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Louisiana's Cajun Bayou Tourism Awards $60,000 in Tourism Investment Funds to Support Three New Tourism Projects in Lafourche Parish

Louisiana's Cajun Bayou Tourism Awards $60,000 in Tourism Investment Funds to Support Three New Tourism Projects in Lafourche Parish

Raceland, Louisiana (March 17, 2023) – Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, the tourist commission for Lafourche Parish, announced on Friday the award of $60,000 in grant funds to support three new tourism projects in Lafourche Parish through their 2023 Tourism Investment Program (TIP).

Applications for this year’s TIP funding were accepted February 1 - March 1, 2023 with the goal of supporting the creation of new tourism projects and events aimed at driving increased visitation to the parish. The three projects were selected among a competitive field of applicants, and will help foster the development and growth of the visitor economy and enrichment of life in Lafourche Parish.

Beneficiaries of the 2023 Tourism Investment Program funding include:

Lafourche Arc, for the creation of a new event called the: “BBQ, Bourbon, and Blues Festival

- The festival will be the first in Lafourche Parish to feature barbeque, bourbon and Blues and aims to make the event annual by attracting visitation and participation from outside of Lafourche Parish.

Nicholls State University Foundation, for the creation of a new men’s basketball multi-team event (MTE) called the “LA Cajun Bayou Tournament”

- The tournament is anticipated to draw teams, athletes, families, and visitors from outside of Louisiana and position itself as an annual sports tourism event.

Friends of E.D. White Historic Site, for the development of the E.D. White Historic Site bayou-side and creation of an immersive Cajun Day Experience Tour

- The bayou-side development will create an added recreational outlet to Bayou Lafourche, while the new engaging tour will highlight our authentic Cajun culture through partnerships with the Jean Lafitte Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center, Laurel Valley Village, and area restaurants. In addition, the tour will provide hands on activities for visitors to connect with our destination and work with area hotels to promote it.

“A common thread among the TIP submissions was the goal to make Lafourche Parish an incredible place to live and an essential one to visit. We feel that these projects embody Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou brand of authentic Cajun culture, and the spirit of our local people who make this area so unique,” said, Marguerite Knight-Erwin, Chair of the Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Board of Directors.

“Our organization was thrilled to welcome back the return of our Tourism Investment Program and the ability to financially assist in the development of new tourism assets for Lafourche Parish” said Cody A. Gray, President & CEO of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism. “Our goal for this year’s program was to help organizations create new opportunities to increase our ability to attract more visitation, while also improving the quality of life for our residents.”

TIP was first implemented in 2016 and has awarded $483,000 in grants since its inception. The funds distributed to this year’s recipients were gained by a portion of the room tax revenues generated from overnight guests to the parish. The Tourism Investment Program allows for the reinvestment of that money back into the destination.

For more information on how the parish positions itself as a year-round tourism destination and our strategic plan for the future, click on our strategic plan HERE.

March Down to Louisiana's Cajun Bayou for These Events

March Down to Louisiana's Cajun Bayou for These Events

Throughout the month of March, people will be shamrockin’ around Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou as they enjoy an array of events that help make the destination especially fun. Here’s a roundup of some March events that are guaranteed to put a spring in your step.

St. Patrick’s Day on the Bayou
March 11, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Though our absolute favorite part of this event is the cardboard boat race down the bayou (Irish all the contestants the best of luck), this event will also feature live music, tasty food and activities for all ages.
Choctaw Firemen’s Fair
March 17-19

We’re turning up the heat for the Choctaw Firemen’s Fair, where you’ll have access to rides, games, music, a parade, and, of course, some of the best Cajun food you’ll ever eat.

Krewe Des Lutins Irish Italian Parade 
March 18, 1 p.m.

You know what they say about St. Patrick’s Day – it’s not over ‘til it’s clover. Give one final St. Patty’s hurrah with the first-ever Krewe Des Lutins Irish-Italian parade hosted by the Lafourche Concert & Events Club. Heads up and hands out … because veggies will be the popular throws for this parade!

Spring Arts Walk
March 24, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Take a breath of fresh spring air and stroll through downtown Thibodaux while visiting with local artists along the sidewalk. Support both small businesses and local artisans by popping into the boutiques and restaurants along the way.
Boilin’ Down the Bayou Crawfish Boil & Crafts Show
March 25, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.

At this time of year, it’s not a party unless someone’s serving fresh crawfish … so we’ve got ourselves a major party here. You’re invited to enjoy some tasty Louisiana crawfish, music, and craft booths and vendors at the Oakridge Park and Pavilion.

Downtown Sounds
March 30, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Flow Tribe and Snapper & the Fishsticks will be performing in Thibodaux, so grab your friends and family and head downtown for a night full of fun and live music, all benefiting a good cause. Proceeds from this event go toward The Bryant O’Neil Foundation and suicide prevention awareness.
Louisiana Boulettes & Balloons Festival 
March 31- April 1 

What could be better than hot air balloons, cooking competitions Cajun food, and games? Absolutely nothing! With all these activities in addition to the boulettes, this event will soar to new heights and certainly be a crowd pleaser. 

March on down to Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou and see experience everything we have in store for you this month. We can’t wait to see you here!

How to Spend Galentine's Day in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

How to Spend Galentine's Day in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

February 13th marks Galentine’s Day, the day before the mushy lovey-dove day where you and your gals and/or pals can celebrate with a day of pampering, nourishment, and enjoyment with those around you. This year, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou has you covered with some fun activities to celebrate this day of friendship:

Pamper Yourself at The Esthetic Co.

First things first: Treat yo’ self! The Estethic Co. in Thibodaux is a great way to detoxify and de-stress. Choose from a variety of facial options, body wraps or other treat-yourself-treatment at this skin-care stop in downtown Thibodaux. We are sure the stress of daily life will be washed away.

Brunch at Spahr’s Seafood
Everyone knows a good outing isn’t complete without brunch with your besties. Though Spahr’s is known for seafood – especially their signature catfish chips – you haven’t lived until you’ve tried the Pain Perdu. Made with local French bread, a cinnamon-sugar custard, powdered sugar and fresh fruit, this delicacy guarantees your Galentine’s Day will be off on the right foot and give you the sugar rush needed for everything else on this list.

Shop in Downtown Thibodaux

After being pampered and fed, show off your refreshed self as you shop the boutiques downtown. Whether you’re looking for jewelry from Chic Chateau Interiors & Gifts, accessories or décor from The Bead Hive, or clothing from LUCO Boutique, Thibodaux’s shops will help you source something spectacular for every friend on your Galentine’s Day list.

Pottery Class at Purple Penguin Art Company
Nothing says quality time like making something beautiful with your pals. At Purple Penguin, you can arrange for your own private wheel-throwing pottery class, which guarantees a lot of laughs, some messy hands and incredible memories.

Walk the Lockport Elevated Boardwalk
Last, are you a group of moms just happy to get a break from your kids for the day and you need some quiet? Or maybe you and your friends prefer “naturing” yourselves over “nurturing” yourselves. Either way, a quiet stroll down the 440-foot Lockport Boardwalk provides you and your gal pals a well-deserved breath of fresh air .. just what the Galentine’s Day doctor ordered.

The day is all about celebrating time with your friends, so sit back, relax, and enjoy Galentine’s Day in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou!

Louisiana Travel Association Honors Louisiana's Cajun Bayou with 2023 Louey Award for Tourism Campaign of the Year

Annual awards recognize best of the Louisiana tourism industry

Raceland, LA (January 23, 2023)
– The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) introduced Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism as the winner of the 2023 Louey Award for Tourism Campaign of the Year, Campaign Budget up to $29,000, for their historic cross-border partnership and virtual media event: From Acadian to Cajun: Two Countries; One Culture.

The campaign which officially launched in July 2022 was a joint effort between Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, the Congrès de Mondial (CMA 2024), and the Yarmouth & Acadian Shores Tourism Association in Nova Scotia to reconnect two cultures forcibly split apart more than 250 years ago. The partnership launched a one-of-a-kind virtual media event that took place live from Le Ptit Robicheau restaurant in Saulnierville, Nova Scotia and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute in Thibodaux, Louisiana. With help from local historians, chefs, and musicians from both destinations, 16 top-tier journalists from the United States & Canada were invited to learn more about the two separate, but uncannily similar communities.

“From Acadian to Cajun: Two Countries; One Culture was a culmination of many months of dedicated zoom calls (Most of which took place over 3 different time zones), in-depth research, and rehearsals prior to going live to the media” said Ian Wallis, Sales & Marketing Manager for Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism. “It is truly an honor to be recognized by the Louisiana Travel Association for 2023 Tourism Campaign of the Year. Our roots are a big part of our culture here in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, and we are excited to have this partnership in place to promote and educate people about the Acadian-Cajun connection.”

“I am thrilled and could not be any prouder of the recognition received for our organization and parish” said Marguerite Knight-Erwin, chair of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism’s Board of Directors. “Through our strategic and innovative marketing strategy we continue to shine a spotlight on our authentic destination and our unapologetically Cajun culture that defines us.”

With the initial success of this partnership, further collaborations are planned between Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism and officials in Nova Scotia to promote the shared cultures.

To learn more about Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, visit https://www.lacajunbayou.com/

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 21. 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

The Willow Café
713 West Third Street, Thibodaux, LA 70301

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

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

Cajun Pecan House
14808 W. Main Street, Cut Off, LA 70345
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 first-ever Bayou King Cake Festival, which will be held in downtown Thibodaux on Saturday, February 4. 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!

Have Yourself a Holly Jolly Cajun Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou is in full swing, and though we don’t have a winter wonderland to walk in (usually), there are plenty of other ways to get in the holiday spirit and have a holly jolly – and Cajun – Christmas.
Any good morning in December should start with hot chocolate – the more whipped cream and marshmallows, the better! Stop by The Simple Bean in Cut Off to order a cup with all the fixins … or, if you need your mornings to start with a tad more caffeine, sample a coffee flight that features holiday flavors like Candy Cane, Sugar Cookie and Cinnamon Mocha. Yum!

If you want to get a head start on your holiday shopping, downtown Thibodaux offers plenty of opportunities to support local businesses and find something for everyone on your list. Well, it’s doubtful you’ll secure a partridge in a pear tree or three French hens … but who needs those? Chic Chateau, Johnny’s Men's Shop, The Bead Hive and LUCO Boutique are but a few of the local shops that have pretty much everything else along with friendly shopkeepers ready to help you find the perfect gift.
End the day with Christmas in the Park at Peltier Park in Thibodaux. This family-friendly event is a drive-through lights display featuring Christmas trees decorated by local organizations, churches and schools, and lights, lights, and more lights! It runs through December 31, operating from 6 to 9 p.m. every night.
If you can’t get enough of that warm and fuzzy holiday feeling and need to get some inspiration for decking the halls while also filling your stomach with authentic Cajun food, head to the Golden Meadow Christmas Boat Parade and Gumbo Cook Off on December 17. Celebrate the holidays Cajun-style with gumbo, music, craft booths and a lighted boat parade that travels up and down Bayou Lafourche.

There’s no end to the ways you can celebrate the holiday season here in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’re sure to get a warm welcome … and that’s not just because Papa Noël is making a list and checking it twice. Around here, hospitality just comes with the territory, no matter what the season!

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Wins Bid to Host the 2023 Y’Allstars Southern Skate Showdown

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Wins Bid to Host the 2023 Y’Allstars Southern Skate Showdown

Raceland, Louisiana (November 16, 2022) – Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, the destination management organization for Lafourche Parish, has successfully won the hosting rights to the 2023 Y’Allstars Southern Skate Showdown, a competitive roller derby competition made up of teams from across the United States.

The competition will take place at Warren J. Harang Municipal Auditorium on N. Canal Blvd in Thibodaux the weekend of February 24-26, 2023. It is expected to have a notable economic impact to Lafourche Parish with over 250 hotel room nights anticipated, an estimated 900-1,700 meals consumed at local restaurants, and additional visitor spend on trips to local attractions and shops in Lafourche Parish.

The event is hosted as part of a joint effort by Team Louisiana Roller Derby, the state’s all-star roller derby team, and Red Stick Roller Derby Juniors, the youth roller derby team based in Baton Rouge who put out the initial request for proposal to find a host in late August. Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism immediately worked with Warren J. Harang Auditorium, a venue that has hosted previous roller derby events, to submit a bid.

“We are very excited to welcome the Y’Allstars Southern Skate Showdown to Thibodaux” said Ian Wallis, Sales & Marketing Manager at Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism. “They have been an excellent group to work with thus far, and we are very thankful for the team at Harang Auditorium for helping us get this competition to Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou.”

In addition to Team LA and Red Stick Roller Derby Juniors, it has already been announced that Team Texas, Team Florida, Chicago Roller Derby, and Team Indigenous Rising, a group of skaters from across the United States with an indigenous background, have signed up to compete. Tickets to attend the competition can be purchased starting Friday, December 9th.

“As our local tourism industry continues to recover from a turbulent two years, we are thrilled to work with Team LA Roller Derby to bring their event to Lafourche Parish” said Cody A. Gray, President & CEO of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism. “Events such as this bring in significant economic impact to our destination and directly support local businesses and jobs.  We look forward to welcoming these visiting teams to Thibodaux to experience our authentic Cajun culture.”

For more information about the Y’Allstars Southern Skate Showdown visit their website linked below. For vendor/sponsorship opportunities, contact Kaitlyn Estes, Tournament Organizer at [email protected].

Y'Allstars Southern Skate Showdown Website 

#ExploreMore with both Louisiana's Cajun Bayou & Tangi Tourism

#ExploreMore with Louisiana's Cajun Bayou & Tangi Tourism

Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism and Tangipahoa Tourism are once again aiming to score with their #ExploreMore partnership. Despite being rivals on the field, these two tourism destinations are joining forces at the upcoming Nicholls State University and Southeastern Louisiana University football game on November 17.

The two tourism offices will host a joint tailgate at the game in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Tourism. Fans can stop by for crawfish fettucine, catfish chips, seafood gumbo, mini crab cakes, bread pudding and other tasty treats served with a side of Louisiana hospitality. Whether you’re rooting for the Colonels or the Lions, you’re invited to enjoy good food, good company, and the opportunity to learn more about both parishes.

After a one-year hiatus, the #ExploreMore initiative reignited last year with the respective parishes working together to drive visitation to the two areas, both of which make a great day trip or weekend getaway. The tourism offices have created itineraries full of family-friendly activities such as looking for bald eagles during a boat tour on Bayou Lafourche, trying alligator and andouille rangoons at Cinclare in Thibodaux, or venturing over to the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom to get an up-close look at zebras and giraffes. The 2021 initiative and tailgate, which included a gift basket giveaway, was so successful that it’s back for 2022.

Head over to https://www.lacajunbayou.com/exploremore to get more details on the tailgate, along with information about Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, Tangi Tourism, and all the fun things to do in Louisiana.

Channel the Flannel at our 2022 Fall Events!

Our autumnal events continue into October and hit all the important “F’s” – fall, family, friends, festivals, fun and (perhaps most importantly) food! Come on down to Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou this month to see, taste, hear and experience what it means to be Cajun in the Fall and how we do things here in coastal Louisiana. Here’s a sampling of all the fun to come!

Grand Reveil Acadien (GRA) 2022 Symposium
October 5

The Grand Reveil Acadien will be making a stop in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou during their week-long celebration of the Acadian & Cajun culture. Visit the link above to get a full rundown of the seminars and events taking place in Lafourche Parish that day. You’re invited to learn about the history and traditions of both during this all-day event.

La Fete des Vieux Temps
October 7 – 9

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.

Laurel Valley Fall Festival
October 16

Held at Laurel Valley Village in Thibodaux, this arts-and-crafts show is complemented by live music, demonstrations and authentic Cajun food. Guests can browse vendors, enjoy good food and learn about the history of sugar cane farming in the area.

Saved by the ‘90s
October 20

Are you a ‘90s baby wishing you could relive your childhood? Now’s your chance! Artists like DJ Spin and the Spin Doctors will take concert-goers into the ‘90s at this throwback event.

Louisiana Gumbo Festival
October 21 – 23

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. Fun fact: Nearly 500 gallons of gumbo will be made throughout the weekend!

Monsters on Main
October 28

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

French Food Festival
October 28 – 30

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!

Acadia Music Fest
October 29

Local, national and international artists come together for one day in Thibodaux for the Acadia Music Fest. This year, the festival is headlined by Ludacris, who will be joined by artists including David Shaw, DJ Spin, and more.

Downtown Sounds
November 3

What’s better than taking up the streets of Downtown Thibodaux with live outdoor music! Check out Flow Tribe and Snapper & the Fishsticks at the second edition of Downtown Sounds!

Big Boy’s Main Street Cook Off
November 11

One of the most anticipated events of the year, Big Boy’s Main St. Cook Off brings out local chefs to determine who can make the best, most unapologetically Cajun dish. Spectators get plenty of delicious samples, along with live music.

Thibodeauxville Fall Festival
November 12

Come for the food, music, car show, and art vendors … stay for the rubber ducks! Try your luck at the infamous rubber duck race down Bayou Lafourche. The odds may not be in your favor, but the winner gets ultimate bragging rights – and a hefty monetary prize.

Whether you’re coming to one of the events for the good food (aren’t we all?), the chance to immerse yourself in the Cajun culture, to spend time with friends and family, or just try your luck at winning money from a lucky ducky, we’re ready and waiting to welcome you to Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou.

September Events in Louisiana's Cajun Bayou

Though there’s always something fun to do in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, fall is an extra-special time of year here. It’s when residents and visitors get to enjoy some of Lafourche Parish’s most beloved events, and now – one year after Hurricane Ida put a pause on so many activities – most of these events are back on the bayou … and better than ever, if we do say so ourselves! Here’s a preview of what’s coming up in September:
Boat Tours on Bayou Lafourche
Weekly, every Friday and Saturday

The Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center’s weekly boat tours are resuming this month. Travel up and down the bayou with a park ranger, learning about the history of the waterway and the wildlife and nature that surrounds you. On Fridays, you’ll also be treated to a tour of the E.D. White Historic Site as part of this round-trip journey. In addition, the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center has their Cercle Francophone Classes and Music on the Bayou every Tuesday, and Historic Downtown Thibodaux Walking Tours every Wednesday & Thursday.

Cajun Music Jam at Gina's
September 7 and 21

Head to Gina’s at the Legion – for bimonthly Cajun Music Jams. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Cajun music or a novice just wanting to dip your toes in, all ages and experience levels are welcome to play, dance and pass a good time.

Tawasi Antiques and Art Show
September 9 – 11

This three-day show features antiques and art dealers from across the country, with proceeds going back to the community. Enjoy a variety of quality pieces including jewelry, glassware, silver, furniture, art pieces, and more.

Creole Classic Fest
September 17

Bring your dancing feet and cooking skills to the Creole Classic Fest, held at Harang Auditorium in Thibodaux. Listen to live music, compete in a cornhole tournament and enter a cook-off to show off your culinary skills (advance registration required).

Cut Off Youth Center Hurricane Festival
September 23 – 25

With live music, carnival rides, vendors, classic Cajun food and kid-friendly activities, this annual festival offers something for every member of the family.

Fall Arts Walk
September 23

Stroll down Main Street while taking in work by resident artists and supporting the local shops and businesses you pass along the way.

Nicholls State University Football Season Opener
September 24
Come cheer on the NSU Colonels at their first home game of the season against Jacksonville State. It’s a Red Out, so be sure to show up wearing red to support the team!

Clearly, if there’s one thing we love in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, it’s a fun event! We have plenty to do this month, so grab your family and come on down. We hope to see you here!

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