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Ascension Parish is: Louisiana’s Sweet Spot

A Mix of History and Culture

With each mile traveled along historic River Road, anticipation builds as to what might lie around the next bend. Sugar cane fields and moss-draped lanes wind their way in and out of view. Glimpses of graceful plantations and stately columns hint at a bygone era. Then there’s the River. Powerful, but tranquil. Muddy, but beautiful. And nothing less than mythical with its endless flow from past to present.

By the time you cross the Sunshine Bridge you’re well immersed in 500 years of history layered with such diverse culture and tradition that you couldn’t possibly be somewhere you’ve ever been before. With its European-African-Canadian-Caribbean roots and sugar plantation past, Ascension Parish, Louisiana may actually be more akin to the West Indies or the Mediterranean than the typical American South. In this special place where Native American, Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, African and Acadian cultures have thrived and mingled, the sights, sounds, traditions and experiences are truly more varied and unique.

These distinct accents and flavors are authentically tied to Louisiana’s sweet spot between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. A place at the heart of what makes Southern Louisiana such a special destination. The perfect spot to immerse yourself in an experience unlike any other to be found in America today. Where names such as Gonzales, Sorrento and Donaldsonville reflect the story of a blended cultural past. Where Caribbean rhythms overlap with jazz, blues, and plantation European parlor music. Where soul food merges with Creole cuisine. Where art, agriculture and industry meld to echo yesterday and today.

Just as sugar coaxes out the flavor in everything it’s added to, the fusion of many influences and ethnicities in Ascension Parish add flavor to its rich heritage of cultural and culinary traditions. So much of what Ascension Parish has come to be known for over the years can be traced to its rich Creole history: jambalaya, Zydeco music, the Creole-influenced plantations, cottages and shotgun houses.

In Ascension Parish there is a smooth blending of cultures and backgrounds that sweetens the attraction here, indulging the senses in countless ways. From the brilliant colors in The Gardens of Houmas House Plantation to the vivid color in an Alvin Batiste painting. From the explosion of flavors experienced at the Jambalaya Festival to the explosion in retail at Tanger Outlets and locally owned shops. From the stories told in the River Road African American Museum to the stories played out at Houmas House, in the sugar cane fields and along this stretch of the mighty Mississippi. From Louisiana’s second largest historic district to a future cane distillery, there’s just so much to see, taste, experience and savor In Ascension Parish.

You can’t help but be tempted.

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