Balfa Toujours on stage Photo by Kevin Ste Marie

Balfa Toujours on stage Photo by Kevin Ste Marie

Festival Acadiens et Creoles is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and there are a lot of reasons to turn off the TV, throw on your clothes and make it out there today.

As a first time festival-goer there were a lot of things for me to appreciate last night.

  1. Real Cajun Music

Lafayette is a prime epicenter for Cajun culture in the United States. There are many places that try to imitate it, but there is nothing like the real thing.

Last night I had the privilege of watching an accordion player, a saxophonist and a washboard player do their thing on the same stage.

At many mainstream concerts, a guitar player and a pianist will sometimes take a side trail to jam out.


Huge Dance Floor Photo by Claire Salinas

At Festival Acadiens I got to watch a jam session between an accordion player and saxophonist.

  1. Random Dancing

The area in front of the stage is dedicated as a dance floor, but as you walk the outskirts of the crowd, you will also see spontaneous dancing erupt.

Last night as I walked the fest in between sets, I spotted a couple doing what looked like a Cajun two-step together. They continued on for a few minutes only to have an older couple join them and

Kristine Balfa on stage with Balfa Toujours to open last night;s festival

Kristine Balfa on stage with Balfa Toujours to open last night;s festival Photo by Kevin Ste Marie

create a mini dance floor of their own.

Later in the evening several older couples were the definition of romantic as they  spun each other in circles and the ladies rested their heads on their beaus’ shoulder.

  1. Family Atmosphere

These days there aren’t a lot of things you can characterize as family-friendly, but from what I saw last night, there isn’t anything children’s eyes need to be shielded form at this fest.

Many families gathered together on picnic blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the evening together.

CJ Chenier on stage

CJ Chenier on stage with Corey ledet Photo by  Kevin Ste Marie

Even the kids couldn’t resist breaking out into dance as they tried to imitate the fancy moves their parents were making.

  1. Bang for Your Buck

A typical evening of dinner and the movies can cost upwards of $50, and that’s if you forego popcorn at the theatre.

Entrance into the festival is free, and the only costs you may incur are those of paying for your food and perhaps parking, but even that can be avoided if you’re willing to walk a short distance.

The festival is making strides to be more eco-friendly and is encouraging people to ride their bikes to the festival, so the bike ride there could become an addition to the evening itinerary as well as help you avoid gas costs.

If you come prepared with a lawn chair and clothes you would be comfortable dancing in, it will be very hard not to enjoy your evening.

Festival Acadiens will be going on through Sunday so you have two more days to make it out to this amazing celebration of Cajun culture.

Even if you’re usually more into watching Netflix on your couch, there is plenty to see at this festival, so go ahead, get dressed and come check out the amazing live music at Festival Acadiens.

Visit the website by clicking here to learn more about this amazing event at Girard Park

Balfa Toujours on stage during opening night.

Corey Ledet and his Zydeco Band on stage with Lil Buck Sinegal