Cajun Country Dancehalls – Are These the Best?
Just saying the word 'Dancehall' brings me back to a different time here in south Louisiana. Cajun and Zydeco music coming from a worn down building that has probably been serving cold beer, boudin, and cracklins for decades. Yep, sounds like heaven.
Real dancehalls are plentiful around the south, and some of them are very famous. Here in Acadiana we still have lots of places to cut a rug on Friday or Saturday nights, and even on Sunday afternoons after church. Lafayette Travel has reminded me of some of my favorites, and their amazing history, and I 'm hoping these might be your favorites too. I'm ready to put on my dancin' shoes right this minute, y'all!
- Whiskey River, Henderson. Real name: Angelle’s Whiskey River Landing. If heading out to the Atchafalaya Basin on a Sunday afternoon sounds fun to you, then make this your first stop for live music and dancing.
- Vermilionville Performance Hall, Lafayette. The building is modeled after an old time gin mill, and all the floors are wooden planks. Perfect for two steppin', sha.
- La Poussière, Breaux Bridge. This might be my favorite, for sentimental reasons. Open since 1955, you can hear a lot of traditional cajun and zydeco bands in this historic rectangular building. For over 40 years it was home to a weekly gig by Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys. A really fun place for benefits and parties too!
- El Sid O’s Zydeco and Blues Club, Lafayette. Is there anything that says more about zydeco music in Acadiana than this place at the intersection of North Saint Antoine and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive? Open since 1985, El Sido's is world famous for their wildly popular Thanksgiving food drive show, and their canopied front entrance.
- Fred's Lounge, Mamou. Maybe one of the most famous entries on this list. A wild time can be had by all on Saturday mornings in downtown Mamou at Fred's. The bar opens at 8:00 am, and you better have your dancing shoes on in the 'Cajun Music Capital of the World'
- Blue Moon Saloon, Lafayette. Located at 215 E. Convent Street, the building alone has it's own history, having once been a residence and a flower shop. Known as a hot spot for local talent, include several of our home grown Grammy Award winners, this is a great place to continue the party after any of our local festivals.
- Grant Street Dancehall, Lafayette. Opened on the 4th of July, 1980, this has been the go-to stop for rock bands in south Louisiana, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, and on one memorable night for me, Grand Funk Railroad. The back room was legendary, if only for the fact that everyone who played there signed the wall. And who could forget the joy we all felt when they FINALLY got air conditioning? Still love this place...