nouvelles de villes

Allons a Lafayette!

More than 300,000 visitors and some of the world’s most influential musicians from 20 countries are descending on downtown Lafayette during the 31st Festival International de Louisiane April 26-30. New to the festival this year is the ethereal, transcendent fusion music of Indian diva Falu, the high-energy funk rock of Flow Tribe (New Orleans) and the L.A.-based Las Cafeteras (combining son jarocho music with Afro-Caribbean marimbol, zapateado dance and edgy political messages). The festival’s big Sunday night closing act includes Givers with Tom Tom Club, Louisiana jazz saxophonist/artist/photographer/pecan farmer Dickie Landry (who had his first solo painting show last summer in New York at age 77); and Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba performing those infectious, dancehall rhythms that always get people on their feet. The jubilant, young six-piece band made the April 2017 cover of the international music magazine Songline. (


Tablets for Deserving Students

The Academy of Information Technology at Carencro High was recently awarded 114 Samsung Galaxy tablets through a grant from the National Academy Foundation and corporate partner JP Morgan Chase Foundations. National Academy works with deserving communities to transform the high school experience through industry-specific curricula that includes work-based learning experiences and building relationships with local business professionals.


A Better Delta Downs

Boyd Gaming’s much-anticipated $45 million expansion of Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel in Vinton (initiated in 2015) has been completed. The centerpiece of the expansion is an elegantly appointed, all-new 167-room hotel tower accented with abstract art; a new fitness center, plus a new dining concept, Rosewater Grill & Tavern, featuring steaks and seafood and a sweeping view of the racetrack. The original 200-room hotel also underwent a complete redesign and refurbishment. Guests can now relax poolside in well-appointed cabanas or daybeds near an outdoor bar with a state-of-the-art sound system. Delta Downs has a quarter horse race season from April through July; the Calcasieu Parish casino also features soaring interior views, casual dining and the Gator Lounge with free local entertainment (


Cultural Immersion on the Bayou

There’s nothing like Vermilionville’s upcoming series of week-long summer camps, On Voyage dans le Temps à Vermilionville. The programs will focus on the Acadian, Creole and Native American cultures on the banks of the bayou in Lafayette. Sessions in English are held June 19-30; sessions in French are held July 10-21 (all French immersion campers must either be fluent in French or must have completed at least one year of French immersion). Registration: or call Markie Belanger at 337-233-4077. Vermilionville’s action-packed Kids Music Camp June 12-16 features music classes, band labs, singing and dancing, plus performances and a graduation with a camper-parent dance. Open to experienced and novice players ages 8-14; students must bring a guitar, a fiddle or a 10-button diatonic accordion to camp.

Danser, Manger, Répéter

Don’t miss Acadiana’s other top spring festivals, including the 60th anniversary of Lake Charles’ Contraband Days ( complete with swarthy pirates, Cajun food and amazing fireworks May 4-14; the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Fest’s toe-tapping zydeco and swamp pop bands ( May 5-7 (check out the Cajun music workshops in the heritage tent and the delicious free samples after the etouffée cook-off); Bastrop native Dylan Scott singing his latest country western hits as the 2017 headliner during Thibodaux’s 133rd annual Fireman’s Fair, May 4-7 (; and the tantalizing aroma of whole pigs slowly roasting over glowing embers in the tiny town of Mansura during the Cochon de Lait Festival ( featuring carnival rides and street dances May 11-14. Don’t miss the greasy pig and ladies’ beer drinking contests, cracklin’ cook-off and unforgettable kids hog-calling competition. The colorful pork-centric festival is sponsored by Marksville’s Paragon Casino and Resort, the family-friendly summer spot where children can experience live alligator shows, a nature trail and the new Kids Cyber Quest while parents enjoy the spa and tropical pool with a swim-up bar, lavish accommodations, dancing and live entertainment (STYX April 29, Aaron Lewis May 13, and Smokey Robinson May 28 via Ticketmaster). Recommended: the succulent bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp appetizer, large fresh lobster tails with drawn butter and the mouth-watering 28-ounce. Tomahawk ribeye (opt for a side of crawfish mac-and-cheese) served at the elegant Legends Steakhouse; also recommended are the smoky grilled oysters and boiled crawfish served in 3-lb. portions on weekends at Big Daddy’s (


Categories: Festivals, Nightlife, Things To Do