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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.
Mission
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).
Awards
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.
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Saturday February 22nd, 2020 - 5:00 pm

Mark your calendars for April 30 to May 10, 2020 to join in the fun that is the Louisiana Pirate Festival! Music, food and hanging with your friends like old times! Welcome summer with the friendliest pirates ever! #piratefestivals #louisiana #visitlakecharles @buccaneerslc #pirateslifeforme ... See MoreSee Less

Mark your calendars for April 30 to May 10, 2020 to join in the fun that is the Louisiana Pirate Festival! Music, food and hanging with your friends like old times! Welcome summer with the friendliest pirates ever! #piratefestivals #louisiana #visitlakecharles @buccaneerslc #pirateslifeforme
Louisiana Pirate Festival is at Lake Charles Civic Center.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Friday February 21st, 2020 - 2:15 pm

Sunday May 10, 2020 is the date for this great concert! Wayne Toups is one of the most successful American Cajun singers and songwriters. He has been granted numerous awards and honors throughout his career including 2010 Festivals Acadiens et Créoles dedicated in his name, Offbeat Magazine Album of the Year recipient. Louisiana Pirate Festival dates are April 30 to May 10, 2020 #cajunmusic #waynetoups #piratefestival #lakecharleslouisiana #onlylouisiana #apirateslifeforme @buccaneerslc @louisianatravel ... See MoreSee Less

Sunday May 10, 2020 is the date for this great concert! Wayne Toups is one of the most  successful American Cajun singers and songwriters. He has been granted numerous awards and honors throughout his career including 2010 Festivals Acadiens et Créoles dedicated in his name, Offbeat Magazine Album of the Year recipient. Louisiana Pirate Festival dates are April 30 to May 10, 2020 #cajunmusic #waynetoups #piratefestival #lakecharleslouisiana #onlylouisiana #apirateslifeforme @buccaneerslc @louisianatravel
Louisiana Pirate Festival updated their cover photo.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Thursday February 20th, 2020 - 1:52 pm

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Thursday February 20th, 2020 - 1:49 pm

Along the Seawall at the Louisiana Pirate Festival. On Friday evening May 1, 2020 the Pirates take over the City of Lake Charles. Our boats circle the lake and the militia tries to discourage the pirates but we always win! And when we do, the famed pirate will leave his boat and shake your hand! April 30 to May 10, 2020 #piratefestivals #pirates #pirateslifeforme #louisiana @buccaneerslc #boatparade #visitlakecharles ... See MoreSee Less

Along the Seawall at the Louisiana Pirate Festival. On Friday evening May 1, 2020 the Pirates take over the City of Lake Charles. Our boats circle the lake and the militia tries to discourage the pirates but we always win! And when we do, the famed pirate will leave his boat and shake your hand! April 30 to May 10, 2020 #piratefestivals #pirates #pirateslifeforme #louisiana @buccaneerslc #boatparade #visitlakecharles

Comment on Facebook

I miss those days I wish I could go back

#Contrabanddays

Rachael Close☠☠❤❤

Wednesday February 19th, 2020 - 11:15 am

We are looking forward to the smiles we get from your kids! We will be handing out beads and trinkets to the wee ones and Mimis and everyone In between. Come take a picture with us. Can’t wait to see you! Arggg! April 30 to May 10, 2020. #piratefestivals #pirateslifeforme @buccaneerslc @tas4fun #louisiana #visitlakecharles ... See MoreSee Less

We are looking forward to the smiles we get from your kids! We will be handing out beads and trinkets to the wee ones and Mimis and everyone In between. Come take a picture with us. Can’t wait to see you! Arggg! April 30 to May 10, 2020. #piratefestivals #pirateslifeforme @buccaneerslc @tas4fun #louisiana #visitlakecharles

Tuesday February 18th, 2020 - 2:00 pm

Remember those warm Spring days at the carnival? The screams of kids young and old being whisked through the air! And don’t forget the carnival Funnel Cakes and Corn Dogs!! Relive that memory again April 30 to May 10, 2020 at the Louisiana Pirate Festival in beautiful Lake Charles Louisiana! #piratefestivals #visitlakecharles #pirates #carnival #funnelcakes #corndogs #pirateslifeforme #kidfriendly @tas4fun @buccaneerslc ... See MoreSee Less

Remember those warm Spring days at the carnival? The screams of kids young and old being whisked through the air! And don’t forget the carnival Funnel Cakes and Corn Dogs!! Relive that memory again April 30 to May 10, 2020 at the Louisiana Pirate Festival in beautiful Lake Charles Louisiana! #piratefestivals #visitlakecharles #pirates #carnival #funnelcakes #corndogs #pirateslifeforme #kidfriendly @tas4fun @buccaneerslc

Tuesday February 18th, 2020 - 1:24 pm

Remember those warm Spring days at the carnival? The screams of kids young and old being whisked through the air! And don’t forget the carnival Funnel Cakes and Corn Dogs!! Relive that memory again April 30 to May 10, 2020 at the Louisiana Pirate Festival in beautiful Lake Charles Louisiana! #piratefestivals #visitlakecharles #pirates #carnival #funnelcakes #corndogs #pirateslifeforme #kidfriendly @tas4fun @buccaneerslc ... See MoreSee Less

Remember those warm Spring days at the carnival? The screams of kids young and old being whisked through the air! And don’t forget the carnival Funnel Cakes and Corn Dogs!! Relive that memory again April 30 to May 10, 2020 at the Louisiana Pirate Festival in beautiful Lake Charles Louisiana! #piratefestivals #visitlakecharles #pirates #carnival #funnelcakes #corndogs #pirateslifeforme #kidfriendly @tas4fun @buccaneerslc

Saturday February 15th, 2020 - 3:04 pm

Wayne Toups is a Louisiana favorite son as well as a Pirate Festival tradition and he’s back this year! Ya ‘gotta check him out! #waynetoups #waynetoupsandzydecajun #zydecajun #piratefestival @buccaneerslc #pirateslifeforme #cajun #louisianatravel #louisiana ... See MoreSee Less

Wayne Toups is a Louisiana favorite son as well as a Pirate Festival tradition and he’s back this year! Ya ‘gotta check him out! #waynetoups #waynetoupsandzydecajun #zydecajun #piratefestival @buccaneerslc #pirateslifeforme #cajun #louisianatravel #louisiana

Tuesday February 11th, 2020 - 1:30 pm

Come on-you know you want to!
#festivalvendor #festivalseason #piratefestival #pirate #piratelife #festivalbooth #visitlakecharles
... See MoreSee Less

Come on-you know you want to!
#festivalvendor #festivalseason #piratefestival #pirate #piratelife #festivalbooth #visitlakecharles

Tuesday February 4th, 2020 - 6:11 pm

Please join us! #piratefestival #piratesofthecaribbean #pirates #piratelife #pirateslifeforme #jeanlafitte #lakecharleslouisiana ... See MoreSee Less

Please join us! #piratefestival #piratesofthecaribbean #pirates #piratelife #pirateslifeforme #jeanlafitte #lakecharleslouisiana

Comment on Facebook

So it's back to being open 2 weeks now? Last year it was only 1 week.

Jacob Mann

Amber Montano

Louisiana Pirate Festival is in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Sunday January 19th, 2020 - 1:20 am

Our Mayor walks the plank every year! He’s a good sport. #piratefestival #lakecharleslouisiana #walktheplank #lakecharlesmayor @ Lake Charles, Louisiana ... See MoreSee Less

Thursday January 9th, 2020 - 11:22 am

Are you interested in being a vendor for this fine festival? Just hop on over to worldwideweb at louisianapiratefestival dot com (also in heading above). Under the heading ‘Get Involved’ you will find the application. We are looking for pirate related item as well as other things. #piratefestival #piratefestivals #leathercraft #leatherwork #leathergoods #leatherworker #pirateflag #piratefashion #piratecostumes ... See MoreSee Less

Are you interested in being a vendor for this fine festival? Just hop on over to worldwideweb at louisianapiratefestival dot com (also in heading above). Under the heading ‘Get Involved’ you will find the application. We are looking for pirate related item as well as other things. #piratefestival #piratefestivals #leathercraft #leatherwork #leathergoods  #leatherworker  #pirateflag #piratefashion #piratecostumes

Wednesday January 1st, 2020 - 3:20 pm

#pirate festivals #visitlakecharles #piratelife #louisiana ... See MoreSee Less

Louisiana Pirate Festival is in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Saturday December 28th, 2019 - 11:52 am

Need to give our wenches a nod! Hope you can join us April 30 to May 10, 2020 for the Louisiana Pirate Festival! Check out our website www.louisianapiratefestival dot com. #piratefestival #lakecharleslouisiana #lakecharlesbuccaneers #pirateslife #visitlakecharles #wenchesforlife @ Lake Charles, Louisiana ... See MoreSee Less

Wednesday December 25th, 2019 - 1:17 pm

Merry Christmas to all!
#piratefestival #pirate #pirateslife #piratesgiveback #christmastraditions #lakecharlesbuccaneers #visitlakecharles
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Merry Christmas to all!
#piratefestival #pirate #pirateslife #piratesgiveback #christmastraditions #lakecharlesbuccaneers #visitlakecharles

Comment on Facebook

Merry Christmas

I pray yall will change the name back to Contraband Days, but maybe that's just me.

Monday December 23rd, 2019 - 7:18 pm

Pirates give back! Lake Charles Buccaneers with donations from members for deserving kids in the SW Louisiana area. #pirateslife #visitlakecharles #piratesgiveback #louisiana #lakecharlesbuccaneers #pirates #pirateslifeforme #piratefestival ... See MoreSee Less

Pirates give back! Lake Charles Buccaneers with donations from members for deserving kids in the SW Louisiana area.                                   #pirateslife #visitlakecharles #piratesgiveback #louisiana #lakecharlesbuccaneers #pirates #pirateslifeforme #piratefestival
Louisiana Pirate Festival is in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Tuesday December 17th, 2019 - 12:08 am

Some of our resident Pirates from the @buccaneerslc #buccaneersoflakecharles #pirateslife #visitlakecharles #louisianafestivals @ Lake Charles, Louisiana ... See MoreSee Less

Louisiana Pirate Festival updated their cover photo.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Saturday December 14th, 2019 - 12:28 pm

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Comment on Facebook

Love this picture! 🏴‍☠️👍🏻🏴‍☠️

Great gang of Lafittes!!

What a great picture!

Hell Yes!

Thursday December 12th, 2019 - 6:56 pm

We are so proud to announce... ... See MoreSee Less

We are so proud to announce...

Comment on Facebook

Awesome!! Now also bring back the Christian bands on Family/Prayer night too plz.

I'm glad y'all are going to do that. I can't wait to bring my kids.

So excited!

I so enjoyed these in the past. Miss my cajuns

I Agree, at least bring in some Good Bands and the Boat Races back. Back in the 80's and 90's when it was still Contraband Days, (Like it STILL should be) you couldn't hardly find a parking place near the Civic Center, not to mention a spot for your Boat along the Seawall. It was Great, that whole lake was full of boats. We had so much fun I would take a week Vacation between the 2 weekends. Bring back the Good Ole Days !!

That's definitely better. The last couple years have been a major disappointment.

That’s a start. Bring back that great parade that went down Ryan St.

Good news at last! Thank you.

Another words back to the way it was started.

It will always be Contraband Days to me.

Bed races and bathtub races

Now bring back some good bands.

Contraband Days!

Contraband days!

Contraband Days!!

Diane Mayes

👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙌🏻💕

Yes!

Contraband Days

Go back to Contraband Days if listening to the residents!!!

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Louisiana Pirate Festival is with Jimmy Bastow and Jayne Dotson Muzzy.
Louisiana Pirate Festival

Friday December 6th, 2019 - 9:39 am

Our pirates are involved year round in the community. Recently our support organization, the Buccaneers of Lake Charles, entertained and shared pirate loot at the Families Helping Families Christmas Party. What a great organization they are with their mission being helping our disabled citizens and their families. ... See MoreSee Less

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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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