Residents are becoming tourists in Louisiana’s “Main to Main”

If there was ever a time to road trip our culturally rich state, November is it.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism is encouraging locals and visitors to discover downtown communities throughout Louisiana in the month-long celebration “Main to Main.”

From cook-offs to historic walks and everything in between – main street communities highlight the uniqueness of their neighborhood, and how they evolved and adapted over time. Some continue to thrive, while others are in the midst of a renaissance.

According to the Louisiana Office of Tourism, our state currently has 35 designated main street communities: Abbeville, Bastrop, Bogalusa, Clinton, Columbia, Crowley, Denham Springs, DeRidder, Donaldsonville, Eunice, Franklin, Hammond, Homer, Houma, Kenner, Leesville, Minden, Monroe, Morgan City, Natchitoches, New Iberia, New Roads, Opelousas, Plaquemine, Ponchatoula, Ruston, St. Francisville, St. Martinville, Springhill, Winnsboro, and in New Orleans Broad Street, North Rampart Street, O.C. Haley Boulevard, Old Algiers, and St. Claude Avenue.

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Jay Dardenne, lieutenant governor of Louisiana says the campaign, ‘Destination Louisiana,’ is designed to encourage residents to go visit different parts of the state.

“We have 4.5 million ambassadors for Louisiana,” said Dardenne. “All Louisianan’s should be ambassadors for the state and talk to folks who they come in contact with about all the things to do here.”

Main street festivities are designed to reflect not only the neighborhoods history, but each’s unique eccentricities. Last weekend, downtown Eunice recreated ‘A Saturday in Eunice from days gone by’.

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Farmers Markets, arts and crafts and food vendors lined the streets, a vintage clothing exhibit was on display in downtown storefronts, and the finest Cajun bands were broadcasted live on radio and television.

This weekend, November 15, Central City Festival will block off Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, and the usual offerings of a New Orleans style festival will be found along the boulevard, including a historic home tour. Festivalgoers can also join entertainer Big Freedia, who will be leading a Guinness World Record attempt to create the most people twerking simultaneously.

Switching gears again, Railroad Avenue in Donaldsonville looks to the past on November 22. Festivities will involve a cultural walk through time that includes musicians and re-enactors. Locals and visitors are encouraged to immerse themselves in the experience by dressing up in costume that represents their favorite time in local history.

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Low-key options, such as movie nights, art exhibits, museum openings and historic landmark tours are open to the public as well in the various neighborhoods. 

Visit the Louisiana Office of Tourism website for a full listing of scheduled events http://www.crt.state.la.us/cultural-development/historic-preservation/main-street/louisiana-main-to-main/index

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