Contraband Days

Lake Charles Arts & Crabs Fest Blends Music and Food

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The annual Arts & Crabs Fest in Lake Charles is a popular evening event bringing two of Southwest Louisiana’s most powerful cultural influences: cuisine and art. A fundraiser for the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, the gathering is held at the Lake Charles Civic Center every August.

Fest patrons can visit more than 100 artists’ booths, where paintings, photographs, jewelry, ceramics and sculptures represent a selection of the art on display and for sale; some exhibitors give live art demonstrations as well.

Dozens of restaurants serve crab-centric gourmet dishes, a nod to South Louisiana’s crab industry. Crab ceviche, crabmeat beignets, crab sushi rolls, crab and corn bisque and crab gazpacho are among the unique, crab-themed foods served at the festival and can be paired with craft beer from Louisiana’s growing number of successful microbreweries, including Covington Brewhouse, Bayou Teche Brewing, Parish Brewing and Tin Roof Brewing Company.

The festival also features live, regional music from bands specializing in Cajun, zydeco and swamp pop. The Lake Charles Arts & Crabs Fest was named a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Photo Credit: Lake Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau; Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana