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Lake Charles Contraband Days
early May – Lake Charles, Louisiana
Contraband Days is one of Louisiana’s largest and most fun festivals."
How many cities have an annual tradition where the mayor is forced to walk the plank and pirates rule for two weeks? Only one! Lake Charles! And all this fun takes place during the annual Contraband Days Pirate Festival.
Over 50 years old, Contraband Days is one of Louisiana’s largest festivals and the City of Lake Charles’ oldest festival.
Almost three centuries ago, a notorious and ruthless pirate named "Jean Lafitte" and his band of buccaneers were fleeing enemy ships and heading west to Galveston. Legend has it that Lafitte & his band of buccaneers would hide out along the waterways in Lake Charles and that Jean Lafitte's favorite hideout was Contraband Bayou in Lake Charles named as such because of the “contraband”.
Rumor has it that he's even buried treasure somewhere along its banks.
Contraband Days is a themed “pirate” festival with close to 100 events, most of which take place on the Lake Charles Civic Center grounds with some events occurring throughout the City.
Venture down to the Lake Charles Civic Center seawall and visit with the modern-day "pirates," in full regalia on boats out on the lake.
On the first night of Contraband Days, witness the cannon fire as the citizens of Lake Charles try to defend the seawall, only to have the pirates capture the mayor, put him on trial and send him to the lake!
The twelve day Contraband Days festival always falls on the first two weekends in May.
Over 100,000 people attend Contraband Days Festival on land and on the water and they all enjoy the carnival rides and games, live music and fantastic performances going on during the festival.
Contraband Days has repeatedly won many awards including being one of the ABA Top 100 Events in North America and the festival has also been selected as"Festival of the Year" by La Assn of Fairs & Festivals for the past three years.
For the latest updated schedule of events for Contraband Days, visit http://www.contrabanddays.com, or call the festival office at (337) 436-5508.
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