Cajun Country Mardi Gras features music, food, the courir du Mardi Gras, and dancing in the streets in and around Eunice (follow the link for what's happening in the area). At the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center,
- Saturday, February 25; center open 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Explore & Restore crafts for kids 10:00 a.m.-noon Mardi Gras mask and capuchon workshop. Quilting demonstration noon-3:00 p.m. Cajun Conversations 1:00-2:00 p.m. speak and learn conversational Cajun French. Music and dancing beginning at 2:45 p.m. when Kyle Mott leads a three-piece traditional Cajun French band. Second Annual Boudin Taste-off 4:00-6:00 p.m. Free.
- Tuesday, February 28; center open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Make your own Mardi Gras mask 10:00 a.m.-noon. Sample chicken and sausage gumbo 11:00 a.m. til the pot is empty. Throughout the day: watch "Dance for a Chicken" video that shares Cajun Mardi Gras traditions and ask for a quick Cajun dance lesson so you can join the street dancing.
Explore & Restore crafts workshop for kids of all ages means hands-on fun creating unique crafts out of everything from egg cartons to buttons to milk jugs. A parent or guardian must remain with children six and under. Every Saturday 10:00 a.m.-noon. Free. Here's a list of items needed by Explore & Restore and how to donate.
Cajun Conversations led by Francophone student Mat Fruge encourages speaking and learning basic conversational Cajun French. Every Saturday 1:00-2:00 p.m. Free.
Discover "the Cajun way" every Saturday Kick up your heels with music and dancing beginning at 2:45 p.m. and discover the secrets of local cuisine with a cooking (and tasting) demonstration beginning at 4:00 p.m. Follow the link to find out what's happening. Free.
Rendez-vous des Cajuns every Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Enjoy an evening of live Cajun and zydeco music known locally as "the Cajun Grand Ole Opry" at the Liberty Theater next door to the center. Presented by the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center and the City of Eunice, Rendez-vous des Cajuns features live music, storytelling, a big dance floor, and family fun in a historic 1920s theater. Follow the link for information on tickets and who's playing or call 337-457-7389.
Waltz on in to the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Eunice to discover the life of Louisiana's prairie Cajuns through ranger programs, exhibits, artifacts, and films. Kids can explore the center and earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. The center's museum store sells craft items, books from cookbooks to children's stories, and CDs, including "From One Generation to the Next," a CD produced by the center's rangers that tells the story of Cajun and zydeco music. Admission to the center is free. Follow these links for the park's calendar of events, exhibits, and programs; for directions and transportation options; and for accessibility information.
250 West Park Avenue, Eunice
Open Wednesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Closed federal holidays and December 25. Useful information about public transportation, regulations on pets, etc., is available here.
Special programs by reservation:
- Field trips for schools and other groups by reservation
- Girl and Boy Scout programs
- Summer camp for kids. Sorry---2016 camp is full. See you next year!
For more on things to do in Eunice and for information on Cajun history and culture, check out
- The Prairie Acadian Cultural Center and Mardi Gras in Eunice were featured as a National Park Getaway in February 2012. Follow the link to discover how Cajun country celebrates Mardi Gras with horses, costumes, and a community gumbo feast.