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Louisiana's 10 Best Events and Festivals in August 2014
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Louisiana's 10 Best Events and Festivals in August 2014

Picture of Jim Mud
Updated: 9 February 2017
Louisiana is not all about New Orleans. Although this capital of jazz and Cajun heritage is certainly the state’s cultural capital, there are numerous other events taking place from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles throughout the month of August. See what’s on in Louisiana with our guide to the state’s ten best food and music fests, art exhibitions, artisan markets and cultural bonanzas happening at the height of summer.

Music | Satchmo Summer Fest

31 July – 3 August

An event dedicated to the memory of the iconic Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong, New Orleans’ Satchmo Music Fest is now in its 14th year and promises to be as well-attended as ever.The line-up is incredibly strong and features such performers as the Louisiana-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Georgia‘s favourite jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and various other names from the region and abroad, bands and solo performers included. In addition to inspiring performances of jazz music, there will also be cultural activities, music seminars, tasting and mini-events of various kinds, so expect to be entertained all weekend long.

French Quarter, New Orleans, LA, USA

Art | Baton Rouge Arts Market

2 August

A fabulous open-air event held almost every month throughout the year, the Baton Rouge Arts Market provides ample opportunity for local artists to rediscover their entrepreneurial spirit and promote their craft to the public. Featuring over 70 craftsmen and countless works – most of them unique – this bustling affair showcases all manner of artisanal crafts, herbal soaps, hand-woven decorative items and framed photographs included. Everyone is guaranteed to find something to suit their taste, and, most importantly of all, the market serves the good cause of supporting local creativity. Head down to Main at 5th Street on the first Saturday of August and get rummaging.

Main St 5th Ave, Baton Rouge, LA, USA, +1 225-344-8558

Baton Rouge Arts Market
Image courtesy of Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge

Art | Whitney White Linen Night

2 August

The annual Whitney White Linen Night combines glamour, fun and art for a single fun-filled New Orleans soiree. The dress code is obvious – all participants should don their finest white linen clothing, pick up a glass of white wine and begin their leisurely stroll down Julia Street, all the while exploring the area’s galleries and exhibits, which open their doors for the night. Smaller events and happenings have also been scheduled, and although art takes centre stage, you’re guaranteed to find music and food aplenty. During the event you might just run into an artist or designer exhibited in one of the galleries, so make sure you’re up to date with the local art world. There will also be an after party for all those who would like to keep the fun going into the wee hours of the night.

Along Julia Street, New Orleans, LA, USA

Whitney White Linen Night
Image courtesy of Whitney White Linen Nights

Food | Delcambre Shrimp Festival

13 – 17 August

A joyous celebration of the local shrimp industry and the annual harvest, the Delcambre Shrimp Festival takes place in mid-August in the town of Delcambre, a short drive from the better-known Layafette. Basically a huge carnival with its very own beauty queen, sizzling shrimp cook-offs and various other activities, the festival even offers a signature boat ride along the Delcambre Canal as a way of bringing the shrimp industry closer to public awareness. Bring the kids, learn about the local trade and heritage, enjoy a weekend of laid-back fun in this southern area of Louisiana.

Various venues across Delcambre, LA, USA

Art and Food | Arts & Crabs Fest

16 August

The annual Arts & Crabs Fest is nearly upon us – this somewhat eccentric event has been adding flavours of local creativity and cuisine to Lake Charles for the last five years. As the name suggests, the focus is on crabs and art, and although the two may seem unrelated at first, they’re actually bound to the heritage and history of Louisiana, creating the ultimate festival combo. Crab and beer tasting sessions – with anything from classic pints and crab rolls to original microbrews and crab sushi – will be available alongside numerous art stalls, concerts by regional and national bands, as well as a range of other cultural events. Book your tickets in advance to guarantee a spot at this sell-out Lake Charles event.

Various venues across Lake Charles, LA, USA

 Arts & Crabs Fest
Image Courtesy of Arts & Crabs Fest

Art | The Deweys: A HeART Full Family Exhibition and the Book Exhibit

20 June – 16 August

Housed in Lake Charles’ historic City Hall, a beautiful building constructed in 1911 and renovated just over a decade ago, The Deweys: A HeART Full Family Exhibition and the Book Exhibit are two events organised this August by the Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA. This ambitious organisation is the driving force behind various arts events and festivals in the Lake Charles area, and this summer, its activities are no different. Take a look at their busy schedule and show your support for its thriving community of artists and patrons of culture.

1911 Historic City Hall, 1001 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA, USA, +1 337-491-9147

The Deweys: A HeART Full Family Exhibition
Image Courtesy of Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

Culture | The Sixth Annual Culture Collision

27 August

The Culture Collision does exactly what it says on the tin – the event brings together some of the most important players on the Louisiana culture scene, face-to-face at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. And as they vie for universal attention, visitors can peruse the diverse stalls, enjoy pop-up performances, food booths and fun-filled activities all night long. There are fewer events more comprehensive than this one taking place in NOLA, so attend, sate yourself with the region’s bustling culture and pick up lots of free goodies and useful cultural knowledge along the way. This event, now in its sixth year, invariably makes waves in the local community, meaning that a visit is an absolute must.

National WWII Museum, 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504-527-6012

Food | Shreveport Farmers’ Market

31 May – 30 August

Come down to the Shreveport Farmers’ Market every Saturday this summer and sample the best of the local harvest with around 100 vendors offering fresh, local and organic produce, perfect for a dinner at home later on. Take your pick from the succulent, freshly cut meats, irresistibly aromatic viennoiseries, artisanal wines from the region and further afield, or homemade conserves, marmalades, sauces and marinades – and much, much more. Make sure you arrive on an empty stomach and grab a breakfast and coffee on the go from one of the numerous stalls selling freshly baked goods or Mexican get-up-and-go soul foods.

Festival Plaza, Shreveport, LA, USA, +1 318-455-5788

Art | Behind Closed Doors Exhibition at NOMA

20 June – 21 September

Behind Closed Doors is a new show hosted by the New Orleans Museum of Art, which runs throughout the summer months. With a specific focus on the Spanish-American home, it’s the first exhibition in the USA that explores the lives of Spain’s cultural elite from the late 1400s up to the 1800s. Spanning several centuries and numerous media, the show will attempt to define and illustrate the materialistic drives and motivations of its subjects, with themes of luxury, faith and social standing at the centre of attention. Behind Closed Doors is a must-see for all those interested in history and cultural anthropology.

NOMA, 1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504 658 4100

Art | Mark of the Feminine Exhibition

2 August – 4 October

Mark of the Feminine, taking place at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, is the first of a breakthrough series of exhibitions hosted by the museum as a way of showcasing the work of local artists. As the name suggests, this particular show highlights female creatives picked from a pool of over 300 applicants, all working in and for the Louisiana community. Among the artists curated by Regine Basha – who has organised interventions in Marfa, Texas, and various New York shows, to mention but a few – are photographer Edna Lanieri with her touching portraits, and Monica Zeringue whose simple black-and-white drawings are, simultaneously, self-portraits and ventures into fantasy realms.

Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, 900 Camp St, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504-528-3805

By Jim Mud