The Cajun Prairie
Perhaps no parish in Acadiana is more possessive of its heritage than Evangeline. Its citizens will tell you (seriously, but with a humorous touch, too) that they have the best gumbo, the best boudin (a sausage-like local favorite), and other Cajun delicacies. When it comes to Louisiana French country flavor, no parish surpasses this parish in the northwest corner of central Acadiana.
The entire Evangeline Parish area was once a “vacherie” (grazing land for cattle) for early French and Spanish settlers. Huge roundups were held yearly on this great open range. As settlers homesteaded the area, fences were built; and as the area became settled, small towns sprang up and extended through this area. The Old Spanish Trail from Louisiana to Texas wound its way through the vacherie, and traces of this ancient, sunken road may still be seen off Highway 167 and in the Chicot State Park area. By the 1700s, colonization was well under way.
Originally part of St. Landry Parish, in 1911 the area was separated from St. Landry and Evangeline Parish was created. It was named for the heroine in Longfellow’s famous poem and Ville Platte was named the parish seat. Ville Platte means “Flat Town” in French, and the town was so named because it was the first settlement on level land that stagecoach passengers reached when traveling south from the rolling hills of north Louisiana.
Abundance of Assets
An experienced labor force, readily available land for business relocation or expansion and a strong commitment to economic growth make Evangeline Parish and it’s communities a place that offers amazing potential for growth and success.
Strategic access to rail, commodity pipelines, Interstate 49 and US Highway 167 are a unique draw for national and international companies, such as Union Tank, Cameron Valves & Measurement and Cabot Corporation.
Evangeline Ward One Industrial Park Expansion
This 96.5 acre site consists of 2 adjacent tracts measuring 62.1 acres and 34.4 acres. The site holds certification by McCallum Sweeney Consulting and Louisiana Economic Development.
The Cajun Prairie
There’s always something interesting, fun or exciting going on in Evangeline Parish. We love sharing our sense of community and fondness for food and Cajun music with our friends and neighbors.
Le Tournoi De La Ville Platte
This event is a tournament or joust, originally held in France. Its introduction here in the 1800s is credited to Major Marcellin Garand, known as the founder of Ville Platte. Garand had served in the French Army and in Napoleon’s Army as an adjutant general. The Tournoi was run until the late 1890s. It was revived in 1952 by a group of veterans as part of its July 4th celebration and continues to be held. The Tournoi, which means “tournament” in French, is run on horseback and requires speed, agility and accuracy on the part of both the rider and his mount. The rider carries a long, slender lance which he uses to put through each of seven small suspended iron rings (representing the seven enemies of cotton) as he races his horse around a quarter-mile circular track. Riders make three rounds of heats to decide the champion.
Courier De Mardi Gras a Cheval (Mardi Gras Run on Horseback)
Mamou is the site of this Cajun country-style Mardi Gras celebration. Riders dressed in colorful costumes ride on horseback throughout the countryside, collecting chickens and sausage and other “fixings” for the traditional gumbo served during the fais do do that night.
Chicot State Park
Located four miles north of Ville Platte, Chicot is Louisiana’s premier state park, its largest and finest! The park covers 6,000 acres of rolling hills and includes a fish-rich 2,000-acre reservoir filled with largemouth bass, crappie, blue gill and red-ear sunfish. Picnicking, swimming in the Olympic-sized pool, hiking, bicycling and birding are popular activities. Camping is available within the park and nature/hiking/backpacking trails encircle the lake, playgrounds and pavilions.
Louisiana State Arboretum
Established in 1961, the Arboretum was the first such area in the South and the first state-supported arboretum in the United States. The Arboretum is the home of a magnificent mature beech-magnolia forest and features an outdoor classroom and several miles of nature trails with labeled plant life native to Louisiana. Individuals can tour the 600-acre site on quiet, tree-shaded pathways that wind across ravines and over rustic bridges, past centuries-old beech, magnolia, oak and ash.
Crooked Creek Recreation Area
This piney woods area in the northern part of the parish features a 400-acre lake with boat launch for boating, fishing, skiing, a swimming beach, fishing pier, camping area, nature trail and picnic area.
Evangeline Parish Partners
Industrial Development Board No. 1
Evangeline Chamber of Commerce/Evangeline Parish Tourism
Along the Cajun Prairie in the southern part of Louisiana exists a tiny piece of heaven where neighbors still visit, call each other “Chere”. Residents are proud to speak French…as Evangeline Parish speaks more French on a daily business basis than all the other parishes in Louisiana.