Lafayette, Louisiana: A City of Music, Food, Basketball and Soccer

Lafayette Louisiana is the center for Cajun and Creole. The influences of this city have changed much of the culture and cuisine of the entire country. This is a part of the U.S. that is proud of its history and has roots deeply embedded in the city that they love and this is exemplified in their love of their university sports teams. Sports fans will argue which is tops: basketball, soccer, ice hockey or football; but the stadiums seem to be filled, no matter what the sport.

The original inhabitants of the area now designated as Lafayette included a number of Native American tribes. The records show that there wasn’t the influx of Europeans to this area as in other parts of the country. However, by around 1765, there was a larger group of Acadians that arrived to New Orleans from Nova Scotia. The local lands were then governed by Spanish and French, and the officials offered expanses of land to the new arrivals in the Lafayette area.

As the years passed, the town of Lafayette was established and named after the renowned Marquis de Lafayette, hero of the American Revolutionary War. The success of the city was mainly based on agriculture, but there began a development of architecture that is totally local to the area. By this time, the area was deeply entrenched in a rich culture of French, Spanish, Black American, Native American and English, which offered a blend of cuisines, beliefs and philosophies.

Lafayette began a journey that expanded into becoming one of the arts centers of Louisiana. They celebrate the Mardis Gras with fan fare and street dances but the art galleries and music also make up an incredible contribution to a city of wonder. Music is a major portion of life in Lafayette and visitors from around the world arrive to experience the treat of Cajun sound. The rhythms and beats are enjoyed and freely shared as only the people of Lafayette can bring. The people of Lafayette have a love of life and that includes their sports teams as well. Whether small or large games, the citizens of the town turn out to view the scoreboards and cheer their teams on. Basketball, ice hockey and soccer are the main games in Lafayette home to the Ragin’ Cajuns and the Wild Catters for their football fans.

The popularity of the unique lifestyle has opened the doors in Lafayette to a more lucrative tourist trade. Visitors from all over arrive to walk down the historic streets, taste a little bit of the intense Cajun food and even take a swamp ride. The influences of so many cultures are colorful and bright but also have the unique beliefs of the area. As with other towns nearby, French seemed to be the major language that stayed in the area and much of the local language of today includes these dialects. This is especially notable when you attend one of the local football and ice hockey team games and hear the cheers when they view their teams points on the scoreboards. The influence of the university as a main sports focus brings loyal fans back to every game, whether at the CajunDome, Cajun Field, Blackham Coliseum or M.L. ‘Tigue’ Moore Field.

The residents of Lafayette enjoy their festivals. There is probably a festival for every month of the year, celebrating their joyous attitude of life and the many cultures that they share in common. Lafayette proudly blends the Cajun and Creole foods within the body of the festivals, so they are usually an event of culinary, visual and musical delight.

Lafayette is truly one of the most enjoyable and unique areas of the United States. The people have a deep sense of pride and dignity for their city and yet an open-armed attitude about sharing their culture and their home. A visit to Lafayette is an education and an experience and one that will never be forgotten.


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