The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) introduced the Louisiana Food & Wine Festival as the Festival/Event of the Year winner during its Annual Meeting in New Orleans last week. Visit Lake Charles nominated the festival for the award.
Each year, LTA presents the Louey Awards to honor and showcase individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the Louisiana tourism industry.
The inaugural Louisiana Food and Wine Festival, hosted by Visit Lake Charles, magnificently blends Louisiana’s culinary heritage with the vibrant Southern spirit. From Sept. 14 to Sept. 17, 2023, across Southwest Louisiana, the festival featured signature events such as Louisiana’s Celebrity Chefs Wine Dinner, Louisiana-Inspired Master Classes, Fire on the Lake, Grand Tasting and Sunday Jazz Brunch.
“This award reflects the passion and dedication of our community in showcasing Southwest Louisiana’s rich culinary heritage,” said Kyle Edmiston, president and CEO of Visit Lake Charles. “The festival’s success is reflective of the collaborative spirit that defines our region, and we are honored to have played a role in its inaugural year.”
Attracting over 3,000 attendees from 14 states, Canada and Prince Edward Island, the event was lauded for its exceptional value and benefit to the local economy.
Beyond its economic benefits, the festival fostered partnerships and collaborations that exemplified the strength of community engagement. For example, SOWELA Technical Community College Culinary Arts students had the unique opportunity to collaborate with culinary stars, such as Tiffany Derry and Edgar “Dook” Chase IV, turning their aspirations into reality. The festival also donated $7,500 to SOWELA and $10,000 to United Way of Southwest Louisiana.
“The Louisiana Food & Wine Festival was created to showcase the entire state of Louisiana, from its unique culture and beauty to its renowned cuisine. The festival celebrated Louisiana’s spirit through showcasing music, food and drink, with local and celebrity guest chefs and beverage experts. We are honored to receive this special recognition and to have produced this world-class event in partnership with Visit Lake Charles,” said Jan Gourley, festival founder/director and partner with The AdFish Group.
Download pictures of the festival highlights and the award here.
About Visit Lake Charles:
Visit Lake Charles, the official destination marketing organization for Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, is the only organization in Southwest Louisiana providing advocacy, promotion, and education for the tourism industry. For more information on Visit Lake Charles and things to see and do in Louisiana’s Playground, log on to www.visitlakecharles.org.
About the Louisiana Travel Association, LTA:
LTA is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana’s vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. Tourism generated $1.92 billion for Louisiana in 2019 and employed as many as 242,200 people throughout the state, pre-pandemic. For more information, visit LouisianaTravelAssociation.org.