This coming weekend, Nov. 3-4th, the Audubon Zoo hosts the annual Louisiana Swamp Festival on their lush green grounds. With admission to the city’s world-renowned zoo and nature institute, visitors gain access to a wide range of Cajun food, music, crafts, and activities celebrating the culture of the state’s earliest historic settlers.
At this festival, you will get a glimpse into the unique cultural heritage that perforates the acres and acres of Louisiana’s wetlands. With daily lives revolving around the swamp, bayous, and surrounding waterlogged land, early settlers laid the foundation for what would be the vibrant and distinct cultural contributions that carry on through today. And in a city that hosts a festival for just about everything, it’s only natural that New Orleans would celebrate still another aspect of its well-rounded traditions and heritage.
No New Orleans festival would be complete without a plethora of local delicacies, and Swamp Fest is no exception. Featured will be popular local dishes like jambalaya, gumbo, catfish po-boys, crawfish bread, and more, and you’ll even get the chance to have your first bite of fried alligator, a Cajun specialty.
Music is another requirement for local festivals, which will be provided at Swamp Fest by such local Cajun and zydeco greats as Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, and Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots. There will also be Cajun and zydeco dance lessons around midday so you can have some two-steps to show off at the festival stages.
The Audubon Zoo’s Swamp Exhibit will be the heart of the celebration, featuring alligators, bears, otters, nutria, and other natural swamp life. The exhibit will host Tous Les Soirs and the Cajun Music Petting Zoo which add to the weekend’s festivities.
The event is free with general admission to the zoo, which is $16 for adults, $11 for children, and $13 for seniors and high school and college students with valid school IDs. If you’ll be in the area, this is a fun and affordable festival that will expose you to many different aspects of Cajun culture and life in the swamplands.