one day in Thibodaux for the Acadia Music Fest. This year, the festival is headlined by Marcus King with appearances by Better Than Ezra, Niko Moon and more. Check out the lineup below and get your tickets by visiting the link HERE.
BBQ, Bourbon & Blues Festival
November 4

Enjoy the finer things in life with the first annual BBQ, Bourbon & Blues Festival … and by “finer things,” we mean great food, great drinks and great music. Just $10 gets you admission to the festival (and plenty of BBQ joints selling everything from pork to chicken to brisket), and an additional $100 admission (for those 18 and older, of course!) provides entry to the bourbon tasting area, where bourbon lovers get a commemorative glass and tastings from more than 30 vendors.

Big Boys Main St. Cook Off
November 10

As a kickoff to Thibodeauxville Fall Festival weekend, dozens of chefs gather in Downtown Thibodaux to compete in a cook-off that showcases Cajun cuisine with local ingredients straight from the bayou. Your $10 admission gets you access to free samples from the cook-off teams and local entertainment as you partake in a true Southern block party. Check out what this festival is all about HERE!

Thibodeauxville Fall Festival
November 11

People come from all over to enjoy good Cajun food, art vendors, live music, a car show and the famous rubber duck race at this free festival. Check out what the festival is all about HERE!

We are fall about a good time, so let festival season commence. It’s time to get your Cajun on!

(Photo Credit: Kyle Valdez)


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