Many people travel to New Orleans and Louisiana specifically to experience Cajun culture first hand through food and music. If this sounds like you, head to a New Orleans bed and breakfast this weekend, November 6 and 7, 2010, and attend the Louisiana Swamp Festival. This is a great opportunity to learn about the traditions, food and music of the Acadian people who came to Louisiana in the 18th century.
Historically, Cajun culture was predominant in what is now called the Acadiana region of Louisiana, where the Acadians settled after being expunged from the Canadian Acadia. This area west of New Orleans is still home to a large Francophone population today. The north section of Acadiana consists of dry prairies and rolling hills, but the south gives way to the marshes and bayous typically associated with Cajun culture.
The Louisiana Swamp Festival is held each year at the Audubon Zoo, in New Orleans’ Uptown. It celebrates Cajun music, food, and crafts. It also pays tribute to the Louisiana Swamp itself, and the magnificent creatures that reside there. This is your chance for a hands-on encounter with Louisiana swamp animals, if you dare.
Bring your appetite, for Cajun food is good. The smell alone is enough to drive a person wild with desire. Try Alligator Sauce Picante on your Gator Burgers, or a catfish po-boy with fried okra and cracklins on the side. Try a mirliton for the first time in your life, and taste a boudin. Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know what some food is, but be daring: taste first, ask second.
It wouldn’t be a Cajun festival without music, and three stages guarantee a never ending flow of accordion and fiddle music. Creole and Zydeco musicians will also take the stage; you’ll want to wear good dancing shoes, for it’s impossible to sit still while listening to the likes of Steve Bing & the Bayou Hot Shots and BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet.
Be spontaneous. Call your favorite New Orleans bed and breakfast and head to the 2010 Louisiana Swamp Festival. Then laissez les bon temps rouler.
For more specific information about the festival, please visit the Louisiana Swamp Festival.