of Louisiana remains an unspoiled wilderness--great cypress swamplands
and rolling hills covered with dense pines and hardwoods that teem
with deer and smaller game. The state's lakes and marshes form the
southern terminus of the Mississippi River Flyway which are alive
with waterfowl for many months each year.
fish include striped bass, white perch, largemouth and smallmouth
bass, bream and catfish. Fishing is a year 'round activity and limits
are liberal. There is freshwater fishing virtually everywhere in
the state. Major saltwater gamefish include tarpon, Spanish and
king mackerel, red snapper, cobia, bluefish and pompano. Grand Isle
is Louisiana's best known area for offshore and surf fishing, but
charter boats are also available at Empire near the mouth of the
Mississippi River and at several other communities on the Gulf.
offers hunters three types of hunting ground: coastal marshes for
duck, geese, snipe and rabbit; interior wooded swamps and ridgelands
for deer, squirrel and woodcock, and piney upland areas for rabbit,
squirrel, quail and dove.
has 33 state parks and Historic Sites, including 10 with camping
facilities. There are also hiking trails in national forest areas.
is a favorite sport almost year around, especially on Lake Pontchartrain
and Lake Charles in south Louisiana and Cross Lake near Shreveport
as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. Power boat races are held at Buhlow
Lake near Alexandria. Water skiing can be conducted almost anywhere
in the state on hundreds of lakes and rivers.
most famous event is the Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday, the last day before
Lent). Actually, the festive events leading up to Mardi Gras begin
on Twelfth Night, the sixth day of January. Parades and balls are
held throughout the period, culminating in the parades of Rex and
Comus on Mardi Gras day. Hundreds of thousands of carnival-goers
turn out for the parades, many in costumes. While Mardi Gras is
the largest carnival celebration, over 100 other festivals are held
in the state each year to commemorate crops such as sugar cane and
sweet potatoes, seafood and forestry.
offers a wide variety of beautiful public and private botanical
gardens. Among them are the famous Avery Island gardens featuring
thousands of camellias, Longvue, Rip Van Winkle and Hodges gardens.
The American Rose Society garden in Shreveport is the largest rose
garden in the world.
has had a long association with the performing arts, having hosted
in 1796 the first opera performance ever held in America. The first
professional theatrical performance in Louisiana was given in New
Orleans in 1791, and in 1859 the French Opera House was erected
in the French Quarter. Today, most of the major cities and larger
towns in the state have playhouses and facilities for concerts.
Thespian groups are found throughout the state. Louisiana is the
birthplace of a style of music uniquely American: Jazz. More recently,
there has been a growing popularity of Zydeco and Cajun music. The
Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport has for many years showcased Country
music and it was at the Hayride that Elvis Presley made his professional