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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.
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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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