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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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Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 8:08 pm

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out and enjoyed our Pirate Festival. To the sponsors, vendors and entertainers we could not do it without you. See you in 2020! ... See MoreSee Less

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out and enjoyed our Pirate Festival. To the sponsors, vendors and entertainers we could not do it without you. See you in 2020!

Comment on Facebook

Is it open for Mother’s Day

Downward spiral in full effect, replace your board members & change the name back.....its not too late turn it around!

Thank you! Pirate festival for a great weekend

Thank you from kids n kream

Oh and that gorgeous game name 😂😂. A big thank you to him for being the eye candy of the night lol

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Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 6:36 pm

Almost time. ... See MoreSee Less

Almost time.

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 6:12 pm

What we are about! #AmericanProud ... See MoreSee Less

What we are about! #AmericanProud

Comment on Facebook

😂😂😂 she is going to laugh about this one

Wow she looks like she is having a blast 😂

Eating chips...😝

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Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 6:11 pm

It’s fun to be a kid at the festival! ... See MoreSee Less

It’s fun to be a kid at the festival!Image attachmentImage attachment

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 5:21 pm

Keeping you moving! ... See MoreSee Less

Keeping you moving!Image attachmentImage attachment

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 4:12 pm

Now that’s a front row view! ... See MoreSee Less

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 3:35 pm

We are flipping happy with today’s crowd! ... See MoreSee Less

We are flipping happy with today’s crowd!

Comment on Facebook

Thank you guys so much for allowing us to play Saturday night <3 we appreciate yall!

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 3:34 pm

We have choices on staying hydrated! ... See MoreSee Less

We have choices on staying hydrated!Image attachmentImage attachment

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 3:28 pm

Live music and some sun! Enjoy your Sunday! ... See MoreSee Less

Live music and some sun! Enjoy your Sunday!Image attachmentImage attachment

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 3:18 pm

Be sure to catch the last day of ourPirate Festival! ... See MoreSee Less

Be sure to catch the last day of ourPirate Festival!

Comment on Facebook

Only 455 miles....

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 3:13 pm

Sharing their treasures! ... See MoreSee Less

Sharing their treasures!

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 1:53 pm

A Louisiana Saturday night! ... See MoreSee Less

A Louisiana Saturday night!

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 12:48 pm

They have a really good view! #happyfeet ... See MoreSee Less

They have a really good view! #happyfeet

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 12:08 pm

Who is ready to make some memories? #food #family #fun #festival ... See MoreSee Less

Who is ready to make some memories? #food #family #fun #festival

Sunday May 5th, 2019 - 11:16 am

Last day so come out and play. Carnival special today is 4 for $40 ALL YOU CAN RIDE wristbands. Must have 4 people at purchase and 36' height rule will be endorsed. ... See MoreSee Less

Last day so come out and play. Carnival special today is 4 for $40 ALL YOU CAN RIDE wristbands. Must have 4 people at purchase and 36 height rule will be endorsed.

Comment on Facebook

Aleshea' Watts

How was the turn-out after the storm?

We went last night for the music and enjoyed it! We didn’t do anything at the carnival part except get food (which was yummy) but the music was amazing! We were there for Steven Simon and hung around to listen to a little Charlie Wayne LeBoeuf!

Is fire works tonight

Tony Schlesinger

I thought it last 2wks

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Saturday May 4th, 2019 - 10:46 pm

Where families have fun! ... See MoreSee Less

Where families have fun!

Saturday May 4th, 2019 - 10:45 pm

They charge people extra to buy a wristband to buy beer and drink it on civic center property. That’s tax payer property. They are already marking up 10 oz beers to 3$, don’t they think that’s enough profit already. Makes it hard to ever want to go to this festival again. ... See MoreSee Less

Saturday May 4th, 2019 - 10:24 pm

Live music now, and laser show coming up at 1030pm! ... See MoreSee Less

Live music now, and laser show coming up at 1030pm!

Comment on Facebook

Steven Simon

Thank you guys for letting us play Saturday night <3 I hope everyone enjoyed it!

Do you think one day you might actually bring music that people are more interested in? FYI just because we live in LA doesn't mean we're all interested in Zydeco!

Did the laser show ever happen?

When is the lazer light show?

Steven Simon!!!! 💗

Will we be able to see it from the lakeshore beach?

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Saturday May 4th, 2019 - 10:20 pm

We have something for everyone! ... See MoreSee Less

We have something for everyone!Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

2007

2019

2013

Cold corn dogs and cold nachos lol. And didn’t even have any blooming onions. What kinda scam is this

And u want some more feedback.... for starters if u gonna do Contraband Days for only 1week, u need to move it. You have the Tickfaw 200 and u also have something going on in the East Texas area going on during this weekend. Push our festival up a week where it would end on Mother's Day like it used to. All of the Texas boats would come in and all of ur locals would be here.

When is the next meeting for Contraband Days, I would like to attend

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Saturday May 4th, 2019 - 10:18 pm

Great turnout for Saturday night! #family #fun ... See MoreSee Less

Great turnout for Saturday night! #family #fun
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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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