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Gambit’s 2016 Louisiana Fairs & Festivals: September 

2-4—Louisiana Seafood Festival (City Park, 1701 Wisner Blvd.; www.louisianaseafoodfestival.com) — The three-day festival celebrates Louisiana seafood with food vendors, cooking demonstrations, live music and arts and crafts. 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Admission TBA.

2-5—Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival (715 Second St., Morgan City, 985-385-0703; www.shrimpandpetroleum.org) — The festival features live music, a children's village, arts and crafts, shrimp dishes, a car show and fireworks. Hours TBA. Free.

3—Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival (Zydeco Festival Park, 457 Zydeco Road, off Highway 167 N., Plaisance, 337-290-6048; www.zydeco.org) — The celebration of zydeco also includes swamp pop, Cajun, R&B and Southern soul music and Cajun and Creole food. Hours TBA. Admission $10 adults, $5 children 12 and younger.

10—Down River Festival (Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave., 504-523-3939; www.friendsofthecabildo.org) — The festival celebrates the Mississippi River's cultural, economic, environmental and other contributions to New Orleans with live music, lectures, food vendors, cooking demonstrations, children's activities and river-inspired theatrical presentations. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

10-11—Oldies But Goodies Fest & Barbecue Cook-Off (West Baton Rouge Tourist Information & Conference Center, 2750 N. Westport Drive, Port Allen, 800-654-9701; www.westbatonrouge.net) — Cooks from all over the South compete for cash prizes in Saturday's barbecue cook-off. Sunday features live bands playing music from the 1950s-'70s, dance contests, food vendors and an antique car show. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free.

16-17—Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival (Downtown Natchitoches, 800-259-1714; www.meatpiefestival.com) — The festival features a variety of homemade meat pies, a meat pie-eating contest, live music and children's activities. Hours TBA. Free.

22-25—Alligator Festival (West Bank Bridge Park, 13825 River Road, Luling; www.alligatorfestival.org/festival) — The festival features live music, carnival rides, games and Cajun food — with a spotlight on alligator dishes. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Thu., 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Admission $1.

22-25—Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival (Various locations, New Iberia, 337-369-9323; www.hisugar.org) — The festival celebrates the sugar cane harvest with parades, a fais-do-do, sugar cookery, art competitions, exhibits and kids' activities. Hours TBA. Free.

23-24—Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival (Cassidy Park, 129 Ben Miller Drive, Bogalusa, 985-205-1075; www.bogalusablues.com) — The fifth annual festival features a diverse lineup of blues musicians, cultural education programs, Louisiana food and arts and crafts. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat. Admission TBA, children under 12 free.

23-24—Hot Air Balloon Festival (Lamar Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. Landry Road, Gonzales; www.ascensionballooning.com) — The hot air balloon festival outside the expo center includes dozens of balloons, a children's village, food, music and fireworks both nights. Inside the expo center are more than 100 vendors offering arts, crafts and gifts. 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri., noon-10 p.m. Sat. Admission $2, free for children 12 and under.

23-25—Hurricane Festival (Cut Off Youth Center, 205 W. 79th St., Cut Off, 985-632-7616) — The festival features live music, Cajun food, arts and crafts, carnival rides, games and a live auction. 5:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. Free.

23&30—Music & Market (Opelousas) — See April 22 listing for event description.

24—NOLA on Tap (New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds; www.nolaontap.org) — The dog-friendly festival includes live music, more than 400 local, national, home-brewed and microbrewed beers, the home-brewer's Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) competition, food vendors, contests, games and non-beer drinks. Noon-8 p.m. Free.

24-25—Best of the Bayou Festival (Downtown Houma, 985-876-5600; www.bestofthebayou.org) — There are two stages for national headliners and Louisiana musicians, as well as Cajun cuisine, an arts market, alligator race and classic car show. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. Free.

30—Scales and Ales (Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 1 Canal St., 504-565-3033; www.auduboninstitute.org/scales-and-ales) — The aquarium's fundraising gala includes cuisine and drinks from local restaurants, live music and a raffle. 7 p.m.-midnight. Admission TBA.



March | April | May
June | July | August
September | October
November | December
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