On Saturday, October 20, the Lake Charles Civic Center will come to life at the eighth annual Culture Fest Louisiana, which will celebrate the diversity of Southwest Louisiana with food, music, fashion, art, and performances that span across the many cultures and ethnicities found in our region.
Culture Fest is free to the public and has become one of the most buzzed-about festivals of the fall. This year’s lineup includes a variety of events for all ages and backgrounds, including a cultural display area, an international village for children, a world café, and a wide schedule of live entertainment.
Beginning at 10 a.m., the Civic Center will be awash in the sights and sounds of community members showing off facets of their cultures. The main stage will feature dancers from the Hispanic community, the Indian community, Pakistani community, and the Native American community. The festival will see a return to the area’s roots this year as it spotlights Creole heritage with music by Mason Trail, Cedryll Ballou, Brandon Ledet, Rosie Ledet, and others. The accordion maker, Ed Poullard will bring some of his accordions to display.
More than 5,000 residents and locals attended last year’s event, which featured more than ten food stations, twenty artisan booths, and thirty interactive cultural displays. This event has something for everyone.
Culture Fest Louisiana is presented by Common Ground, a nonprofit organization, and began in 2011 in partnership with the City of Lake Charles, McNeese State University, Calcasieu Parish Public Library, and several civic organizations and schools. The festival was initiated as a way to educate and enlighten the public about global cultures through a festival atmosphere.
“It’s a great place for us to learn about other cultures, their customs, traditions, and food,” said Patricia Kelty, volunteer event coordinator. “Our mission is to help celebrate the many cultures in Lake Charles and have people come together and learn about their neighbors. In the process, we strengthen our own heritages while gaining respect for others.”
With the influx of new families coming to Southwest Louisiana, festival planners say now more than ever is the time to make culturally diverse families feel welcomed and accepted, thus increasing our participation in the global market.
The countries represented at Culture Fest Louisiana continue to grow. Currently, the following countries will be represented: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Columbia, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Japan, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saipan, Thailand, Venezuela, Ukraine, African countries and others. There are many countries still not represented. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in showcasing another country or unique culture.
Culture Fest Louisiana is sponsored by CAVCO, Inc, the City of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, CITGO, the Lake Charles/SWLA Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA, the Jazz and Heritage Foundation of New Orleans, Phillips 66, Kingdom Expressions, Awan Enterprises, and many others.
Culture Fest Louisiana is a celebration of all the many cultures represented in SWLA. It is an opportunity to travel the world and learn how diverse our community is. There is music and art, dance and fashion, food and festivities, and a chance to learn that even with our differences, we are very much the same. We bring the same hopes for our families to the table.Come celebrate with us !!
This free family event will also have a variety of exhibits, each spotlighting a different country and cultural experience.
Culture Fest Louisiana is presented by Common Ground, a nonprofit organization, and began in 2011 in partnership with the City of Lake Charles, McNeese State University, Calcasieu Parish Public Library, and several civic organizations and schools.