Lafayette, Louisiana Episode: Travels with Darley

Darley At Festival International With Her New Hat
Darley at Festival International with her new hat

Watch for the “Travels with Darley: Lafayette, Louisiana” episode in Season 11 on PBS and streaming.

Follow Darley to the heart of Cajun Country as she joins the festivities at the annual Festival International de Louisiane held in Lafayette, Louisiana. In addition to sharing the music, art, cuisine and culture of the nationalities represented at the festival, Darley takes viewers crawfishing, Cajun cooking, and Zydeco dancing. No trip with Darley is complete without visiting the best food and drink gems of Lafayette. Laissez les bons temps rouler—let the good times roll!

The first stop Darley makes to prepare for Festival International is a visit with Colby Herbert, (a.k.a. the Cajun Hatter), who crafts unique hats using his Cajun roots and Louisiana ingredients for inspiration. With her new hat, Darley’s exploration continues with a visit to a local thrift shop for a festival skirt and day one of the five day Festival International, featuring diverse artisans and celebrating the rich culture of the Acadiana. Darley and Colby Herbert continue their chat to understand Lafayette’s cultural epicenter and the passionate, welcoming nature of its people.

To delve into the history of Lafayette and Acadian culture, Darley visits Vermilionville Historic Village, where Brenda LaLonde, a fourth-generation seamstress, shares her insights into traditional Acadian crafts and the challenges faced by the early settlers.

To brush up on her dancing skills for the festival, Darley takes a Zydeco dance lesson from Dr. Moriah Hargrave, creator of ZydeFit, while learning about the origin of this unique dance style. After working up an appetite, Darley embarks on a culinary adventure, trying local specialties like Boudin at The French Press. After seeing different concerts and testing out her new dancing skills during the second day of Festival International, Darley takes a detour to the Acadiana Center for Arts in downtown Lafayette to meet Lu Wixon, the Festival’s year’s official visual artist. Lu discusses her inspiration and the vibrant art scene in Lafayette. 

Darley’s food tour continues! After trying a delicious crawfish and spinach boat, she learns how to catch crawfish from Barry Toupes at Crawfish Haven/Mrs. Rose’s Bed and Breakfast. Darley experiences the journey from the pond to the table, where she gets to try her crawfish catch of the day, and learns about the connection between Cajun culture, food, and communal traditions.

The journey commences with a tour of Hideaway Hall, one of many renovated old school dance halls in Lafayette, where Lina Livingston shares about her experience undertaking the renovations of an old home and dance hall. Darley also interviews Malatina, the “Mambo Queen of the South”, who combines her Puerto Rican heritage with Louisiana roots in her music, followed by a live performance at Festival International.

Darley participates in an annual tradition during the festival: a 5K run through the streets of Lafayette. To reward herself, she stops at Bourden’s Ice Cream Shoppe for a sweet treat and talks with Kackie Lerille, whose family saved and owns the only freestanding Borden’s left in the country. 

Watch for this episode on your local PBS TV station and streaming. Follow and subscribe to the new “Travels with Darley” podcast on iHeart, Spotify, Audible, Amazon, Google, Apple, and wherever you listen to your favorite podcast.

Friends in Louisiana can tune into Louisiana Public Broadcasting to watch Season 11 of Travels with Darley starting on Sunday, January 14 @ 11:30am (weekly) on LPB-HD. The Lafayette, Louisiana episode broadcasts Sunday January 28 @ 11:30am.

Learn more about traveling to Lafayette, Louisiana at