This weekend is the kick-off of Louisiana’s spring festival season. Eight weekend fairs and festivals take place across the state, with another 250 festivals planned for the year.

Here in Acadiana, the Washington (ici, not D.C.) Catfish Festival, begins tonight with jazz and blues and runs through Sunday. There will be carnival rides, including helicopter tours of the historic town, antique shopping, a chock-a-block line up of bands all weekend, and of course the catfish cookoff on Sunday. So pack your umbrella and head up to Bayou Courtableau. The Times Picayune has put together a master list for all the festivals in the state.

Here in Lafayette,  ArtWalk gets in gear downtown Saturday night. With openings for a George Rodrigue retrospective at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, a show of Philip Gould’s photography at Galerie Eclaireuse and an exhibition of Lynda Frese’s photo montages, titled "Hindu Deities Along the Gulf Coast," at Lafayette Center for Yoga, it should be a terrific cultural evening for Acadiana. Later Saturday night, head over to hear New Orleans’s funkiest brass band, Rebirth, which will be playing at Artmosphere.

There’s Celtic music all weekend leading up to a St. Patrick’s day celebration at Blue Moon. Don’t miss Drowsy Maggie and Celjun Tuesday night, especially if you like boozy Irish sing-a-longs as the evening gets late. Happy Spring.

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