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Bienvenue à Lafayette! [Welcome to Lafayette]

Are you heading to Cajun country for a Stuller event this year? If you’re on your way to our headquarters here in Lafayette, Louisiana, you may be asking yourself all the typical travel questions: What should I pack? Where can I eat? What is there to do when I’m not at Stuller? No worries, we’re here to help!

Lafayette Stuller Headquarters

What to pack

While a small part of the country experiences snow — yes, snow — on the first day of spring, temperatures in Lafayette stay in the mid-70s. As we head into the summer months, prepare for heat and humidity. So feel free to pull out those short-sleeve shirts, shorts, and flip flops! You may even encounter a pop-up afternoon shower (rubber boots, anyone?) Even our autumn months can remain a bit warm well into late-October.

What to eat

Lafayette Jumbalaya Food Crawfish

If this is your first time to Louisiana, prepare for a culinary delight! We highly suggest stopping at a restaurant (or two or more) that serves boiled crawfish anytime between January and June. While most out-of-towners run in the other direction, give crawfish a try. Don’t be afraid to pinch the tail and try a few! If you prefer a less hands-on approach to eating, give some of our other local restaurants a try. We recommend Blue Dog Café, Bon Temps GrillPop’s Poboys, or Johnson’s Boucaniere, just to name a few. After all, you are in the tastiest town in the South! Want to dine and dance? Visit Randol’s Seafood Restaurant for Cajun music and dancing. Or visit six restaurants and get your local history fix in one fun trip by taking a ride on the Cajun Food Tour (rated #1 by TripAdvisor).

What to do

Cajuns love music, fun, food, and family! This attitude is summed up in five words: Laissez les bon temps roulez! Yes, we love to let the good times roll in Lafayette, and there’s always something to do around town – whether it’s a festival or live music event! Check out Lafayette Travel for upcoming events, along with everything there is to know about visiting our sweet little city!

Lafayette Zydeco Accordion Chris DeRouen

Stuller’s own Chris DeRouen playing the accordion

And if you aren’t into the music scene, there are still plenty other things to do like tour local historical sites, get up close to some Louisiana swamp life, visit some of our local breweries, tour the Tabasco plant, or check out a sports game featuring the University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns! Whatever you choose to do, you are sure to have a good time.

For more things to do in Lafayette, visit LafayetteTravel.com

We can’t wait to see you, cher!


Have you ever been to Cajun Country? What do you recommend for other visitors to the area? Share your experiences in the comments section below!




The Courir de Mardi Gras: A South Louisiana Tradition

Courir de Mardi Gras Blog Header

“It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” — Mark Twain

 

For hundreds of years, revelers have celebrated Mardi Gras throughout the world, from Rio de Janeiro to Nice, France and Venice, Italy. But in Louisiana, we believe the first modern Mardi Gras happened on March 2, 1699. That’s when Iberville and Bienville, two French explorers, landed just outside of New Orleans. They named the spot Pointe du Mardi Gras and held their own celebration. Over one hundred years later in 1827, the streets of New Orleans would fill again with dancing merrymakers in colorful costumes for a day of celebration before the Lenten season.

Now fast forward ten years later, the first-ever parade with floats rolled down the streets of New Orleans, sparking a tradition that carries on today. Mardi Gras, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday, is celebrated with purple, green, and gold decorations. History says in 1872, the first daytime carnival King selected these symbolic colors based on their meaning: purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith.

Courir de Mardi Gras Lafayette Travel Costume

Photo Courtesy of Lafayette Travel

Courir de Mardi Gras

While New Orleans may host the best-known Fat Tuesday celebrations, veer 140 miles west to discover colorful Mardi Gras traditions held in Lafayette, Louisiana and surrounding towns and villages. Parades typically kick off ten days before Fat Tuesday as the area celebrates with rowdy revelry.

Courir de Mardi Gras Capitaine Horseback

Photo Courtesy of Scott Clause/The Advertiser

 

In the countryside, you’ll find carousers celebrating the Courir de Mardi Gras, or the Mardi Gras run, which occurs in many towns throughout Louisiana’s Cajun Country. Rooted in French medieval history, the Courir de Mardi Gras features participants on horseback, foot, and wagon making their way through rural neighborhoods. These revelers customarily dress in colorful costumes, masks, and a tall cone-shaped hat called a capuchon. In accord with tradition, celebrants go from house to house singing and dancing as they “beg” for ingredients for a communal gumbo to be shared later in the night.

And the main ingredient of that delicious gumbo is — you guessed it — chicken! A horse-backed Capitaine leads the Mardi Gras run, releasing chickens for participants to chase on foot. It’s quite a sight to see these partygoers chase after chickens as they did in olden times. The air is electrified with live Cajun music, courtesy of a tractor-pulled bandwagon coupled with much singing and dancing.

Courir de Mardi Gras chicken chasers

Photo Courtesy of Scott Clause/The Advertiser

Beads — The Jewelry of Choice

The Courir de Mardi Gras makes its way through rural neighborhoods and into the nearest town for a community-wide parade. Several dozen floats roll down main streets along with exhausted chicken-chasers and those on horseback, too. Crowds line the streets to catch the celebrated jewelry of the event — Mardi Gras beads! These quintessential plastic strands of every Mardi Gras parade evoke shouts of “Throw me something, Mister!” from parade-goers.


Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana? Share your experience with us in the comments below.