Lake Charles, Louisiana

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Lake Charles
—  City  —
Clockwise from left: Downtown Lake Charles; Lakefront Promenade; I-210 Bridge over the Calcasieu River; McNeese State University entrance plaza.
Nickname(s): The Lake Area
Location of Louisiana in USA
Location of Lake Charles in Louisiana, within United States.
Coordinates: 30°12′53″N 93°12′31″W / 30.21472°N 93.20861°W / 30.21472; -93.20861Coordinates: 30°12′53″N 93°12′31″W / 30.21472°N 93.20861°W / 30.21472; -93.20861
CountryUnited States
FoundedMarch 7, 1861 as Charleston
RenamedMarch 16, 1867 as Lake Charles
FounderCharles Sallier
Named forCharles Sallier
 • MayorRandy Roach (D)
 • City Council[1]
 • Downtown Development Authority[2]
 • City42.5 sq mi (110 km2)
 • Land40.2 sq mi (104 km2)
 • Water2.4 sq mi (6 km2)
Elevation13 ft (4 m)
Population (2010)
 • City71,993
 • Density1,700/sq mi (650/km2)
 • Urban132,977
 • Metro194,138
DemonymLake Charlesian
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CST (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes70601, 70602, 70605, 70606, 70607, 70609, 70615, 70616, 70629
Area Code337
Twin cities
 • Perpignan[3]France
 • Sioux City, Iowa[4]United States
 • Cobh[5]Ireland
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Lake Charles
—  City  —
Clockwise from left: Downtown Lake Charles; Lakefront Promenade; I-210 Bridge over the Calcasieu River; McNeese State University entrance plaza.
Nickname(s): The Lake Area
Location of Louisiana in USA
Location of Lake Charles in Louisiana, within United States.
Coordinates: 30°12′53″N 93°12′31″W / 30.21472°N 93.20861°W / 30.21472; -93.20861Coordinates: 30°12′53″N 93°12′31″W / 30.21472°N 93.20861°W / 30.21472; -93.20861
CountryUnited States
FoundedMarch 7, 1861 as Charleston
RenamedMarch 16, 1867 as Lake Charles
FounderCharles Sallier
Named forCharles Sallier
 • MayorRandy Roach (D)
 • City Council[1]
 • Downtown Development Authority[2]
 • City42.5 sq mi (110 km2)
 • Land40.2 sq mi (104 km2)
 • Water2.4 sq mi (6 km2)
Elevation13 ft (4 m)
Population (2010)
 • City71,993
 • Density1,700/sq mi (650/km2)
 • Urban132,977
 • Metro194,138
DemonymLake Charlesian
Time zoneCST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CST (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes70601, 70602, 70605, 70606, 70607, 70609, 70615, 70616, 70629
Area Code337
Twin cities
 • Perpignan[3]France
 • Sioux City, Iowa[4]United States
 • Cobh[5]Ireland

Lake Charles (French: Lac Charles) is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Founded in 1861 in Calcasieu Parish, it is a major cultural, industrial, and educational center in the southwest region of the state, and one of the most important in Acadiana.

As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,993.[6] Lake Charles is the principal city of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area, having a population of 194,138.[7] It is the larger principal city of the Lake Charles-Jennings Combined Statistical Area, with a population of 225,235. A 2010 population estimate of the five parish area was over 292,619.[8]

It is considered a major center of petrochemical refining, tourism, gaming, and education, being home to McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College. Because of the lakes and waterways throughout the city, metropolitan Lake Charles is often referred to as the Lake Area.



Ryan Street in Lake Charles, 1903.

In 1781 Martin LeBleu and his wife, Dela Marion, of Bordeaux, France were the first recorded Europeans to settle in the area now known as the LeBleu Settlement. Charles Sallier, one of the first settlers, married LeBleu's daughter, Catherine LeBleu; the Salliers built their home on the beach in what is current-day Lake Charles. On March 7, 1861, Lake Charles was officially incorporated as the town of Charleston, Louisiana.[9] Six years after the city was incorporated, dissatisfaction over the name Charleston arose; on March 16, 1867, Charleston, Louisiana, was renamed and incorporated as the town of Lake Charles. In 1910, a great fire, known as the Great Fire of 1910 devastated much of the city. However, Lake Charles soon rebuilt itself and continued to grow and expand. After World War II, Lake Charles experienced industrial growth with the onset of the petrochemical refining industries. The city grew to a high of some 80,000 people in the early 1980s, but with local economic recession, the population declined. With the advent of the gaming and aviation maintenance industries, the city rebounded with a population of 71,993 as of 2010.


Henderson Bayou

Lake Charles, located at 30°12′53″N 93°12′31″W / 30.21472°N 93.20861°W / 30.21472; -93.20861 (30.214656, -93.208537)[10] on a level plain about 30 miles (48 km) from the Gulf of Mexico, has an elevation of 13 feet (4.0 m)[11], and is located on the banks of the Calcasieu River in southwestern Louisiana. It borders both Lake Charles and Prien Lake. Contraband Bayou, Henderson Bayou, and English Bayou flow through the city. Oak trees and pine trees dot the landscape, as the lumber industry, once the main economic engine of the area, can attest to. The Calcasieu Ship Channel, which allows large ocean-going vessels to sail up from the Gulf, also borders the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau,[12] the city has a total area of 42.06 square miles (108.9 km2).


Climate data for Lake Charles, Louisiana
Record high °F (°C)87
Average high °F (°C)60.6
Average low °F (°C)41.2
Record low °F (°C)12
Precipitation inches (mm)5.52
Source: NWS Lake Charles Office[13]


As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,993.[6] In 2010,[12] the population density was 1,711.8 people per square mile (689.7/km²). There were 32,469 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was:

There were 28,228 households, out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.13.

In 2010,[14] the population was spread out with 27% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 20 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 25% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. The percentage of males was 45.7% versus 54.3% for females.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,001. The per capita income for the city was $22,855. 20.9% of the population was below the poverty line.


Industry and manufacturing

Thousands in the Lake Area are employed by the petro-chemical refineries located across the river near Sulphur and Westlake.[15] Some of the corporations with facilities in or around the city include Sasol North America, PPG Industries, ConocoPhillips, and Citgo Petroleum Corporation. The Trunkline LNG terminal, immediately southwest of Lake Charles, is one of the United States' few liquified natural gas terminals. It has facilities for LNG receipt, storage, and re-gasification. Lake Charles Cogeneration, a subsidiary of Leucadia National, began construction of a $1.6 billion petroleum coke gasification plant in early 2009.[16]

Manufacturing has been achieving economic success in the area in order to diversify the economic base of the city. Chennault International Airport hosts Aeroframe, which services airplanes, and a Northrop Grumman facility. Louisiana Geothermal of Lake Charles will begin construction of a geothermal electric plant.[17] Aeroframe recently announced it will add over 300 aerospace jobs at Chennault,[18] and has announced that it will locate its global corporate headquarters to Lake Charles.[19] The Shaw Group has built a large manufacturing facility which manufactures parts for nuclear power plants. The company has assured the city and residents that nuclear material and radioactive waste are not involved at the facility. Shaw employs over one thousand workers when at full capacity.[20]

Commerce and retail

Downtown Lake Charles, with the Capital One Tower to the left.

Lake Charles serves as the shopping and retail hub of the five-parish area. It supports many small businesses, especially along Ryan Street and throughout downtown. The Cottage Shop District, located three miles (5 km) south of downtown, supports approximately a dozen small businesses.[21] Prien Lake Mall, which serves nearly 300,000 people, is located right off of Interstate 210 and is anchored by four department stores: Dillard's, Sears, Kohl's, and JCPenney. It has over 80 specialty shops. Retailers include Talbots, Gap, Aéropostale, Bath & Body Works, American Eagle, Buckle, and Hollister. The Cinemark movie theatre, which is designed with a 1930s look, provides stadium seating with all digital technology.

The Lake Charles Power Center, located off of Interstate 210 and Highway 14, is a newer and growing shopping area that has 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of shopping space.[22] It offers Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Home Depot, Office Depot, Lowe's, United Artists movie theatre, Academy Sports, Michaels, Old Navy, Shoe Carnival, Outback Steakhouse, Logan's Roadhouse, Carino's Italian Grill, Tequila's Mexican restaurant, and two Japanese steakhouses: Kyoto and Fuji.

L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort offers retail options, including specialized stores and several upscale clothing boutiques.[23]

Healthcare and medicine

Lake Charles is home to a growing medical community. It is served by five hospitals: Christus St. Patrick Hospital, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, W. O. Moss Regional Hospital, Women and Children's Hospital, and Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women, which is located in a growing area of the city. Many specialized doctors' offices and medical clinics have located along the recently-renamed Dr. Michael E. DeBakey Drive, named after the world-renowned surgeon who was born and raised in Lake Charles. In addition, McNeese State University's Nursing program is a nationally recognized program with many nursing graduates employed at area hospitals.


Universities and colleges

Entrance Plaza and Shearman Fine Arts Center at McNeese State University.

Lake Charles is home to McNeese State University [1], a four-year public university in the University of Louisiana System. McNeese is located on a 121-acre (0.49 km2) main campus lined with live oak trees in the heart of Lake Charles. The Contraband Bayou flows through the campus. McNeese offers over 80 majors, and includes the colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Science, Honors College, and the Doré School of Graduate Studies. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[24] Other properties include a 65-acre (260,000 m2) athletic plant and student apartment complex, the Louisiana Environmental Research Center, Burton Coliseum, the 503-acre (2.04 km2) MSU Farm, and nearly 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of donated farm property used for research, farming, and ranching.[25] Over 8,500 students attend the university.[26]

Also located within the city is Sowela Technical Community College [2], which offers associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificate programs, as well as general education courses that can transfer to four-year universities. It is accredited by the Commission on Occupational Education Institutions of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[27] Finally, Delta School of Business and Technology [3] specializes in vocational courses.


The city's first library opened in 1904, and was financed by Andrew Carnegie.[28] Located downtown, it is named the Carnegie Memorial Library; it also houses the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library. Lake Charles is also home to Epps Memorial Library in north Lake Charles, and Central Library located off of Ernest Street. The Calcasieu Parish Public Library [4] has thirteen locations throughout Calcasieu Parish.[29] McNeese State University's Frazar Memorial Library is four stories and contains over 400,000 volumes.[30]

Public education

Lake Charles' public schools are operated by the Calcasieu Parish Public School System. There are a number of private schools located in the city as well.


L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort. At 26 stories, it is the tallest building between Houston and Baton Rouge.

Lake Charles has a strong Cajun culture because of its location in south Louisiana. Many festivals are held at the Civic Center. The most popular, Contraband Days, is hosted on the Civic Center grounds and lakefront. The city has its own symphony orchestra, the Lake Charles Symphony. It was founded in 1938 and hosts concerts at the Rosa Hart Theatre,[31] which has a capacity of over 2,000.[32] Lake Charles has a large arts community with over seventy arts and cultural organizations facilitating arts events and cultural programming throughout the year. The city is also home to two cultural districts—the Charlestown Cultural District and the Cottage Shops Cultural District—which allow the sale of tax-free original artwork to help encourage local artists to produce and sell work. The cultural economy in Lake Charles, which spurs economic development through increased tourism and visibility through arts events, continues to grow as downtown and lakefront development progresses and as more platforms for producing and performing are made available for the city's infrastructure of individual artists.

Nightlife and entertainment

A burgeoning nightlife is one cultural facet of the city. Lake Charles is the festival capital of the state and is also home to many popular arts events, including CultureFest, Black Heritage Festival, Live @ the Lakefront Music Festival, Rouge et Blanc, Downtown at Sundown Concert Series, Arts & Crabs Fest, and many more.[33] L'Auberge du Lac also has its own nightlife with its Jack Daniel's Bar and Grill.[34] Ryan Street in the historic downtown area is known for its restaurants and bars such as Luna's Bar and Grill, Sha Sha's Creole Restaurant, Happy Hippie Pizza, and Pujo Street Cafe. Other popular bars throughout the area include Cowboys, Yesterdays, Buffalo Wild Wings, Micci's, and Frosty Factory.

L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort is a 26-story hotel with nearly 1000 guest rooms; it is the tallest building between Houston and Baton Rouge.[35] The resort includes a spa, two heated swimming pools and a lazy river, restaurants, gift shops, and the Contraband Bayou Golf Club at L'Auberge, which is an 18 hole public golf course designed by Tom Fazio.[36] The resort also provides a venue for popular entertainers, such as Gretchen Wilson, Willie Nelson, Wayne Newton, Bill Cosby, Jay Leno, The Beach Boys, Merle Haggard, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, and Loretta Lynn have entertained at the L'Auberge Event center. During the summer, Parties by the Pool[37] bring in thousands of people across the area.

Arts & Culture

The Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center.
Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu.

Lake Charles is home to several prominent museums and art galleries, and the city's art scene has boomed in the past few years with a centralized focus on the sale of local art, the initiation of new arts events, and an investment in downtown revitalization. The Central School Arts and Humanities Center is located in the historic Charpentier District and owned by the City of Lake Charles and managed by the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, which is a regional arts agency serving the five parish area that distributes grants, coordinates arts events and arts education programs, and represents the arts and cultural sectors of Southwest Louisiana for the state ( Central School was built in 1912 and operated as an elementary school until it was abandoned in the 1980s. During the early 1990s, the City of Lake Charles passed a half cent sales tax to fund efforts to completely renovate the building and turn it into the arts center it is today. Central School features the Black Heritage Art Gallery, which is on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail as well as the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, which features extravagant costumes and an interactive float. The museum features the largest collection of Mardi Gras memorabilia in the South.[38] Art Associates Gallery, Studio 347 Gallery, the Lake Charles Symphony, Lake Charles Community Band, the Literacy Council of SWLA, and several other studios are also housed at Central School.

The Children's Museum of Lake Charles [5] caters to children as a learning center. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum, the largest museum in Lake Charles, [6] features a permanent historic exhibit with artifacts and an art gallery.[39] Its grounds are home to the Sallier oak tree, which is over 400 years old.[40] The Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center is used as exhibition space; many moving art exhibits are displayed at this public art gallery each month.[41] It also hosts the Charlestown Farmers' Market, which provides a venue for local farmers and merchants to sell goods.[42]

McNeese State University produces The Banners Series, which includes a series of various musical and theatrical performances throughout the year. Banners also hosts lectures from notable persons and academics each year. In addition, The Lake Charles Little Theatre, The Artists Civic Theatre and Studio (ACTS) Theatre and The Children's Theatre Company provide excellent theater with local talent.

Sports and recreation

Cowboy Stadium.

Lake Charles is home to the McNeese Cowboys, whose football team hosts games at Cowboy Stadium which has a seating capacity of 17,410.[43] It is also home to the Louisiana Swashbucklers, who play games at Sudduth Coliseum downtown.[44] Burton Coliseum hosts the Cowboys' basketball teams. Golf is popular at the city's Mallard Cove Golf Course. Four other golf courses are played by many residents and visitors: Gray Plantation Golf Course, Lake Charles Country Club Golf Course, Pine Shadows Golf Course, and the Contraband Bayou Golf Club at L'Auberge du Lac. Gray Plantation Golf Course is featured on Louisiana's Audubon Golf Trail.[45] The city has 31 parks, many of which include playground equipment, athletic facilities, and walking paths.[46] Shiver-Me-Timbers Millenium Park, located downtown, was built entirely by volunteers in 2000 (suspected arson fire burned park, but it is scheduled to be rebuilt). Adventure Cove, a state-of-the-art park, was also built by volunteers, and is specifically designed for handicapped children.[47] The South Lake Charles Little League has had nationally-winning teams televised on ESPN. Hunting and fishing are popular with both residents and visitors to the Lake Area.[48] An All-American Road, the Creole Nature Trail - Louisiana's Outback - brings tourists to parts of Lake Charles and throughout Southwest Louisiana.

Government and politics

The 14th Judicial District Courthouse, located in downtown Lake Charles.

The City of Lake Charles is governed by a mayor-council form of government. The elected officials include the Mayor, the Clerk of Court, and seven City Council members. Each council member represents a particular district within the city limits. One council member is elected president and presides over each meeting. The mayor serves a four-year term. The current mayor is Randy Roach, who has been serving since 2001.[49] Non-elected members include the City Attorney, who is appointed by the mayor.

The Lake Charles Police Department provides law enforcement and protection for the city. The Police Chief is appointed for a six-year term,[50] and the Fire Chief is appointed as well.[51] The Lake Charles Fire Department consists of eight fire stations with fifteen fire companies.[52] McNeese State University also has its own security, the McNeese Police Department.[53]

The Lake Charles City Court's jurisdiction covers all within the city limits as well as Ward 3 in Calcasieu Parish.[54] The Fourteenth Judicial District Court, located in downtown Lake Charles, covers Calcasieu Parish and includes nine judges who preside over family, juvenile, civil, and criminal trials.[55] Lake Charles is home to a United States District Court, located downtown.[56] The Third Circuit Court of Appeals is headquartered in the city.[57]

Lake Charles is served by Charles Boustany of Louisiana's 7th congressional district, which covers much of southern Louisiana. Much of the city is represented by Senator Willie Mount of District 27 in the Louisiana State Senate; however, Dan Morrish's District 25 includes some neighborhoods of south Lake Charles.

Mayors of Lake Charles: Randy Roach 2000–Present; Rodney Geyen (Interim Mayor) 1999 - 2000; Willie Landry Mount 1993 - 1999; James Sudduth 1989 - 1993 (second term); Edward S. Watson 1985 - 1989; Paul Savoie 1981 - 1985; William (Bill) E. Boyer 1973 - 1981; James Sudduth 1965 - 1973 (first term); Alfred E. Roberts 1961 - 1965; Sidney L. Gray 1953 - 1961; Thomas Cameron Price 1945 - 1953; Jack H. Handley 1936 - 1945; J. A. Trotti 1933 - 1936 (second term); Leon Locke 1929 - 1933; Henry J. Geary 1925 - 1929; Josh A. Trotti 1917 - 1925 (first term); George L. Riling 1913 - 1916; C. Brent Richard 1909 - 1913; Charles H. Winterhaler 1903 - 1909; John H. Poe 1901 - 1903; James P. Geary 1899 - 1900; Pat Crowley 1893 - 1899; Alexander L. Reid 1888 - 1892; Adolph Meyer 1874 - 1888; A.H. Moss 1873 -1874; John A. Spence 1871 - 1873; James W. Bryan 1868 - 1871.



Lake Charles has several publications in circulation. The most widely distributed, daily newspaper is The American Press. Other popular periodicals include Lagniappe Magazine, The Times of Southwest Louisiana, The Jambalaya News, Gumbeaux Magazine, and Thrive magazine. Thrive magazine is currently expanding into television.[58] The Contraband is McNeese State University's student newspaper.


Major television network affiliates serving the city include:


Call LettersFrequencyCity of LicenseFormat
KRVS88.7Lafayette & Lake CharlesPublic Radio (NPR)
KYLC90.3Lake CharlesReligious
KOJO91.1Lake CharlesReligious
KBAN91.5Lake CharlesReligious
KTSR92.1DeQuincyMainstream Top-40
KHLA92.9JenningsFun Radio (70's & 80s)
KYKZ96.1Lake CharlesCountry
EGHMEric Scott Radio (Online Only)Lake CharlesVariety Top-40
KQLK97.9DeridderRhythmic Top-40
KNGT99.5Lake CharlesCountry
KELB (LP)100.5Lake CharlesReligious
W252AQ98.3Lake CharlesReligious (Family Radio)
KBIU103.3Lake CharlesJACK-FM
KZWA104.9Moss BluffUrban Contemporary
KJMH107.5Lake ArthurUrban
KEZM1310 AMSulphurSports
KAOK1400 AMLake CharlesNews & Sports Talk
KXZZ1580 AMLake CharlesSoul



Israel LaFleur Bridge
Calcasieu River Bridge

The city's streets are laid out primarily in a grid pattern. Interstate 10 passes through Lake Charles, connecting the city with Houston to the west and New Orleans to the east. The Calcasieu River Bridge goes over part of the lake, and the Calcasieu River. Featuring decorative guns on the railing, it is 135 feet (41 m) high. About 50,000 vehicles pass over it daily.[59] Despite its age of over 50 years, it is considered safe by the Louisiana DOTD.[60]

Interstate 210 is an interstate highway bypass that loops through the southern portion of the city. The curving Israel LaFleur Bridge goes over the Calcasieu Ship Channel. This bridge has a 96% rating even after withstanding recent hurricanes. The loop has served Lake Charles commuters for 40 years, and carries about 40,000 vehicles per day.[61] Its ten exits and the seven exits of I-10 drastically lower the commute time.[62]

Other major highways include U.S. Highway 90, which runs parallel with Interstate 10, and U.S. Highway 171, which connects the city to the north with Moss Bluff, DeRidder, and Shreveport. Highway 165, which runs northeast to Alexandria terminates at Highway 90 just a few miles east of the city. Louisiana Highway 14 ends at a junction with Highway 90, and runs south then east of the city. Another major thoroughfare is Ryan Street, running north to south connecting downtown to the southern portions of the city.


Lake Charles Regional Airport terminal.

Lake Charles is served by two airports. Lake Charles Regional Airport,[63] located south of the city, provides commercial airline service to Houston and Dallas. Chennault International Airport,[64] while a fully operational airport, is an industrial and maintenance center. The latter airport, a former Strategic Air Command US Air Force base during the Cold War, is named for Maj. Gen. Claire Chennault, the aviator famous for commanding the Flying Tigers fighter group during World War II.


The Port of Lake Charles[65] is the twelfth-largest seaport in the United States, the fourth-largest liner service seaport in the U.S. Gulf, and a major West Gulf container load center. The City Docks in Lake Charles are the main hub of shipping activity. The Calcasieu Ship Channel provides direct access to the Gulf of Mexico 34 miles (55 km) downstream. The ship channel, which has a projected depth of 40 feet (12 m) and a bottom width of 400 feet (120 m), intersects the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway just north of Calcasieu Lake. The Port itself creates over 10,000 direct jobs, and is a major economic engine of Lake Charles.[66] The Port leases industrial properties in other areas of the parish as well.

Public transportation

The City of Lake Charles has an operating bus system, Lake Charles Transit, which currently provides five routes throughout the city.[67] Lake Charles also has its own Greyhound bus station. Its Amtrak station, which serves the Sunset Limited route, is located near Interstate 10.


Electrical needs are provided by the energy company Entergy. The city provides drinking water and sewage service to residents within city limits. Water is treated at six water treatment facilities in the city.[68]


Christianity is the predominant religion in the Lake Area. Roman Catholicism is the largest individual denomination, claiming about 50% of the population. Lake Charles is also home to various Protestant Christian denominations, the largest being the Southern Baptist congregation with 30%.[69] There are also religious communities from other faiths such as Islam and Judaism.

Festivals and holidays

Contraband Days

Lake Charles Boardwalk.

Contraband Days is a twelve-day annual festival held during the first two weeks of May. The celebrations are filled with savory Cajun food, family fun, and live entertainment, including several national acts. The festival is attended by more than 200,000 people, making it one of the largest celebrations in Louisiana. In a reference to the legends of piracy on the lake and Contraband Bayou, the festival begins when the pirate Jean Lafitte[9] and his crew capture the city and force the mayor to walk the plank.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras in Lake Charles has a colorful history dating back to 1882, when Momus, King of Mardi Gras, landed his royal yacht at the foot of Pujo Street downtown. Throughout the two World Wars, Mardi Gras was downsized which led to a lack of participation by the area's youth. However, an interest to redevelop the festivities arose, and the first Mardi Gras Ball in Lake Charles was staged in 1964. The full revival of Mardi Gras in Lake Charles was not realized until 1979, when several Krewe captains formed the "Krewe of Krewes", with the primary purpose of parading and promoting Mardi Gras for local residents. In 1985, Mardi Gras of Imperial Calcasieu, Inc. was formed by a group of civic-minded volunteers to further aid in the preservation of this festival.[70] Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, which regularly draws in crowds of 150,000, was recently named a Top 100 Event by the American Bus Association.[71]

Other festivals

Cultural references


When I get off of this mountain, you know where I want to go? /

Straight down the Mississippi river, to the Gulf of Mexico. / To Lake Charles, Louisiana / little Bessie, girl that I once knew.



Sister cities

See also


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  5. ^ - Roach signs sister-city pact with Cobh, Ireland (5/24)
  6. ^ a b "Census 2010 Data for the State of Louisiana" (place list), US Census Bureau, February 2011, webpage: C2010-LA.
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  9. ^ a b Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Lake Charles Historical Marker".
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
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  16. ^ KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana |$1.6 Billion Petroleum Coke Gasification Plant Gets Funding
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  49. ^ Retrieved March 31, 2010
  50. ^ Retrieved April 1, 2010
  51. ^ Retrieved April 1, 2010
  52. ^ Retrieved May 2, 2010
  53. ^ Retrieved September 9, 2010
  54. ^ Retrieved April 3, 2010
  55. ^ Retrieved April 3, 2010
  56. ^ Retrieved May 26, 2010
  57. ^ Retrieved May 26, 2010
  58. ^ Retrieved August 2, 2010
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  61. ^ - I-210 (CalcRiverBr. - I-10).pdf
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  72. ^ Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  73. ^ List of films in Lake Charles, Louisiana
  74. ^ Blue Vinyl (2002 film)
  75. ^ Mercy (2006 film)
  76. ^ Good Boy (2009 film)
  77. ^ Sioux City Sister-City
  78. ^ Sister City directory

External links