Culture on Display in the Most Cajun Place on Earth: Vermilion Parish
Are you familiar with the “Cajun Corridor”? It’s what the locals call the chain of towns across Vermilion Parish. Also known as the “The Most Cajun Place on Earth,” nearly 50% of citizens in the parish claim Cajun ancestry. Cajun French is still spoken in many of the towns, but don’t worry about having to learn the dialect before coming for a visit — the residents also speak English.
Vermilion Parish is steeped in history and seasoned with a dash of “joie de vivre,” or the love of life. The communities of Delcambre, Erath, Abbeville, Kaplan, and Gueydan date back to the 1800s and were the settling grounds for many of the French Acadians, the ancestors of the Cajuns, after their expulsion from Nova Scotia. Learn about the parish’s unique history and culture while exploring quaint towns, tree-lined bayous, museums and locally owned eating establishments. View permanent displays and exhibits of one of a kind works of art. Tour a hundred-year-old church or the Vivian Alexander studio, home to designer enamel and guilloché-decorated eggs.
Experience the culture up close at any of the festivals or fairs that honor the customs and traditions of the area, complete with lots of Cajun music and great food. Dance at a fais-do-do or just sit and watch the barges go by.
Witness the blessing of the shrimp-boat fleet or dig into signature shrimp-dish entries in the shrimp cook-off at the Delcambre Shrimp Festival. The festival honors one of the area’s most productive shrimp fleets.
Enter into a duck- and goose-calling contest or try your hand at skeet shooting at the Gueydan Duck Festival. Held in Gueydan, the trademark “Duck Capital of America,” the festival highlights the Acadiana region’s hunting heritage with decoy carving, dog trials and more.
Over in Abbeville, watch the Livestock Show, enter into the Anything Goes Cook-Off or catch some beads at Louisiana’s “longest and best festival parade.” All this and more can be found only at the Louisiana Cattle Festival, which celebrates the state’s dairy and cattle industries.
Be sure to return to Abbeville for the Giant Omelette Celebration, a tradition dating back to the time of Napoleon. Chefs gather around a 12-foot skillet and cook an omelet made of 5,000+ eggs, with an additional egg added every year.
For more information on the many museums and festivals of Vermilion Parish, visit www.mostcajun.com.