LAKE CHARLES, La. (Feb. 25, 2013)- The 26th annual Black Heritage Festival will take place in Lake Charles March 8- 10 and will be complete with mouthwatering food, entertainment featuring national headliners and great family fun. The festival brings together the cultures of Africa and Southwest Louisiana and highlights the best in the community. Celebrating diversity, culture and education, the festival is filled with legendary Zydeco, Jazz and Gospel performers.

The three day event opens with a Comedy Magic Show by world renowned magician Dewayne Hill on Friday, March 8, at the Central School Theatre, 809 Kirby St. in Lake Charles at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's events on March 9 will take place at the Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, and will include a Diaper Derby/Healthy Baby Contest, Vendor's Expo, Africana Culture Performances Extravaganza, Zydeco Aerobics, a Hall of Fame Ceremony, educational workshops, magic shows and much more. New this year, there will be a Culture Experience, a Worship Experience and an Interactive Experience in separate rooms throughout the Lake Charles Civic Center in addition to the Youth Experience and Kids Zone. Food booths in the Interactive Experience will serve plenty of tasty Louisiana Creole and traditional African-American foods, including gumbo, jambalaya and barbecue.

The culminating event will take place Sunday evening with a concert feature the smooth R&B sounds of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

"An event like this is needed because we have shining stars who have worked hard to push forth agendas related to black culture and heritage tourism," said Judith Washington, Black Heritage Festival executive director. "Having a stage to showcase talent and culture affords artists the platform to display the wealth of talent here in Southwest Louisiana."

The Black Heritage Festival was chosen as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society for the first quarter of 2013. This award is a coveted honor among 12 member states. For ticket prices for the various events and for more information, call (337) 304-0620 or visit