The town of Basile, nestled in the southwest corner of Evangeline Parish, was incorporated as a village in 1911. Since 1966, this small town has been the home of the Louisiana Swine Festival, which takes places yearly the first weekend of November. The festival was originally established to promote a large feeder pig industry in the area. It continues to promote the pork industry despite the closing of the feeder pig sale barn in Basile in the early 1970s. The festival includes a carnival, beauty pageants, a parade, and a variety of live music performances. Unique to the festival are events centered on the festival’s namesake such as the Greasy Pig Chase, the Pork Cook off, the Boudin Eating Contest and the Hog Calling Contest. Another event of interest to tourists is the annual Basile Mardi Gras celebration, held on the Saturday prior to Mardi Gras for the children and on Mardi Gras Day itself for the adults. A rural tradition begins with a group of Mardi Gras participants scavenging the town and countryside around Basile in search of ingredients for the community. The participants travel the area in wagons, on horseback and in trucks. They are followed by observers in a parade of vehicles. In exchange for gumbo ingredients, the costumed participants dance and entertain the townspeople with revelry and music. At the end of the day, the participants march down Basile’s Main Street and invite the townspeople to join them in a street dance followed by free gumbo at the town park. After a brief break, they participate in the Grand March at the town park and receive awards for their day’s performance. Basile has long been a hub of Cajun music enthusiasts. Hometown musicians have included the likes of the late Dewey Balfa, the late Nathan Abshire, the living legend Nonc Allie Young, and members of the CFMA’s Band of the Year, Mark Young and Layton. In addition, Christine Balfa, has become a drum major in the cause of promotion and performance of Cajun music. A new mural in downtown Basile portrays the likeness of Basile three most renowned Cajun musicians, namely Dewey Balfa, Nathan Abshire, and Allie Young. The town also boasts two business districts; the old downtown area on Staff Avenue, still referred to as Main Street, and the newer business district on Highway 190.

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