From bayous to prairies and buggies to frogs, Acadia Parish has so much to offer! KATC’s Dave Baker takes a Dave Trip to his first home in Acadiana.
Acadia parish could have been Nicholls Parish if the original bill from 1886 had held.
It was the bill that created a new parish from a part of St. Landry. Father Joseph Anthonioz, a priest in Rayne, is credited for the name suggestion Acadia which derived from the former French colony in Canada.
Crowley is the largest city in the parish and also the center for parish government. It’s home to over 13,000 people. It’s known as the Rice Capital of the world and holds the annual Rice Festival in October, one of the oldest agriculture festivals in the state. A planned community developed by CC and WW Duson and named after Pat Crowley an Irish railroad owner. At one time the first national bank was the tallest building between New Orleans and Houston.
The city of Rayne was the runner up for parish seat back in the day. The community boasts a population of just over 8,000. Beautiful murals and frog statues are everywhere. It’s home to the unusual St. Joseph’s Cemetery where burials face north-south. Served by the railroad, and made famous by Jacques Weil and his brothers, shipping frog legs to high-end restaurants in New York and Paris. Restaurant menus boasted that the frog legs were from Rayne, The Frog Capital of the World! Today, it’s home to the annual Frog Festival that takes place each May.
Church Point is another community. It was established by burning underbrush, some that contained persimmon. The Jesuits established a church known in English as the “Church at the point of the burnt persimmon” later shortened to Church Point. It wasn’t until 1873 that a post office was established making it an official community. Today Church Point is a town of about 4500 famous for the Buggy Festival and the Courir de Mardi Gras.
You can find the communities of Iota, knows as the small town with a big heart and a much bigger Mardi Gras celebration. It’s the home of the Bulldogs and KATC’s Katie Lopez. Take a slow ride along the bayou in Estherwood, and do some fishing in Mermentau. Other communities such as Morse, Lyons Point, Mire and Maxie. Robert’s Cove comes alive for the Germanfest in October. While Richard is the home of the Cajun Saint.
For more on what Acadia Parish has to offer, visit the acadiatourism.org.