There are few festivals as vibrant and colourful as New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, also called Shrove Tuesday, refers to the celebration of rich and indulgent feasting before the fasting period of Lent. Celebrated in the lush and beautiful state of Louisiana, Mardi Gras offers a truly unique experience in culture, music and food, featuring some of Louisiana’s best flavours and entertainment. In celebration of Mardi Gras, this blog post highlights our favourite Louisiana destinations!    

Natchitoches

Established in 1714, Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase and it is a favourite destination for visitors around the world.

Located in Northwest Louisiana, Natchitoches is a one-of-a-kind community full of culture, history, recreation, shopping and more! Stretched along the banks of the beautiful Cane River, Natchitoches is home to three state historic sites, Creole plantations, and museums within the boundaries of the Cane River National Heritage Area.

At the heart of Natchitoches lies the Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District, an area that serves as a shopping and dining paradise!

Shreveport-Bossier

Shreveport-Bossier boasts a unique combination of two great American heritages. It’s a little Texas, a little Cajun. You’ll find the combination reflected in mouth-watering dining, where flavorful Texas steak may be combined with spicy crawfish. You may also find the combination reflected in Shreveport-Bossier’s music scene, which offers nightclubs and concerts for jazz, country, bluegrass, folk, zydeco, and everything in between. There’s no place like it in America, a world of colour and sound, taste and entertainment. Shreveport-Bossier’s elegant Southern charm and a relaxed attitude that suggest you kick off your boots and stay a while.

St. Landry Parish

Welcome to St. Landry Parish, where accordions are cool, boudin is hot and history is not just in textbooks. Our festivals celebrate art, Cajun music, catfish, cracklins, etouffee and zydeco. 

One of the most widely recognized events is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). The traditional rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early begging rituals. Specialized costumed riders donned in masks and hats, also known as capuchons, ride horseback from house to house soliciting “donations” of food items to culminate in a community wide gumbo. This procession or “run” includes chicken chasing and silliness by revellers all day. In Eunice, LA, the celebration takes place with five days of live music, art exhibits, street and barn dances. It culminates with the Courir de Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday Run), the day before Ash Wednesday, with youth and adult chicken runs.

Baton Rouge

With the flavorful zest of Louisiana cuisine, upscale shopping, great live music, eclectic museums and the excitement of big-time college football, Baton Rouge is always an exciting destination!

In Baton Rouge, there’s no shortage of ways to experience culinary bliss. In fact, the Capital City was named one of the South’s Best Foodie Cities! During your visit, consider one of our great local tours. For foodies, the “C’est Si Bon” guided walking tour mixes food tastings at downtown restaurants with historical and cultural details. Follow the “Capital Cravings: Hands On!” trail for everything from culinary activities to the Food Truck “Wround-up,” or swing by Tin Roof Brewing Company, part of the Louisiana Craft Beer Trail, which includes ten other craft breweries.

You are guaranteed an unforgettable shopping experience in Baton Rouge, whatever your style. Great shopping starts at the Mall of Louisiana, an impressive 1.6 million-square-foot enclosed mall with 175 retail stores, or Perkins Rowe for a unique residential and shopping village. For a relaxed and charming open-air marketplace, visit Towne Center at Cedar Lodge. Antique lovers can enjoy a mix of new and old treasures with antiques, original art, and architectural salvage from around the world at Baton Rouge’s many antique hot spots, and international guests can enjoy all of this while shopping tax-free in Louisiana!

Webster Parish

Webster Parish (County) is proud of the beautiful historic city of Minden, the parish seat located in the beautiful piney hills of northwest Louisiana. You’ll find this noteworthy city just thirty miles east of Shreveport, Louisiana and 4 hours east of Dallas, Texas on Interstate 20, Exit 47.

Minden, known as the Friendliest City in the South, is renowned for its historic downtown with original brick streets, antique shops, boutiques and quaint restaurants. Nearby, Minden’s beautiful historic residential district features more than 70 historic properties within walking distance of downtown, many on the National Register of Historic Places.

This picturesque town has been attracting moviemakers to the area for years. In fact, Webster Parish can proudly say there have been 26 major movie productions filmed in the parish including ”The Guardian”, starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher and “Premonition”, starring Sandra Bullock. Visitors can traverse the Northwest Louisiana Film Trail from Shreveport to Minden taking in the sights from the silver screen.