Tail Squeezing, Head Sucking, Tongue Tasting, BBQ and Bunny Cook-offs

More than 100 professional and amateur teams are competing during the 33rd annual World Championship Etouffée Cook-off, held March 25 in Eunice. Enjoy live music, a petting zoo, a fun jump and crafts aplenty. Don’t miss the big-time barn dance. Ever tasted beef tongue? Here’s your chance. The 33rd annual Beef Cook-off is held March 4 in Opelousas featuring an old-fashioned trail ride, a cattle dog exhibit, live music, and aspiring culinary artists preparing everything from brisket to beef tongue and desserts. Hop on over to Iowa March 16-17 for a hare-raising good time. Over 20,000 people are expected for the rabbit cook-off, live Cajun and zydeco music, Petite Lapin pageant, a carnival, and the Tiny Town Rabbit Club’s kid-friendly rabbit show with over 400 bunnies hopping about (iowarabbitfestival.org). Stroll beneath the branches during New Iberia’s Festival of Live Oaks March 17 and enjoy a barbeque cook-off, Easter egg hunt, pony rides, sweet booths, kids’ activities and live music (iberiatravel.com).






1. Courir de Mardi Gras

Feb. 9-13 Eunice
Part of a five-day Mardi Gras celebration held in Cajun Country, the Courir de Mardi Gras is the centerpiece of Mardi Gras in Eunice. The highlight is over 2,000 participants chasing a chicken for a community gumbo.


2. Taste de la Louisiane

Feb. 11 Lake Charles
Held at the Lake Charles Civic Center, the Taste de la Louisiane is one of the many events held during Mardi Gras season in Lake Charles. The event is a large food festival where guests can come and taste samples of traditional Louisiana cuisine.


3. Louisiana Winter Beer Festival

Feb. 24 Lake Charles
Guests can sample over 125 different beers from 40 different breweries, while snacking on eats from several local restaurants. The event takes place at the Historic Calcasieu Marine National Bank in Downtown Lake Charles.



Casino Acquisition

Pinnacle Entertainment, the parent company of L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, is being acquired by Penn National Gaming, Inc., in a cash and stock transaction valued at around $2.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018. The deal also includes L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge as well as Boomtown Casino and Hotel in New Orleans and Bossier City.


DVDs of the award-winning film, “Zachary Richard, Toujours Batailleur” (Acadian French) and “Zachary Richard, Cajun Heart” (English) are now available for purchase on the Acadie-Nouvelle Boutique website for North Americans. English DVD: anboutique.ca/catalogue/boutique/dvd/zachary-richard-cajun-heart, and the Acadian French DVD: anboutique.ca/catalogue/boutique/dvd/zahcary-richard-toujours-batailleur


New Teaching Lab

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and LSU were each awarded a $25,000 grant by the state’s Department of Education to lead the Louisiana Educator Research Consortium for five years. Starting in January, the two institutions began directing research, seeking grants and offering advice on education-related policies, while including members of teacher preparation programs from across the state. The UL Lafayette College of Education plans to relaunch a lab school at the university, which will provide a hub for teaching practices, theory and research.