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Evangeline Parish

Present-day Evangeline Parish boasts a population of over 35,000 and a landmass of 700 square miles.  Evangeline Parish is one of Louisiana's youngest parishes.  Created in 1910 from the northwest portion of St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish bears the name of Longfellow's tragic Acadian heroine, ostensibly in honor of the local residents' reputed Acadian heritage.Evangeline Parish Map

The parish, however, was initially settled by immigrants from the French garrison at Fort Toulouse (near present-day Montgomery, Alabama) who began settling the area in the late 1700s.DOTD Evangeline Parish Tourism Map  African-Americans and Creoles of Color subsequently immigrated into the region, as did Anglo-Americans, who were some of the first Protestant settlers west of the Mississippi River.  These Protestant pioneers settled in the northern portion of the parish where the prairies end and the hills begin.

The parish's principal towns include Ville Platte, the parish seat and home of the Cotton Festival; Mamou, famous for its country Mardi Gras (Courir de Mardi Gras); Basile, host of the Swine Festival; Bayou Chicot, home to the Louisiana State Arboretum and Chicot State Park; Turkey Creek; and Chataignier.

Cattle ranching and cotton farming have traditionally been the most important industries in the parish.  In recent times, however, aquaculture, including crawfish harvesting and rice production, have transformed the region's economy.

As a cradle of Cajun and Zydeco music, Evangeline Parish holds an important place within the music world.  Every Saturday morning, a live broadcast of Cajun music is produced at Fred's Lounge.  Grammy Award nominees Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys are international ambassadors of Cajun music.  Floyd's Record Shop in Ville Platte is an internationally known Cajun and Zydeco music distributor.

by Elista Istre

Principle Towns

Basile

Mamou

Ville Platte

Evangeline Parish Tourism Commission

Events and Festivals

Basile Swine Festival

Mamou Courir de Mardi Gras

Ville Platte Cotton Festival

Historic Sites, Plantations & Museums

National Register of Historic Places

Wildlife Preserves

The Acadiana Conservation Corridor Wildlife Management Area

Louisiana State Arboretum State Preservation Area

Marsh Bayou Wildlife Management Area

Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

Chicot State Park

 

Lagniappe

Fred's Lounge (Mamou)

Evangeline Parish Courthouses

Evangeline Parish Library

LSU AgCenter