The International Acadian Festival takes place the third weekend in October in Plaquemine, Louisiana. The first International Acadian Festival was founded by Gary Hebert and celebrated in 1969. This year will mark its thirty-fourth year to be celebrated. It is currently sponsored by the Plaquemine Knights of Columbus Council 970. This three day festival is held to celebrate the arrival of the Acadian people to Louisiana and the arrival of Evangeline. Evangeline is the Acadian woman that was separated from her love and spent the remainder of her life searching for him. The festival serves as a major fundraiser to provide money for area schools, churches, and youth groups in the Plaquemine area.
During this festival a pageant is held for local high school girls who want to win the Evangeline crown. The girls that do not win the pageant receive the honor of being Indian princesses. A fireworks display and bonfire marks the crowning of the winner and the Indian princesses.
After the crowning a parade is held. Following the parade, people can enjoy the sounds of live music and dancing. There are also cooking contests and art contests. Children can enjoy the many rides, games, and cajun foods that the festival has.
So who are the Acadians you ask?
After the French and Indian War, about 4,000 French speaking people living in Acadia an area in Canada by the British. Some of these French speaking people arrived in Louisiana and today we call them Cajuns.