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Photo by Danny Landry
As we shed our winter coats and trade up for some warmer sunshine, here in Lafayette families are shifting into festival mode. If you are heading downtown April 24-28 for Festival International de Louisiane with little ones in tow, here are a few tips on what to pack to make the most of your family fest experience:

Wagon or sturdy stroller — literally, your mobile command center and a place to stow your items. Also great for hauling around tired toddlers and dads who drank too much Festival Punch.

• Backpack or large tote bag. Perfect for storing a change of clothes for kiddos, extra diapers, snack essentials, sippy cups of water and, of course, a camera with well-charged battery for capturing all the memories made watching the kids play at Scène des Jeunes.

Sunblock, hats and sunglasses. It’s first instinct as a mom to protect the precious skin of your loved ones, but don’t forget about yourself. Everyone loves to eat crawfish, but no one wants to be as red as one. Reapply every four hours for maximum protection.

• Towel or blanket. If the weather is right, the kids will be in search of the fountains at Parc Sans Souci. Lucky you, you already planned dry clothes, but a towel is a must. Even if water play is not on the agenda, nap time will surely be. Find a patch of grass, let the sounds of sweet music lull your little ones to sleep and enjoy the sunset while seated along side them. The perfect end to a perfect celebration of international music. — Kari Walker

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