Lake Charles celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a Cajun twist

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 9:35 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The City of Lake Charles is taking a whiff of the popular St. Patrick’s Day delicacies like corned beef and cabbage as the aroma of food and fanfare fills the streets of downtown.

Lake Charles is celebrating the traditions of the holiday while mixing in our own Cajun culture.

“We came up with the idea and we love to eat here in Southwest Louisiana, so let’s do some type of cook-off,” United Way SWLA Director Denise Durel said. “What are we most known for? Jambalaya.”

The United Way of SWLA is taking their own spin on the holiday through a pastalaya and jambalaya cook-off, complete with green beer.

“We already decided we did have the best and everybody else is fighting for second place,” cook-off contestant Jerry Chaumont said.

“The secret is love,” cook-off contestant Mason Minervini said. “It comes from the heart and you really have to squeeze every last ounce of that out. That’s really where it comes from.”

Some folk are heading to MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub to experience their customs.

“My husband and I have been to several pubs in Ireland and we just love the pub feel,” owner Mari Bitter said. “My great-grandfather was one of the original settlers of Jennings. He was a MacFarlane and his father came from Belfast, Ireland. Supposedly, they were cattle thieves.”

For that, the MacFarlane family was exiled from Ireland, so they brought their rich heritage to Southwest Louisiana. Owners are expecting to renovate the pub to make it even bigger for future St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

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