Contraband Days


From parades and festivals to outdoor concerts and fun runs, Southwest Louisiana is known for its breadth of traditional and contemporary activities. Rich in history, the region stages festive and educational events. Year-round favorable weather makes it easy to go out and explore all Southwest Louisiana has to offer.

Lake Charles and its surrounding communities host more than 75 festivals, including family-friendly Mardi Gras parades and celebrations promoting the city’s legacy as a haven for real-life swashbucklers like the French pirate and privateer Jean Lafitte. Festivals featuring the culinary and visual arts are established, local favorites as well.

With exceptional lakefront views and venues, the city’s spacious downtown and waterfront areas accommodate robust crowds for special occasions. Cycling events, state softball and swimming championships as well as numerous 5K runs drawing both competitive and recreational runners are all part of the downtown special events landscape.

Nestled along the Calcasieu River, Westlake is the site of regular sailboat races for Southwest Louisiana’s sizeable yachting community. Anglers can also find plenty to do with fishing rodeos off the Gulf Coast and in the area’s lakes and bayous.