LAFAYETTE, La. — Festival International de Louisiane announced on Wednesday plans to bring the community, and the world, together in a new way during Festival week from April 24-26 with a "Virtual Festival" celebration.
Organizers said the spirit of Festival Month will continue to be celebrated as it has been since 1987.
“We feel that the magic in the air during Festival International is a force that can not, and should not, be stopped,” said Carly Viator, marketing director of Festival International in a release. “Flags are still flying, and the playlist is still playing today. But, we wanted to create something special. We invite you all to join us in celebration from your own home and tune into our three-day Virtual Festival.”
Virtual Festival will allow fans to join in celebration, from their own homes, by tuning into curated shows via Facebook Live. The program’s schedule includes intimate concerts from international and local musicians, nostalgic, blast-from-the-past videos and an ‘International Collaborative Surprise’ that should not be missed.
Viator said plans also include ‘Fest Fan’ contests, limited-edition merchandise, donation opportunities and interactive experiences.
Acadiana Open Channel will also join the list of scheduled events and showcase its archived televised Festival footage from throughout the years. The full schedule and lineup for Virtual Festival will be out early next week, organizers say.
Festival also announced a Virtual 5K run, which aims to give runners a fun, physical goal to achieve, while also helping keep the festival alive.
Runners can choose their own race course as they practice social distancing.
Registrants get access to an exclusive, upbeat 5K playlist for their race day, plus a locally designed 5K T-shirt printed by Parish Ink. Run, walk, jog or bike in support of the #IRunForFestival mission. Registration is now open on Festival’s website.
Festival’s officials also stated that they have concluded that rescheduling Festival International to a fall date will not be feasible. They add that this news will not deter their momentum moving forward, as they keep the Festival spirit alive this month, while planning for a wonderful renaissance event next spring in 2021.
In support of local businesses, Festival says its website will provide a list of food vendors that will be open during Virtual Festival weekend, along with the art vendors’ websites and online shops.
Festival also said that by popular demand, Legends and Cafe 20.3 will be serving up Festival punch to-go, which will come with a set of complementary 2020 Festival souvenir cups. Both locations will have 2020 pins, posters and flags available for purchase.
For schedule updates and information on the Virtual Festival and Virtual 5K, visit www.festivalinternational.org or find them on Facebook.