SWLA Weekend Guide

(SOURCE: Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival)
(SOURCE: Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival)

The Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival has docked in Lake Charles and will remain in the downtown area until May 12. Other Lake Charles events going on this weekend will include a performance of "The Hobbit" by the Children's Theatre Company, the Wild Beast Feast hosted by the Lake Charles Symphony and the McNeese Jazz Festival. Elsewhere in and around Southwest Louisiana, there is much to look forward to: MayFest in Leesville, the 2013 Treasure Fest and Downtown at Sundown in DeRidder, and the "Freedom Lies Here" exhibit at the Joseph Sisters Gallery in Leesville.

Here are your highlights for the weekend and beyond:

Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival events:

Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival: through May 12 in downtown Lake Charles. The event will feature the Walking of the Plank by the Lake Charles Mayor, the 15th Annual Contraband Days Car Show, a pirogue building contest, a barbecue cook-off, carnival rides, a fireworks display and a boat parade. A full schedule of events and performances can be found HERE. Admission to the festival is $5 per day for adults and free for children ages 5 and under. Festival passes may be purchased HERE. There is also a $2 daily parking fee for festival attendees. For more information, click HERE.

Spike and Splash: May 4-5 at the I-10 North Beach in Lake Charles. Watercross racing will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The beach volleyball tournament will occur Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For the full schedule of events, click HERE.

The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge: May 10-11 at the Lake Charles Civic Center in conjunction with Contraband Days. The event is free for participants with paid admission to Contraband Days, and the competition is open to current or retired firefighters. Participants can compete was individuals, in tandem (teams of 2) or as a relay team of 3-5 firefighters. Individual races will begin Friday at 5:30 p.m., and tandem and relay races will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. For more information about the challenge course, including registration and rules, go to www.firefighterchallenge.com.

Contraband Days Regatta: May 11 with registration being held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and the races being held from 10 to 10:30 a.m. and 2 to 1:30 p.m. at the Lake Charles Yacht Club, located at 1305 N. Lakeshore Dr. There is a $25 registration fee for race participants. For more information, contact Ship to Shore at 337-474-0730.

Lake Charles:

"Hot L. Baltimore": May 4 and 10-11 at 7:30 p.m. and April 28 and May 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. at the Lake Charles Little Theatre, located at 813 Enterprise Blvd. in Lake Charles. Tickets are available at the door and are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students with a student ID. For more information, call 337-433-7988 or visit www.thelclt.com.

"The Hobbit": May 4-5 at the Central School of the Arts and Humanities Center, located at 809 Kirby St. in Lake Charles. Admission is $13 for children ages 12 and under and $15 for adults ages 13 and older. For more information, contact the Children's Theatre Company at 337-433-7323 or mail@childrenstheatre.cc.

Louisiana Soccer Association State Cup: May 4-5 at the Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation Power Centre. Players ages 14 and under will compete for the cup title, while players ages 16 and under will compete in a tournament to determine semi-finalists. Games start at 8 a.m. each day, and entry to the tournament is free. Refreshments will be sold at the event. For more information, contact Charles Stewart at charles.stewart@cscsoccerclub.org.

2nd annual Au Naturel Expo: May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Center, located at 2009 N. Simmons Street in Lake Charles. The event will showcase natural products for body and hair, fashion and jewelry. A health and wellness seminar will be offered along with free classes and drawings and a "Natural Cutie" photo contest for children ages 12 and under. Admission to the event is free. Curly By Nature is hosting the event. For more information, contact Joy Gallien at 337-274-6634 or visit www.curlybynature.biz or www.aunaturelexpo.com.

Wild Beast Feast: May 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles. Dishes served will include game, pork, poultry and seafood. Advance tickets for the event are $30 for adults and $10 for children ages 7 to 10. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $35 per adult or $15 per child. The Lake Charles Symphony is hosting this event. For more information, contact the Lake Charles Symphony at 337-433-1611.

McNeese Jazz Festival: May 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the F.G. Bulber Auditorium on the McNeese State University campus. This year's guest artist is jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Tickets are general admission and are $20 for adults, $5 for children ages 18 and under and free for McNeese and Sowela students with a student ID. Tickets are available at the door or online HERE. A full schedule of events can be found HERE.

29th Annual CITGO/MDA Golf Classic: May 6 at 8 a.m. at the Lake Charles Country Club, located at 3350 Country Club Road in Lake Charles. Food and beverage vendors will be present, and door prizes will be given. Proceeds from the event will go toward MDA programs, services and research in Southwest Louisiana. For more information, contact Emily Goudeau at 337-234-0088 or egoudeau@mdausa.org or contact April Altazan at 337-708-7334 or aaltaza@citgo.com.

Twitter 101: May 9 at 1:30 p.m. at Central Library, located at 301 W. Claude Street in Lake Charles. Adults interested in using Twitter will enjoy this two-hour class that will explain the basics of this social media platform.  Participants must have a Twitter account set up prior to attending.  Registration is required. For more information, call 721-7116.

2013 Heart Ball: Hearts on Fire: May 10 with cocktails being served at 6:30 p.m. and the program following at 7:30 p.m. at L'Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles. Entertainment will be provided by The Kadillacs, and Toni Wild and Jacob Verzwyvelt will share their stories of survival. This event is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.  For tickets or form more information, click HERE.

Seussical the Musical: May 10-12 and 17-19 with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday performances at 3 p.m. at the ACTS Theatre, located at 1 Reid St. in Lake Charles. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day: May 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Contraband Room at the Lake Charles Civic Center, located at 900 Lakeshore Drive. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course and NASBLA boating education certification food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes. The event is free and open to the public. To register for the event, call 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 or visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday.

Sasol's Second Saturday Science Show: May 11 at 11 a.m. at the Children's Museum, located at 327 Broad Street in downtown Lake Charles. Kids will learn the importance of soap and the different types of soap and perform experiments with soap and bubbles. All workshops are for a limited amount of children. Participants are asked to sign up in the office the day of the event. For more information, call 337-433-9420 or visit www.swlakids.org.


2013 Treasure Fest: May 4 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in West Park in DeRidder. The event will consist of several individual yard sales featuring furniture, antiques, plants and more. Vendor setup will be held from 5 to 7 a.m. on the morning of the event. Vendors will not be allowed to sell pets, and all unsold merchandise must be removed from the park by vendors upon exiting.

Downtown at Sundown: May 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Amerisafe Pavilion in DeRidder. Beauregard's Courtesy will perform. Admission is free, and food will be provided. Drinks will be sold for $1. For more information, contact the DeRidder City Hall at 337-462-8900.


Ellis Vanicor & The Lacassine Playboys: May 11 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Liberty Theatre at 200 West Park Ave. in Eunice. This event is being held as part of the "Rendez-vous des Cajuns" Cajun Music Radio & TV Show. Tickets go on sale at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the ticket window of the Liberty Theater. Tickets are $5 and are general admission seating. 


MayFest: May 4 on Third Street in downtown Leesville. Admission to the event is free, and activities will include the Armadillo Stampede 5K and 1-mile run/walk, the "A Sculptural State of Mind" exhibit at Gallery One Ellleven, a static display of military weapons by the U.S. Army and Fort Polk, window displays by Cain Motor Company and Boudreaux's Chevrolet, a hovercraft exhibit by Sci-Port and demonstrations by local artists. For more information including a list of performers, click HERE.

Japanese Ink and Watercolor class: May 9 at 4 p.m. at the Joseph Sisters Gallery in Leesville. Artist Jeeyoon Olsen will instruct the class. The cost of the course is $35, which includes supplies, drinks and a snack. Seating is limited.

"Freedom Lies Here" art installation: on display through May 9 at the Joseph Sisters Gallery, located at 110 S. Third St. in Leesville. The exhibit, by artist Hank Holland, features a slot where gallery visitors can deposit letters and photos that chronicle the stories of U.S. troops and their families and friends. Holland plans to create a book from the letters and photos contributed to the exhibit and that proceeds from the book will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The Joseph Sisters Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. on Saturday or by appointment. 

Orange, Texas: 

Caffeinated Plants: May 11 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas. During this program for adults, explore caffeinated plants that grow in Shangri La. Be sure to wear walking shoes for a scavenger hunt in this program that teaches about coffee-alternatives. Participants will stroll about one mile during this informative, outdoor program. For more information or to reserve a space, call 409-670-9799. For more information, visit www.shangrilagardens.org.


Age of Dinosaurs exhibit: May 9 through June 27 at the Brimstone Museum & Henning Cultural Center, located at 900 S. Huntington St. in Sulphur.

2013 Mac Burns/West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation Golf Tournament: May 11 at the Frasch Golf Course in Sulphur. The tournament will follow a 4-man scramble format with a double shotgun start at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The entry fee is $400 per team, which covers food, drinks, shirts, range balls and mulligans. For more information, call 337-527-4241.


Family Safety Day: May 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pinderosa Park in Westlake. The event is being sponsored by Philips 66, and admission is free. For more information, contact Carol Collins at 337-491-4443 or carol.a.collins@p66.com.