Ebb & Flow kicks off spring festival season, spurs capital area tourism

There are many great festivals scheduled in the Baton Rouge area in April (Source: WAFB)
There are many great festivals scheduled in the Baton Rouge area in April (Source: WAFB)
There are many great festivals scheduled in the Baton Rouge area in April (Source: WAFB)
There are many great festivals scheduled in the Baton Rouge area in April (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The sweet sounds of a soprano saxophone blended perfectly with a little Spanish guitar is just part of what folks will hear this weekend as the annual Ebb & Flow Festival takes over Baton Rouge. It's just one of the events from the jam-packed schedule all April to kick off the spring festival season.

"It's so much over the next three weekends. We're excited," said Paul Arrigo, president and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge.

Those events include of course the Ebb & Flow Festival, but also the Blues Fest next weekend and even a beer fest or two sprinkled in just to name a few. Arrigo says the wide selection is the perfect draw for visitors and locals alike.

"It's a great opportunity for people to come not only from the outlying areas but from further away to visit Baton Rouge and experience all the culture that we have," said Arrigo.

He predicts 2018 will be a normal year for tourism following the flood two years ago. This year alone, Arrigo anticipates an economic impact of roughly $4 million to $5 million from these events.

"If we can continue this pace gradually moving up, we'll be happy," said Arrigo.

As more people flood in over the next few weeks, Arrigo is not the only one who is happy. Michael Cormier, assistant manager of Azteca's on Lafayette Street, says they are looking to cash in. Their location is right across from major hotels like the Hampton Inn, and he says that makes their spot prime real estate.

"It ramps up our revenue and gets us kicking, you know," said Cormier. "We get a lot of business as it is from those hotels, so definitely exciting to know that more people are going to be in town."

But his is not the only one open for business downtown. With other eateries nearby, Cormier says the competition can be fierce when spring rolls around.

"We just try and stay on our toes, you know, because there is a lot of other good food downtown, so it's kind of a hit or miss sometimes, but it's definitely a race," Cormier added.

Arrigo says Baton Rouge is also in competition with other cities that have moved more towards making themselves a destination. It's something he says they are working every day to strive for in the Red Stick and that these festivals are a small part of their marketing efforts.

For a complete list of upcoming community events, visit The Louisiana Weekend here.

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