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Today: 05/17/2010

 

 

 

 

 
   
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Eunice, Louisiana’s Day's Inn & Suites is located right smack dab in the middle of Cajun country, with many Cajun attractions right at your feet…


 

Held on the last Sunday of March, 100 teams compete in this cook-off to answer the important question: Who cooks the best Crawfish Etouffee? This local dish is made up of smothered crawfish, usually served with rice. There are three categories of teams: amateur, profession and organization/club. While admission is free, you can sample the Crawfish Etouffee for $2.00 a serving. Local Cajun and Zydeco bands also perform throughout the day. The Day’s Inn & Suites Eunice is only 5 minutes from Eunice’s main crawfish attraction.
  


 

No trip to Eunice is complete without a trip to the Jean Lafitte’s National Historical Park and Preserve which has a collection of six sites that demonstrate the rich natural and cultural resources of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta region. Three of the sites serve as cultural centers while the visitor’s center in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter offers a glimpse into the area’s unique history. You can also hike or canoe through Barataria Preserve or walk through the historic cemetery and battlefield of Chalmette.


The Liberty Theater, located on the corner of South Second and Park Avenue, is open every Saturday from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. The Liberty is famous for hosting "Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler Au Rendezvous Des Cajuns" along with a tv show. Make sure to visit the theater and see yourself on a local television channel!


Eunice’s world famous Mardi Gras extravaganza takes place the day before Ash Wednesday, drawing on traditions that are centuries old. Costumed participants go from house to house, on horseback and flatbed trailer, to beg for ingredients for a gumbo. At each house, the revelers sing and dance until they obtain their ingredient. The run usually reaches the town by mid to late afternoon. There, they will parade down the main avenue until they reach a location where the evening gumbo will be prepared. Mardi Gras is accompanied by cultural events such as concerts and dances along with traditional activities like hog butchering and pig roasts. Make sure to pack your belongings and head out early as this near four day event usually starts in the morning.


There is a unique history behind the Savoy Music Center, which originally started out as a music store. The Savoy Music Center was inadvertently started by Marc Savoy, renowned accordion maker and musician. On Saturday mornings, the area’s prime shopping time, Marc Savoy continued the local tradition of providing hot coffee and donuts to his customers. The customers would play tunes while enjoying their food and from this the center’s famous Saturday morning Cajun jam session was born. The jam sessions are spontaneous; any and all are welcome to play, which is in keeping with the Cajun music spirit. 
 

 

 

Fred’s Lounge is another venue famous for its Saturday morning Cajun jam tradition. This bar is also known for its radio program, which is going strong after 50 years and is considered the driving force behind Cajun music after World War II. Legends such as the Mamou Cajun Band have performed on this show, which is credited with spiking international interest in Cajun music. The venue itself, Fred’s Lounge, is considered a shrine of Cajun music, but that does not get in the way of patron’s having a good time. Celebrities such as Dennis Quaid and former Governor Mike Foster are some of the few eminent names that have shared their free time with the locals.

 

 

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And Just Around the Corner…
 

 

Known as the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun culture, Lafayette once had the most millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the country. This glimmering city has a wealth of attractions to explore including the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the reconstructed Acadian Village, the Children's Museum of Acadiana, Downtown Lafayette, and Jefferson Street Market. Be sure to experience the last remaining Borden’s Ice Cream Store in the United States before boarding, Lafayette Regional Airport, the closest airport in our region.


We are located only 20 miles from Opelousas, widely considered one of the fastest growing cities in Louisiana, annually hosts the original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival. Usually held the Saturday before Labor Day, the festival features performances by Zydeco musicians, a type of Cajun folk music that uses instruments such as the accordion, fiddle and frottoir (musical washboard). Other attractions include the Spice and Music Festival, Yambilee Festival, and the Opelousas Museum of Art.


20 miles south of Eunice is Crowley, home of the International Rice Festival. Guests should check out the largest concentration of rice mills and dryers in South Louisiana located on Rice Mill Row. Blessed with warm sunshine during the third weekend of October is Louisiana’s oldest and largest agricultural festival complemented by the Children’s Parade and the Grand Parade. There is also a rice cooking and eating contest, a farmers' banquet, and the Queens' Ball.  While in Crowley, Louisiana we suggest walking through the Historic District where there are 200+ structures chronicled on the National Historic Register.