PHOTO CAPTION: Essense After Dark - After the evening concerts, festival-goers can attend after hours comedy shows, live podcasts, and underground performances (Source: essence.com)
Festivals have become a bigger and bigger draw to tourists coming into Louisiana. Festival attendance by “out of towners” was 2.8 million people in 2017, up 2% from 2012.
Paul Arrigo is the CEO of Visit Baton Rouge. He believes festivals are usually a trip enhancer for people coming to Baton Rouge for other reasons.
“When you’re in Louisiana, food, culture, and history, those kind of stand out, but [a festival] certainly is a reason why people come to Baton Rouge, why people come to Louisiana, and what people enjoy about their stay in our community," said Arrigo.
Where else in the world can you go catch a frog at the Frog Festival and then that night, eat frog legs? Each [festival] has a special flavor, but what they all have is incredible people that have a love and passion for the culture, their community, and their food, and that’s what makes [festivals] special." -Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.
Children enjoy a frog jumping competition at the Rayne Frog Festival (Source: Rayne Frog Festival Facebook page)
Festivals are a good moneymaker for many metro areas and smaller communities as well, and they come in many different sizes. Some are small, producing estimated economic impacts of around $150,000, while some are large, like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Essence Festival, which each produce roughly $300 million in economic impact to the greater New Orleans area.