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8 Must-Attend Events in Southwest Louisiana

The region is flourishing with entertainment options.

By Kevin Litwin on May 16, 2023

Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival
Jeff Adkins

One of the ways this region reps its Cajun culture is through festivals that take place throughout the year. Check out these eight celebrations.

Smoke & Barrel (Calcasieu Parish)

Billed as a celebration of bourbon, barbecue and whiskey, the annual November event is staged on the lawn of the courthouse in Lake Charles. The event features 80+ bourbons, whiskeys and scotches, along with live music and barbecue vendors from Louisiana and Texas. Proceeds benefit United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

Chuck Fest (Calcasieu Parish)

The Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana presents Chuck Fest every late October in downtown Lake Charles. The one-night event features live music, art vendors and an outdoor food-and-drink court. Bands perform at five different venues.

Cal Cam Fair (Calcasieu Parish)

For nine days in October, Cal Cam Fair arrives in Sulphur, with most events staged at West Cal Arena. The fair celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022. Festivities include the Miss Cal Cam Pageant, carnival rides, live music, livestock shows, a children’s cooking contest and a talent contest.

Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival (Cameron Parish)

Named a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event, this annual festival commemorates the region’s historic fur-trapping and hunting industry. Activities at the three-day January event include everything from a trap-shooting competition to a gumbo cook-off.

Beauregard Watermelon Festival (Beauregard Parish)

Highlights of this three-day June festival include a watermelon pageant, antique tractor show, carnival, watermelon eating contest, live music and free watermelon.

Coushatta Powwow (Allen Parish)

Having celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022, Coushatta Powwow is staged yearly at The Pavilion at Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder. This powwow is ranked among the largest in North America, with attractions like rhythmic drumming, tribal dancing, Native American food and heritage arts-and-crafts vendors.

Krewe of Krewes Parade (Calcasieu Parish)

This annual celebration is one of the most highly attended parades in the U.S. during the Mardi Gras season. More than 60 krewes (social organizations) participate. Along the route are several food booths with king cakes and drinks.

Stearman Fly-In (Jeff Davis Parish)

Jennings Airport in Jennings is the place to be in October. Viewers can see dozens of aircraft along with flying competitions at this event.

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