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900 Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601, USA (337) 436-5508
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From chowing down to dancing until the wee hours, it's not hard to have a rollicking good time in Louisiana. Add pirate festivities to the mix, and it's that much better. The event, based on the legend of Jean Lafitte, has land- and water-based activities, carnival rides, games and live music. During the two weeks, in fact, there are more than 100 events. You'll see pirates in full regalia capture the mayor, put him on trial and force him to walk the plank. Enjoy delicious barbecue and then cheer for your favorite during the arm-wrestling competition.  

  • Founded in 1957
  • Each year, the first two weeks of May, the City of Lake Charles is transformed back in time to the days of the legendary pirate Jean Lafitte and his swashbuckling buccaneers.
  • In 1957 a group of local businessmen from the Downtown Division of the Lake Charles Association of Commerce (later known as the Chamber of Commerce) formed Lake Charles Contraband Days Inc (later known as Contraband Days Inc) for the sole purpose of developing a program to utilize the Lake Charles areas in recreational and cultural activities and to attract tourists. The group opted for a pirate theme with the LEGEND of Lafitte's Buried Treasure along Contraband Bayou thus the first Annual Contraband Days was held in June 1958 as a one day event with a boat parade, water ski show and boat races. A few years later this group of men formed another organization called the Buccaneers of Lake Charles, Inc and added entertainment by dressing in pirate attire and costume. A "Jean Lafitte" would be selected to lead the buccaneers to "Capture the Mayor and take over the City". Part of the buccaneer group would also dress in "City Militia" attire, armed with real cannons to try to ward off Lafitte & his buccaneers from landing as part of the entertainment.  The Buccaneers of Lake Charles is the primary part of the festivals "pirate themed" entertainment, begins and ends the festivities, and promotes the festival year round. 
Contraband Days Inc. is the organization that plans, organizes, and budgets for the festivals events Forty eight years later Contraband Days has grown from a one day to a twelve day festival with close to 100 events.
The mission of Contraband Days, Inc. is to promote an annual festival in Southwest Louisiana that provides quality family entertainment for residents and visitors of all ages and cultural backgrounds; to encourage maximum community involvement, participation, and attendance; and to promote Southwest Louisiana's quality of life and joie de vivre (joy of life).
Contraband Days was selected and featured on the All American Festivals segment of the Television Food Network and was featured in Hot Boat Magazine. Contraband Days won again the ABA Top 100 Events in North America and this the 3rd time in the seven years Contraband Days has received this award. Contraband Days has also been featured in many top festival websites, magazines, and publications nationally each year.
Contraband Days receives Regional recognition as it has been selected "Festival of the Year" by La Assn of Fairs & Festivals the past three years and receives numerous marketing awards by the Association as well. Also has been featured in Louisiana Life, Southern Living, Acadiana Profile, and many regional tourism guides and magazines as a must see festival destination
Local recognition Tourism Partner of the Year SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau --May 2004 and has received many local awards as "Voted Best Festival" by Times of SWLA --- June 2004 Contraband Days provides entertainment for all ages, heritage, and religion. Contraband Days began the first noted in festival history "Family Night" and is an alcohol free night for families with family entertainment. Concerts ranging from Christian and Gospel, to Country and Cajun, to Zydeco, Urban|R & B acts, Oldies, & Classic Rock are a big part of the festival entertainment. Entertainers from nationally, to regional and local are known to have performed at the festival. 
Also Contraband Days Inc provides attractions and big events. Many other events are put on by local and charitable organizations and the media, as well.
John Briggs Becton shared an album to Louisiana Pirate Festival's timeline.
John Briggs Becton

Sunday October 1st, 2017 - 7:26 pm

Arghhh how about a little support for Mark Lavergne (Jean Lafitte 2017)

Click on the link below and like the picture of Mark standing by our Cannon to vote for him. He is representing us and voting ends tonight. Buccaneer Ball Costume Contest! 1 "Like" = 1"Vote". Vote for your favorite Buccaneer! Voting takes place September 29th-October 1st.
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Arghhh how about a little support for Mark Lavergne (Jean Lafitte 2017) 

Click on the link below and like the picture of Mark standing by our Cannon to vote for him. He is representing us and voting ends tonight.

Saturday September 23rd, 2017 - 4:36 pm

Looking forward to this year! ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 11:01 pm

I will no longer participate. The name change offends me... ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 10:30 pm

I dont agree with the name change,but I do agree we need to change the perceived image of Contraband Days(being negative) to draw more people to our area.If it takes a name change I am for it.This festival can and should be a big tourist draw for our area.We need activities,food and family fun to be offered to the 200,000 plus people in Calcasieu parish as well as the other parishes in swla.If the casinos get more involved the events are endless and the revenue would be more than enough to support the festival. ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 10:24 pm

Well I liked the page and attended every year for the festival because it was cool! "Not really". But now the new name offends me because it's labeled as Louisiana only... I'm so offended. #JusticeForTheUSA ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 10:03 pm

Why did the name change? ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 9:56 pm

I'm very disappointed you caved to PC bs. There was nothing controversial nor bigoted / racist in the word "Contraband". Contraband is exactly what pirates dealt in. Bad decision. ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 9:13 pm

Moving forward.......I like that! ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 9:02 pm

I'm sad the name has changed but I know it will still be a great festival. ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 8:59 pm

I absolutely love the New name !!! ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 8:26 pm

The name change of this festival offends me. ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 8:02 pm

I have unliked the page due to the name change. Do fix something that isn't broken. ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 8:00 pm

Have to give the the boot ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 7:56 pm

Seriously. Just do away with the wannabe festival. It used to be fun. Now overpriced Lack of fun community involvement. ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 7:55 pm

Change it back immediately ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 7:52 pm

Weak ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 7:48 pm

Nice! Way to give in to the minority crybabies!!! Changing the name won't make them go spend money at the "festival". 🙄 ... See MoreSee Less

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 7:42 pm

Unliking the page enjoy your renamed dying carnival ... See MoreSee Less

Louisiana Pirate Festival updated their profile picture.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 7:37 pm

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Comment on Facebook


Stuck on stupid!

Changing the name is a disgrace. Thank you for contributing to erasing history!

The public should have gotten a chance to say how they feel instead of just the board deciding on a name change

Well, this sucks...

So what happen to Contraband Days?

The community should have been able to vote on this. Its the community who spends their money here every year supporting it.

Union General Benjamin Butler referred to former slaves that had escaped their bondage and sought refuge with the Union Army during the Civil War as "Contrabands", or "prizes" of war, or smuggled goods, when the former owners demanded their return as pieces of property and refused to return them. I imagine someone has drawn a connection and claims the term is somehow "racist". Hence, in this day and age of removing statues, this might be a reason. Anyway, it seems to be a change for the worse for the festival.

Stupidest thing ever!




So Ridiculous. Contraband Days has been going downhill for years now anyway. This is just another Reason to stay away!! Democrats and Liberals are Destroying America!

Stopped going a long time ago.

Name change was long overdue.. great job.. love it!

You know everyone is still going to call it Contraband days

I don't care what they call it as long as it's fun.

My family has always gifted me with "Last Night of Contraband" as my present for Mother's Day. And they couldn't possibly get me anything better. Rides, funnel cakes, fireworks... what could be better? Until this past year. First time in 13 years we didn't go. Change the name to whatever you want, just bring back the rides and FAMILY fun.

Guess thats an end of an era we all will cherish. Cry babies getting their way i guess. Im done with this festival and page good luck people.

It's still contraband days to me.


Lmao 🤣

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Louisiana Pirate Festival updated their cover photo.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Friday September 22nd, 2017 - 7:07 pm

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Comment on Facebook


Pathetic! A bunch of pansies giving in to the minority cry babies! What happened to majority rules? Most people didn't want the name changed. It won't make them come out now that the name has changed! 🙄


Booooo from Minnesota! What's the brilliant reasoning for a name change? Tradition and history carry more clout in advertising.

Although, I don't necessarily agree with changing the name, I do like the new name! I think it's more fitting for what the festival is all about. Pirates! Aargh!!! (I was Born and Raised in Lake Charles)

Matt 'Chop' Bertrand we still putting contraband days on the armwrestling shirts? Lol

This is stupid

People are getting upset and silly about the name change of a drinking party. Move on...

I've been saying for years that there is a group of people that are going to do away with Contraband Days and here it is. Pirate Festival? Really? Is it okay to wear cotton to the festival?

Grew up with the contraband days name. Not gonna change for cry babies. Just ridiculous. Unfollowing this new name page.

Can't wait for the festival next year! I had a wonderful time.

I'll not go ever just for the fact that they changed the name because someone was offended! How ridiculous America has become.



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Phone Number (337) 436-5508
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Country United States of America
State/Province Louisiana
distance: 658 Miles
Address 900 Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601, USA
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