CONGRATULATIONS to the “Best Crab Dish” winner for 2017,
The Sloppy Taco, with their Soft Shell Crab Quesadilla

photo courtesy of Shalin Townsend,

Arts & Crabs Fest 2017
Saturday, August 19, 5-8PM
Burton Coliseum

More 2017 event photos here
(courtesy of Lake City Entertainment)

Presented annually by the Arts & Humanities Council and the SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau, this signature culinary event will take place on Saturday, August 19th, 5pm-8pm, at the Burton Coliseum.

Arts & Crabs Fest is a homegrown festival celebrating the ties between seafood and culture – our region’s greatest national assets. Festivalgoers sample from an extensive crab and seafood dish tasting, featuring local chefs preparing a unique dish representative of their cuisine’s styles. Louisiana craft beer samples from Crying Eagle Brewing are offered as complementary pairings.

Participating chefs battle for festivalgoers’ votes in the annual “Best Crab Dish” award, determined by popular vote.

For the first time this year, area chefs are invited to showcase the diversity of Louisiana’s shellfish industry through the presentation of any seafood dish.

Arts & Crabs Fest, recognized for the fifth year in a row as a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society, will feature live Cajun music by Nee de Traditionne (“Born from Tradition”) and an eclectic art market with live demonstrations.

Stay tuned to the Facebook event page for art, music, and food previews!

Tickets are available at, and credit card purchases are accepted at the Arts Council office in Central School at 809 Kirby Street, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.

Chefs interested in participating should contact [email protected]. A stipend is offered toward the cost of ingredients and/or supplies, and either the chef or a representative from the restaurant must be present during the event.

Funds raised at Arts & Crabs Fest are reinvested back into the SWLA community through the Arts Council’s year-round services and events. For details, visit or call (337) 439-2787.

Arts & Crabs Fest is sponsored by the Arts Council of SWLA, Lake Charles/SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau, Deep South Productions, Burton Complex, Big Easy Foods, Crying Eagle Brewing, Automotive Alignment & Brake Service, Coca-Cola, CSE Credit Union, Dr. Uzma Porche, First Federal Bank of Louisiana, IBERIABANK, Image 360, Knight Media Printing, KPLC, L’Auberge Lake Charles, LA Radio Communications, Louisiana Lottery, Parker Brand Creative Services, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.

Check out the Arts & Crabs Fest commercial spot, courtesy of Parker Brand Creative!

Congratulations to Natalie LeBleu, winner of the first-ever “Best Crab Dish” art contest!

Determined by popular vote on our Facebook page, Natalie’s beautiful mosaic piece will be on display at the event, and will be awarded to the winning chef to proudly display in their eatery.