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Acadia Parish Tourist Commission loves attracting visitors

By Van Wade

One thing for sure, if tourists and vacationers would love to go and visit beautiful landscapes, top-notch local culture and love the Cajun Heritage, then Acadia Parish in Louisiana is a great place to visit.

Acadia Parish Tourist Commission, founded in 1996, attracts visitors to small towns in their parish.

Founders for the commission are described as regular working folks who love their native culture and want to share and preserve the heritage while enticing others to stay awhile in the six towns in the parish that consist of Church Point, Crowley, Rayne, Eastherwood, Mermentau, Morse and Iota, Louisiana.

The commission was established to collect a bed tax of four percent, which is used to promote the parish.

A big turning point for the organization came in 1998 when Jack C. Hoffpauir and families donated an acre of land to the office. In turn, the commission purchased seven acres next to it.

Acadia Parish Tourist Commission hopes a community center will be built on the site or lease it to a hotel.

While also having the Mardi Gras traditional celebrations throughout the years, the parish is also home to some different and fun festivals.

During the last weekend in April there is the Cajun Woodstock in Church Point. Cajun Woodstock was put together for the first time in 2003.

It highlights the rich culture & music of this Cajun Town.  Founded by Steve and J.C. Carriere, this festival features some of the hottest Cajun, Rock, Zydeco and Country bands around. All proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research in Memphis, this event has raised nearly $130,000 for St. Jude.

In October, Rayne will play host to the 26th Germanfest.

Germanfest has a slew of live entertainment, authentic German food and a large selection of German beer on tap. There are several folklore demonstrations and children’s activities during the two-day event.

The 84th International Rice Festival is slated for downtown Crowley in mid-October. It is definitely one of Louisiana’s largest festivals and its oldest agricultural festival. Since its first festival in 1937, over seven million people have attended the annual event.

The celebration brings attention to the importance of rice as food and also emphasizes it’s place in the world’s economic frame.

This year it will start on Oct. 14 and end on Oct. 17. There are two parades, one on Children’s Day and then there is the Grand Parade.

Special events include the Rice Eating Contest, Rice Cooking Contest, Farmers Banquet and the Queens Ball.

There is also continuous entertainment from early in the morning to midnight. Also, in conjunction with the Festival, is an Arts and Crafts exhibit, which is held adjacent to the festival grounds and also on Main Street.

There are so many other places and things to see across Acadia Parish such as the Crowley Motor Co. and Ford Building and the Grand Opera House of the South, both in Crowley.

For more on attractions and events, visit the Acadia Parish Tourist Commission website at acadiatourism.org for details.