Mark Your Calendar for the Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival – October 13-14

Are you the type that loves to see history and beauty come alive right before your eyes? 

In Louisiana, we aren’t the type to just sit around and wait for things to happen. We make things happen. If you’ve ever been to Louisiana, you’ve probably noticed that we have two sides with two different cultures. 

To the south the land tends to be flat and very wet. Visitors and natives both know this as the home to New Orleans. This is a place which is very deeply rooted in a French-Catholic culture and full of good food, wonderful sights and warm, friendly folks. 

To the north you will find the land to be very hilly and full of pines. It’s quite the farm country and it has its roots in an Anglo-Protestant tradition which stretches back hundreds of years. 

Our town of Madisonville is right smack dab in the middle of these two cultures, which makes it the perfect place to settle down or even just drop in for a visit. No one can resist the delicious food, lovely little boutiques, souvenir shops, tea houses, walking and biking trails and all of the annual festivals that take place each year in and around Madisonville. One of these happens to be the Annual Wooden Boat Festival, and believe me, you won’t want to miss it.

The Wooden Boat Festival will be celebrating 29 glorious years on the banks of the irresistible Tchefuncte River on October 13-14 and will be presented by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum. 

Complete with food booths, classic cars, a premium beer garden and even carnival rides, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Admission is only $10 for adults, free for kids 12 and under, and only 5$ for seniors 65+ and active military personnel. 

If you can believe it, this festival attracts a whopping estimated 30,000 visitors a day every year and it just keeps growing! 

One of the most exciting parts of the event? Why, the good ole “Quick ‘n’ Dirty” Boat Building competition! Participants in the event have to pick a theme and then have a total of around 14 hours to build a boat from only the materials that are given to them.

After the boats have been built, they must then complete a 100-yard course that will prove their seaworthiness to the many onlookers. This part of the event never fails to put a few people on their toes and everyone else into laughing fits, as the boats don’t usually do as well as you might hope. 

The Wooden Boat Festival will stretch from Water Street and the Tchefuncte river for several blocks all the way to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum. 

This museum actually hosts the fest in order to raise money for its educational programs and the Madisonville lighthouse restoration project. You can expect to see many vintage wooden boats that date back decades: including cruisers, luggers, sailboats, skiffs and trawlers. 

Are you going to be around Madisonville on October 13-14? Make it a point to drop in, we’d love to have you!

Leave a Comment