From the festivals, to the attractions, to the wide open rice fields and crawfish ponds. Acadia Parish is a prime destination for visitors to get a unique Cajun Experience. Early in 2020, they were expecting another exciting year, but then the pandemic hit.
"It just like, stopped completely. Very few phone calls, very little traffic coming in, it was depessing, very depressing." Says Amy Mathiew, Acting Executive Director of the Acadia Parish Toursim Commission. She says they needed to go virtual to keep tourists engaged. Not just the ones from out of state, but locals too.
Mathiew adds, "We do have an ongoing event called T'Rouge Tuesday. We play a game, it's a crawfish, we have a picture taken and we have clues, and the first one who guesses, wins the T-Shirt!"
Valerie Hoffpauir, the tourism director for the City of Crowley thinks tourism is ready to explode. Even with the limitations, they were able to safely hold Christmas in Crowley.
Hoffpauir says, "It was huge, it was a huge turnout. It was for the kids, the kids needed to get out there and it was a big turnout."
And even if you grew up here, you still might not know everything about the town you live in! Hoffpauir adds, "City Hall, that's my office, we have local people walk in all the time and say, 'Is this a museum?' They live here and they don't even know."
Car shows and festivals in Acadia Parish are hopeful, but cautious. Mathiew says, "The Rayne Frog Festival, they're not sure if it's actually going to be having anything. And the Rice Festival is still too far way to actually say something."
And why is Acadia Parish so special?
Mathiew explains, "You go to your mom's and she cooks your favorite meals, you have that home and loving feeling. Everyone here is trying to give a little of themselves, and share. And they can tell their neighbors, then they can come!"