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Louisiana as the “Youth Sports Capital of Louisiana.” The state girls’ softball and boys’ baseball tournaments meet at Sulphur Parks and Recreation. Those events alone draw more than 30,000 people to Southwest Louisiana. In addition to sporting events, Southwest Louisiana is well positioned to host business meetings, conferences, and group reunions. “Being halfway between Houston and New Orleans, we have the perfect geographic location and some of the best conference rooms at our brand new, state-of-the-art hotels and facilities,” said Edmiston. The Bureau works diligently to provide up-to-date calendars with information about upcoming events and activities in Southwest Louisiana. They maintain open lines of communication with hotels, and provide up-to-date brochures about upcoming events at hotels, lodges and gathering spots. In addition, they maintain a free Lake Charles events app that provides information and alerts about current events. “There is an abundance of fun, family-friendly things to do every weekend in Southwest Louisiana,” Edmiston said. “Visitors and local residents alike are welcome to check out our website or download our app to see what’s happening in our area.” The CVB will be offering a brand new virtual reality video program beginning sometime this upcoming summer. The virtual reality experience will allow CVB visitors to see the sights and sounds of Southwest Louisiana with a headset. From Southwest Louisiana festivals to the Creole Nature Trail, visitors will experience what it’s like to be a part of Southwest Louisiana. As National Tourism Week approaches May 5-13, the CVB is gearing up to sponsor a variety of events in the community to help create awareness of tourism’s impact. The Bureau will host events throughout the week and will give away fun prizes to visitors at both locations.

Aye, Matey Lake Charles Prepares for a Pirate Invasion

The CVB has two locations; their main office, 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive, right off Interstate 10, and the Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point on Highway 27 in Sulphur.

For more information on the entertainment line-up, contests, activities or to sign up for the parade, contact the Louisiana Pirate Festival office at (337) 436-5508, send an e-mail to or visit for participation forms or to purchase Pirate Festival Ball tickets.

For more information, visit the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website, Dylan Scott

March 2018

The Louisiana Pirate Festival will be kicking off on the Lakefront, May 3-13. Festival organizers have planned many new events this year to celebrate Louisiana’s culture, but some things remain the same -- food, music, carnival rides, pirates, and fun! The festivities open with the pirate landing, Friday, May 4. Mayor Nic Hunter will walk the plank, and he admits, “We’re going to make a bigger splash this year!” Here’s what’s new at this year’s pirate party. • FREE Festival admission and parking. • The Louisiana Pirate Festival Street Parade will take place Sunday, May 6, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. as pirates, community organizations, businesses, and participants enjoy a festive Louisiana street parade! • Be transported into the land of the islands for the Louisiana Pirate Festival Costume Ball, benefitting St. Nicholas Center, from 8:30 -11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11, with entertainment provided by Mixed Nuts. There will be an opening reception with hors d’oeuvres for this event from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. The ticketed costume ball is sponsored in part by Bayou Rum, and it will take place at the Lake Charles Civic Center, Buccaneer Room. Tickets for the Louisiana Pirate Festival Ball are $45 for a single entry, $75 for a couple, and $400 for a reserved table of eight. Pirate attire is requested for the costume ball, and you must be at least 21 years old to attend. • All music will take place at the outdoor amphitheater this year. The packed entertainment line-up consists of all Louisiana musicians such as Amanda Shaw, Sean Ardoin & Zydecool, Rusty Metoyer & the Zydeco Krush, and the Flamethrowers with genres such as swamp pop, Cajun, Zydeco, R&B, country, and rock. Headliner and country music star Dylan Scott of Bastrop, La., will close out the entertainment line-up for the festival, featuring songs including his #1 hit “My Girl” which topped the Country charts last year. • Other activities include the American Cornhole Organization Regional Competition, costume contests, Gator Grand Prix Go-Kart Races, Pirogue Building and Racing, Rain Gutter Pirate Ship Building and Racing, cannon demonstrations, Spittin’ Image Look-alike Contest, the Barbecue Competitors Alliance (BCA) Cajun Pirate Cook-off, Buccaneers Costume Contest for Children, fireworks over the lake, and more.

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