Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival, being held this year
April 26 – May 8 in downtown Lake Charles on the grounds of the Lake Charles Civic Center, celebrates the legend of pirate Jean Lafitte.Contraband Days, Louisiana Pirate Festival is one of Louisiana’s longest festivals and the City of Lake Charles’ oldest festival, celebrating 59 years in 2016.
The story goes that pirate Jean Lafitte docked his boat right on the sandy shore of Lake Charles and buried his treasure somewhere along the banks of his favorite hideaway.
Witness the cannon fire as the citizens of Lake Charles try to defend the seawall only to have the pirates capture the mayor, put him on trial and force him to walk the plank! Pirates of all ages are encouraged to come out during the two-week long festival with carnival rides, helicopter rides, games, fireworks, entertainment and live music on multiple stages.
Food Network’s Carnival Eats television series visited the festival recently and host Noah Cappe sampled chicken and crawfish gumbo, maple bacon funnel cake and homemade praline candy. The festival has pulled out all the stops this year with non-stop music and nearly 100 events and activities for the whole family. A few popular events include the Pirogue Building Competition, the Firefighter Challenge, Flyboard Demonstration, the Wolves of the World Show, Strut Your Stuff Contest, a Sailboat Regatta and the Show Me Your Dinghy Parade. The Cajun Pirate Barbecue Cook-off is always a hot competition, especially after it was featured on All-American Festivals on the Food Network.
With pirate parades, activities throughout the day and special family nights, the whole family will be saying, “Yo Ho Ho” by the end of this festival! The festival seeks to provide quality family entertainment for residents and visitors of all ages and cultural back grounds, to encourage maximum community involvement and to ultimately promote Southwest Louisiana’s quality of life and joie de vivre or “joy of life.”
For more information and a specific listing of times and dates of events, visit the festival’s website www.contrabanddays.com