Festival History

From 1949 to 2019 | 71 Years of Success


Held every second full weekend in October, cool weather and leaves changing colors mark the beginning of the Annual Louisiana Cattle Festival. The festival originated on September 24, 1949 by Roy R. Theriot, Sr., manager of the Chamber of Commerce and former Mayor of Abbeville. Originally known as the Dairy Festival, the name was changed in 1979 to honor all the Cattle Industry of the state.

At this September 1949 gathering, Governor Earl Long addressed the people, which was followed by a parade. In that year, a Dairy Queen was selected to reign over the festivities. A King and Queen have been selected every year since 1949.

Since 1949, the Festival has had many prominent visitors travel through Abbeville, one being President Harry Truman who visited on October 22, 1960 while campaigning for future President John F. Kennedy.

The Louisiana Cattle Festival is a member of the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals. Each year outstanding people of the state are selected for honors such as Grand Marshall, Citizen of the Year, Outstanding Cattleman, Restauranteur of the Year, and Outstanding 4-H Scholarship Winner.

The fun-filled 3-day Festival includes events such as a Baby Show, Cooking Contest, Queen's Pageant, Cattle Livestock Show, Parade, Live Entertainment, Street Dancing "Fais Do Do" and Street Fair.

Booths with Food, Drinks, Souvenirs, Arts and Crafts, and Cajun Hospitality are available during the entire Festival.

This Year's Festival Schedule

Now that you've learned the unique history of the Louisiana Cattle Festival, check out this year's event schedule to plan your weekend with us!