Iberia Parish is the birthplace of Tabasco, the internationally famous hot sauce, and home to The Shadows on the Teche antebelllum home and the Sugar Cane Festival. The parish, which stretches from the Atchafalaya Basin, one of America's great wilderness areas, to the Gulf of Mexico, also affords visitors abundant resources for birdwatching, boating, and both saltwater and freshwater fishing.
Iberia Parish, Louisiana, derives its name from its historical experience. During the late eighteenth century, Louisiana's Spanish government, in an effort to Hispanicize the colony, recruited immigrants from Málaga, Spain, to settle the area of present-day Iberia Parish.
These Malagueños were quickly assimilated into the local French population, and Spanish names like Dominguez became Domingue. Although they failed to create a strong Spanish influence in the region, the Malagueños did succeed in establishing for the parish a name representing their native Iberian Peninsula. Iberia Parish was not formed until after the Civil War in 1868, but the modern-day parish consists of 820 square miles and over 73,000 inhabitants.
There are several important industries within Iberia Parish. Avery Island's world-famous Tabasco factory, the Konriko rice factory, and Bruce Foods, one of the largest canneries in the state, are all vitally important to the parish's economic stability. To celebrate the importance of sugar cane, the parish's principal crop, the Sugar Cane Festival is held annually. The Annual World Championship Gumbo Cook-off is another celebration that recognizes the importance of gumbo, one of the most famous regional culinary traditions.
Principal towns in Iberia Parish include Loreauville and Jeanerette, as well as the parish seat of New Iberia. Nicknamed "The Queen City of the Teche", New Iberia boasts several tourists attractions, including an historic Main Street District and Shadows-on-the-Teche, a beautiful National Historic Landmark that was used as headquarters for the Union Army during the Civil War. The Jungle Gardens of Avery Island, as well as the Tabasco plant itself, are also interesting tourist destinations.
by Elista Istre
Events and Festivals
Sugar Cane Festival (New Iberia)
Books Along the Teche Literary Festival (New Iberia)
World Championship Gumbo Cook-off (New Iberia)
Delcambre Shrimp Festival (Delcambre)
Historic Sites, Plantations, Museums, and Trails
Shadows-on-the-Teche (New Iberia)
Bayou Teche Museum (New Iberia)
Konriko Rice Factory (New Iberia)
Tabasco Factory (Avery Island)
Jungle Gardens (Avery Island)
Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens (New Iberia)
New Iberia National Register Historic District Trail (New Iberia)
New Iberia Trilingual Marker Trail (New Iberia)