When you make a list of all the unique things in Louisiana, you quickly see the long-lasting influences of our French, Spanish and African ancestry. Our past is well-preserved in our architecture, music, food and lifestyles—which include our amazing festivals—and of course in our museums of history and fine arts.
It is not an accident that Louisiana clings to the phrase “Laissez les bons temps rouler,” meaning “Let the good times roll”. Let yourself get lost in the traditions passed down through generations.
Here, in Louisiana, history and lore don’t merely live in books on a shelf; they’re reflected in our everyday lives.
It’s time for us to remind ourselves that Louisiana isn’t about catastrophes, Louisiana is about uniqueness and it looks like no other place in the United States.
Louisiana isn’t defined by the hurricanes, it has its own identity, a cultural identity that has last through the years, stood tall in front of every single vicissitude.
So, we made a (short) list of the unique things we have here, in Baton Rouge, think of it as a reminder of the things that will never fade, that make us unique, that make us – US, a cultural identity that will never be taken from us:
- Louisiana is the birthplace of Jazz. It’s home to some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, like Louis Armstrong who was born in New Orleans
- New Orleans has a lot of history: the St. Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans is the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world. It’s been running for over 150 years.
- Counties? Please. Louisiana is all about its “parishes”. Louisiana is one of only two states in the U.S. that does not use the term “counties” to describe political subdivisions.
- If you’re the kind of person who puts Tabasco sauce on everything, you have Louisiana to thank. It’s the birthplace of Tabasco sauce, first created in the 1860s on Avery Island, where it is still produced today.
- Louisiana cares: the state had the first charity hospital in America and its present charity hospital system is one of the most comprehensive in the U.S. today.
- A specific law was passed in Louisiana to penalize people who steal crawfish. So if you’re planning a crawfish heist, maybe you should reconsider.
- Crawfish are so ubiquitous in Louisiana that the people of Louisiana even make Crawfish Jelly. For serious. And the Crawfish Capital of the World, Breaux Bridge, hosts an annual Crawfish festival to celebrate all things crawfish.
- The infamous Lil’ Wayne was born in Louisiana.
- Britney Spears was born in Kentwood, LA. Their Welcome Center and Museum features an exhibit dedicated to Britney, complete with her albums, awards, and even some of her clothes.
- New Orleans knows a thing or two about alcohol. After all, it’ home to America’s first cocktail, the Sazerac.
- We have Mardi Gras, we think that enough said
- Speaking of Mardi Gras, an economic impact study released by the University of New Orleans estimates that Mardi Gras generates over $840 million annually.
- We have the best burgers and fries in the state. While Baton Rouge is ripe with Cajun food, we are famous for garlic fries, filet burgers, and turkey sliders
- A Carousel Like You’ve Never Seen. If shopping’s your thing, Baton Rouge has you covered. Mall of Louisiana is a shopping spree megaplex, but the real attraction is the carousel—the second largest indoor one in the world. In. The. World.
- There Is a Season Devoted to Cake. Carnival season in Louisiana is also King Cake season, and in many bakeries you can only get this delicious cinnamon cake right around Mardi Gras. Ambrosia Bakery is no exception, but when they’re baking King Cake, they’re baking Zulu King Cake—trademarked recipe complete with chocolate and coconuts.
THIS is Louisiana, and we love every single piece of it. It’s time to remind ourselves that we have a unique identity are we are not defined by the catastrophes. So, Let the good times roll!