Crowley, the parish seat of Acadia Parish, is known as the Rice Capital of America, with more rice mills than any other city in the United States. It is located on Interstate 10, twenty miles west of Lafayette. The population of Crowley is 14,500 people. Acadia Parish, which was carved out of Imperial St. Landry Parish in 1886, has a population of 56,500. For more information, go to the city's official web site or call 1-866-665-4642.


The establishment of Crowley began with the sale of 174 acres of land for $80 in 1886 to the Southwest Louisiana Land Company. Lots were sold the next year, and in 1888 the village of Crowley was incorporated. It was named after Pat Crowley, an Irish roadmaster employed by the Louisiana Western Railroad (his name was first given to the "Crowley Switch" or railroad spur where all construction materials for the new town were unloaded). Crowley's Historical District has been designated on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can drive down streets lined with large oak trees to view the stately homes that date from the turn of the century. Stores and other structures built earlier in the century line a broad boulevard through Crowley's Historical Commercial District. In downtown Crowley, historic Parkerson Ave. business district is undergoing redevelopment that will make it even more attractive.

Tourist Information

General Information. Whether it's for a brief visit by travelers passing through along Interstate 10 or a longer stay as part of a tour of the region, Crowley has a lot to offer. For details,  contact the Crowley Chamber of Commerce; or  Acadia Parish Tourist Commission.

Historic Districts. Crowley's historic districts provide visitors with a fascinating look at architecture from early in the century. The Duson Building (located in the Historical Commercial District) houses the Crowley Art Association. The association's gallery contains paintings, photography, and crafts made by local artisans and craftspeople.


The Blue Rose Museum. Named for the late Sol Wright's famous Blue Rose Rice, the Blue Rose Museum, a restored 1848 Acadian-style cottage, is constructed of Louisiana cypress, handmade brick, and a mixture of mud and moss. It contains period furniture and china and crystal collections. Visitors can also see a collection of antique cars, including Mercedes Benz, a LaSalle series 50, and a Panzer wagon sports car. An acqua-culture tour of Wright's rice and crawfish farm will introduce you to contemporary agricultural practices in Acadiana. Information on the museum and other attractions is available at the web site of the Crystal Rice Heritage Farm.

Rice Research Station. The LSU Cooperative Extension Service supports Louisiana's agricultural economy in many ways, including an internationally recognized focus on improving rice cultivation. For information about visiting the LSU Rice Research Station located near Crowley, call (337) 788-7531 or go to the station's web page.

Rice Theatre. The Rice Theatre, 323 North Parkerson Ave. in Crowley, now features a live "Nite at the Rice" variety show the third Saturday of the month, 6-8 p.m. Saturday evening live shows. The renovated art deco style theater was built in 1940.

Grand Opera House of the South.  The first season of new shows in the Grand Opera House of the South, 505 North Parkerson Ave., began in 2009. The Grand Opera House, which opened in 1901, has been undergoing restoration costing $3.7 million. For schedules and other information, go to the official web site.

Other attractions. Visit the city's web site for information on other attractions, including the Rice Interpretive Center and J.D. Miller Recording Studio, 425 North Parkerson Ave. Both, along with City Hall, are housed in the newly renovated Crowley Motor Company Building, which dates from 1920.

The International Rice Festival. One of Louisiana's oldest festivals, the International Rice Festival attracts some 150,000 people each year. The event is held in downtown Crowley, usually the third weekend in October. Special events include a livestock show; rice cooking, eating, and grading contests, and two parades: a children's parade Friday and the Grand Parade on Saturday, including a procession of antique farm equipment. The festival also offers a variety of food, entertainment, and arts and crafts. For more information, go to the Official Web Site of the International Rice Festival.

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Economic Development

Rice and other agricultural products are central to Crowley's economy. A number of rice mills and related businesses are currently in operation. Adding to the economy are oil field service companies and many farm-related industries. Industrial development acreage is available in industrial parks. In addition to the availability of the educational resources of LSUE and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Crowley is the site of the Acadian Campus of Louisiana Technical College, located at 1933 W. Hutchinson Ave.   

For more information on economic development, contact the Crowley Chamber of Commerce.

Elsewhere in Acadia Parish

For information on two other Acadia Parish cities, visit the pages for:

Church Point


Iota. The town of Iota, population 1,300, is the site of the Tee-Mamou-Iota Mardi Gras Folklife Festival, held annually on Mardi Gras Day starting about 9 a.m. The Tee-Mamou Mardi Gras arrive from their rural courir about 2 p.m. wearing traditional masks and costumes, including tall hats called capuchons. The celebration includes Cajun and Zydeco music and dancing, crafts, and authentic Cajun/Creole foods. It's one of the best traditional Mardi Gras celebrations in the region.  The Tee-Mamou Women's Courir is held the Saturday before Mardi Gras.

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These pages were established and maintained by David Simpson, who retired from LSUE in 2009.