De Lafayetta en, Louisiane
|City of Lafayette|
|Cajundome, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.|
|Nickname(s): The Hub City|
|Motto: The Heart of Cajun Country|
|Founded||1821 as Vermilionville|
|Renamed||1884 as Lafayette|
|Founded by||Jean Mouton|
|Named for||General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis De Lafayette|
|• Type||Consolidated City-Parish|
|• City-Parish President||Joey Durel (Republican)|
|• City Total||49.2 sq mi (127 km2)|
|• Land||49.1 sq mi (127 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2) auto%|
|• Metro||5,252 sq mi (13,600 km2)|
|Elevation||36 ft (11 m)|
|• City Total||120,687|
|• Density||2,482.3/sq mi (958.4/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP codes||70501–9, 70593, 70596, 70598|
|• Le Cannet||France|
|• Longueuil, Québec||Canada|
|• Moncton, New Brunswick||Canada|
|• Agnibilékrou||Côte d'Ivoire|
Lafayette (//; French: [lafajɛt]) is a city located along the Vermilion River in southwestern Louisiana. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 120,623 at the 2010 census. The combined statistical area of Lafayette–Opelousas-Morgan City was 611,774 according to 2012 estimates. Lafayette is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana.
It was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 by a French-speaking Acadian named Jean Mouton. In 1884, it was renamed for General Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, a French military hero who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War. The city's economy was primarily based on agriculture until the 1940s, when the petroleum and natural gas industries became dominant. In recent years, the medical profession has taken a more predominant role in the area economy.
Lafayette is the center of Cajun culture in Louisiana and the United States. The city has a strong tourism industry because of the Cajun culture there and in the surrounding region. There is also a Creole influence in the area, although most Creoles and their descendants originate to the east in New Orleans. The Creole and Cajun cuisines are among the most famous regional cuisines of the United States.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Education and healthcare
- 6 Government and politics
- 7 Economy
- 8 Culture and contemporary life
- 9 Transportation
- 10 Sister cities
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 49.2 square miles (127 km2), of which 49.1 square miles (127 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.19%) is water.
Lafayette is located on the West Gulf Coastal Plain. What is now Lafayette was part of the seabed during the earlier Quaternary Period. During this time, the Mississippi River cut a 325-foot-deep (99 m) valley between what is now Lafayette and Baton Rouge. This valley was filled and is now the Atchafalaya Basin. Lafayette is located on the western rim of this valley. This land, called the southwestern Louisiana Prairie Terrace, is higher up and not made of wetland like much of the surrounding areas to the south and west of Lafayette. Because of this, Lafayette does not suffer significant flooding problems.
The Vermilion River runs through the center of Lafayette. Other significant waterways in the city are Isaac Verot Coulee, Coulee Mine, Coulee des Poches and Coulee Ile des Cannes, which are natural drainage canals that lead to the Vermilion River.
Lafayette's climate is described as humid subtropical using Köppen climate classification. Lafayette is typical of areas along the Gulf of Mexico in that it has hot, humid summers and mild winters. (See table below for average temperatures for Lafayette.)
|Climate data for Lafayette, Louisiana|
|Record high °F (°C)||89
|Average high °F (°C)||64
|Average low °F (°C)||43
|Record low °F (°C)||10
|Precipitation inches (mm)||5.0
As of the census of 2010, there were 120,623 people, 43,506 households, and 27,104 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,316.7 people per square mile (894.5/km²). There were 46,865 housing units at an average density of 984.7 per square mile (380.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.23% White, 28.51% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.88% of the population. In 2010, 84.2% of the population over the age of five spoke English at home, and 11.5% of the population spoke French or Cajun.
There were 43,506 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. Nearly 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,996, and the median income for a family was $47,783. Males had a median income of $37,729 versus $23,606 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,031. About 11.6% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.
Education and healthcare
Primary and secondary schools
- See Lafayette Parish School System for more information.
The public schools in the parish are run by the Lafayette Parish School System. The system has 33 schools, 21 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and seven high schools. The LPSS offers nine career academies at the high school level, school curricula designed to prepare students in certain career fields.
The nine academies are:
- The Academy of Business & Finance (Acadiana High School)
- The Academy of Engineering (Northside High School)
- The Academy of Environmental Sciences (Northside High School)
- The Academy of Health Careers (Lafayette High School)
- The Academy of Information Technology (Carencro High School)
- The Academy of Performing Arts (Lafayette High School)
- The Academy of Visual and Applied Arts (Ovey Comeaux High School)
- The Early College Academy (South Louisiana Community College)
- Thibodaux Career and Technical High School
The LPSS also offer schools of choice, a program to improve racial diversity at schools. Accepted students are allowed to attend schools outside their school zone (but still within the parish) to receive their state mandated core curriculum using specialized themes or programs. This is available at all levels, elementary, middle, and high schools, and is designed to provide a more interesting learning experience for the students in the program.
- See Lafayette Parish Private Schools for list of schools.
Universities and colleges
Lafayette has one university, one community college, and two vocational colleges.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is part of the University of Louisiana System. It is the second largest university in the state, with an enrollment of approximately 16,000. Incarnations of the institution have been a part of Lafayette since 1898. Today it is one of the top-ranked universities in the South. It has nationally-ranked business college along with noted nursing, architecture, biology, and computer sciences departments.
One of the newest college systems in Louisiana, South Louisiana Community College is headquartered in Lafayette. SLCC partnered with Acadian Ambulance to form the National EMS Academy. The academy offers EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic certification. SLCC is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
Louisiana Technical College (Lafayette campus) is part of the Louisiana Technical College system, which in turn is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical college system. It offers associate degrees in several fields.
Remington College (Lafayette campus) is a vocational school that offers a few bachelor's degree programs, many associate degree programs, along with a few diploma programs.
Public library system
Lafayette's major healthcare facilities are:
- Lafayette General Medical Center
- Lafayette General Surgical Hospital
- Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital
- University Hospital and Clinics - (Formerly University Medical Center)
- Women's and Children's Hospital
- The Regional Medical Center of Acadiana - (Formerly Southwest Medical Center)
- Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center
- Heart Hospital of Lafayette
- Park Place Surgical Hospital
- Cardiovascular Institute of the South(CIS) or Cardiovascular Institute of the South
Government and politics
See also Notable local politicians
Since the consolidation of city and parish governments, Lafayette has had a city-parish president as its chief executive, rather than a mayor as it had previously. The current city-parish president is Republican Joey Durel. On Saturday, October 22, 2011, Lafayette parish had its election day, and the people of Lafayette voted against de-consolidating the current government.
Under consolidation the City of Lafayette and Parish of Lafayette have a common representative body and executive officer. Public Works and other services such as Land Use and Plat Review are operated by Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) to serve the City of Lafayette and unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish and by contract to some but not all of the area municipalities. Zoning Rules apply only within the City of Lafayette. Some neighboring municipalities have adopted their own planning and zoning protocol. The suburban and rural cities and towns maintain independent city councils, local executives, police and fire departments as well as other public services. The Lafayette Parish School System operates independently of any municipality and its jurisdiction is coterminous with the Parish of Lafayette.
Lafayette is served by five police agencies:
- Lafayette City Police (LPD)- The main municipal police department of the city
- Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office (LPSO) - The parish level police agency
- University Police (ULPD) - The police force of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- Lafayette City Marshal - The City Marshal
- Lafayette Park Police- who enforce state jurisdiction and local ordinance for the city owned parks and surrounding neighborhoods in the City of Lafayette.
- Note: City Police and Parish Sheriff's office were not combined during consolidation.
Lafayette is the home of the National Guard headquarters of the 256th Infantry Brigade, a military unit of over 3,000 soldiers that served in Iraq in the years of 2004-2005. The brigade was again deployed in January, 2010.
Lafayette is also home to the United States Marine Corps Reserve Unit, F. Co. Anti-Terrorism Battalion commanded by Captain Cole Clements. This unit has been on several deployments, many involving the Iraq War.
Electricity, water, and waste water service
Lafayette is served by Lafayette Utilities System, a city-parish government run, publicly owned utility company. Started over 100 years ago as an electrical company, LUS has expanded into a full service utilities company. It provides electricity, drinking water, and sewage treatment throughout the City of Lafayette as well some unincorporated parts of the parish, along with bulk sales to the water systems of most surrounding municipalities. LUS is currently installing infrastructure for a fiber telecommunications network. Called LUSFiber, the network will provide digital cable, telephone service, and high speed internet to all households in Lafayette. It will offer individual services as well as bundles.
Natural gas service
Natural gas service is supplied by Atmos Energy.
Cable television service in Lafayette is provided by Cox Communications. Lafayette Utilities System provides FTTH video services through LUSFiber. DirecTV and Dish Network both include Lafayette TV stations in their local packages.
Retail and shopping
Lafayette serves as the retail hub of the five parish Acadiana area.
Lafayette has some manufacturing and fabrication businesses, including:
- Frank's Casing Crew
- CIS Hammers
The city also has an IT community including such businesses as:
- Center for Business and Information Technologies(CBIT)
- National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute
- Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise (LITE)
- Presidio Networked Solutions
- Innovative Learning Assessment Technologies
Culture and contemporary life
Cultural Organizations and Institutions
Cultural organizations include the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music, Chorale Acadienne, Lafayette Ballet Theatre and Dance Conservatory, and Performing Arts Society of Acadiana.
Lafayette is home to the Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, the athletic teams of The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It is home to the Louisiana Hurricanes, a semi-pro football team that plays at STM Stadium. Between the years of 1995 and 2005, Lafayette was home to the Louisiana IceGators ECHL hockey team; in 2009, the IceGators returned as a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League. As of 2009, Lafayette is home to the Lafayette Wildcatters of the Southern Indoor Football League. It is also home to the Lafayette Bayou Bulls, a semi-pro football program that started in 2003. Lafayette is home to three sports venues: the Cajundome, Cajun Field and Blackham Coliseum.
On weekend nights, Downtown Lafayette turns into a nightlife hub in the Acadiana region. Downtown Lafayette offers a diverse range of dance clubs and sports bars, including live music venue tourist destinations such as Grant Street Dancehall and The Blue Moon Saloon. Outside of the downtown area the McKinley Street Strip historically catered to a university crowd within walking distance. Other venues and establishments are found dispersed along Johnston Street, in and around River Ranch, along Ambassador Caffery, the Simcoe Street Strip and also a scattered collection of neighborhood dives and watering holes. There are many drive-through daiquiri shops—from roadside stands to establishments large enough to have live entertainment. Louisiana state law decrees that these containers are considered a "closed container" so long as they have tape across the flap to ensure that drinking and driving does not occur.
- The Daily Advertiser, daily Gannett broadsheet style newspaper
- The Advocate, daily newspaper with local coverage from Baton Rouge.
- The Independent, monthly locally owned newspaper (compact style)
- The Times of Acadiana, weekly Gannett tabloid format
- AcadianaMoms magazine
- Acadiana Gazette, weekly newspaper published by Ron Gomez
- Acadiana Profile magazine, established in 1968 by Robert Angers
- The Vermilion, UL Lafayette student newspaper
- Acadiana Catholic, monthly Catholic magazine of Lafayette Diocese
Lafayette is home to:
- KATC: 3.1, Cable 5, (ABC); 3.2, Cable 10, (The CW)
- KLFY-TV 10.1, Cable 11 (CBS)
- KADN-TV 15.1, Cable 6 (Fox)
- KLAF-LD 46 / 15.2, Cable 12 (MyNetworkTV)
- KLWB, 50.1 (This TV)
- KLPB-TV 24.1, (PBS) Louisiana Public Broadcasting
- KXKW-LD 32.1 (Outdoor Sports Channel), 32.2 (This TV)
- KAJN-CD 40.1, Cable 97 - Family Vision
- AOC 1, Cable 15, Acadiana Open Channel, one of two local programing channels.
- AOC 2, Cable 16
Lafayette is also served by:
- KPLC-TV, 7.1, Cable 7 (NBC), located in nearby Lake Charles (Lafayette does not have an NBC affiliate, so KPLC serves all of southwestern Louisiana)
- WVLA-TV, 33.1 (NBC), located in nearby Baton Rouge
- WBRZ, 2.1, Cable 17, (ABC), located in Baton Rouge
- WAFB, 9.1, Cable 18, (CBS), also located in Baton Rouge
See List of Lafayette radio stations for full list.
Popular radio stations in Lafayette:
- KYBG (FM), 102.1 - BIG102.1 Classic Hits
- KFTE (FM), Planet Radio 105.1 - Alternative and Modern Rock
- KMDL(FM), 97.3 The Dawg - Country Music, New Orleans Saints radio network affiliate
- KPEL (AM), ESPN 1420 - Sports Radio
- KPEL-FM (FM), NewsRadio 96.5 - News radio
- KHXT (FM), Hot 107.9 - Rhythmic Contemporary
- KROF (AM), 960 The Gator, Cajun Variety
- KTDY (FM), 99.9 KTDY, Adult Contemporary
- KSMB (FM), 94.5 KSMB, Top 40 (CHR)
- KNEK-FM (FM), Magic 104.7, Urban AC
- KRRQ (FM), Q 95.5, Rhythmic Top 40
- KXKC (FM), 99.1 KXKC, Country Music
- KRDJ (FM), Rock 93.7, Active Rock
- KRVS (FM), Public Radio for Acadiana, World Ethnic (88.7)
- KAJN-FM (FM), Agape Radio, Contemporary Christian (102.9)
- KIKL (FM), Positive and Encouraging K-Love, Contemporary Christian (90.9)
- KLWB-FM (FM), Snap 103.7, Classic Hits (103.7)
- KCKR-FM (FM), Sonlife Radio, Christian Talk & Gospel Music (91.9)
Points of interest
Lafayette is the heart of Acadiana and the center of Cajun culture in Louisiana and the United States. As such, Lafayette has many cultural places of interest.
- Acadiana Center for the Arts
- Acadian Village is a reconstructed Cajun bayou community (of moved and reassembled authentic buildings) and has a representative collection of Cajun furnishings.
- Alexandre Mouton House Museum - a historic house museum, this was the home to Louisiana's first Democratic governor, Alexandre Mouton. It contains a collection of antiques, historical documents, and old Mardi Gras costumes.
- Borden's Ice Cream, the last Borden's Ice Cream location in the country.
- Children's Museum of Acadiana
- Cité des Arts
- Downtown Lafayette
- Girard Park
- Heymann Center - performing arts center.
- Acadian Cultural Center of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
- Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium
- Lafayette Public Library System - multiple branches
- Mall of Acadiana - large mall
- National Wetlands Research Center is a research facility operated by the U.S. Geological Survey that focuses on estuarine, marine, and freshwater wetlands.
- University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus
- Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum - art museum
- Cajundome - 13,500 seat multi-purpose arena; home of the Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball team
- Cajun Courts at Culotta Center - tennis center
- Cajun Field, nicknamed "the Swamp," home to the Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns football team.
- Cypress Lake is located at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
- * Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) - 70,000-square-foot facility at the Research Park; owns the world's first six-sided, digital virtual reality cube as well as the world's largest digital 3-D auditorium.
- Vermilionville is a reconstruction of a Cajun-Creole settlement from the 1765-to-1890 era
- Zoo of Acadiana is located nearby in Broussard.
- 2nd Saturday Artwalk - An artwalk downtown held every 2nd Saturday of every month.
- Bach Lunch - A spring outdoor concert series hosted by the Lafayette Natural History Museum and Planetarium, held in Parc Sans Souci downtown.
- Cajun Heartland State Fair - An eleven-day state fair held on the grounds of the Cajundome and Convention Center.
- Crouchstock - An annual music festival held to raise funds for the Jacob Crouch Foundation, a suicide prevention, awareness and education foundation.
- Downtown Alive! - A 25-year-old series of free, family friendly, outdoor concerts in the fall and spring.
- Drums Across Cajun Field - An annual DCI show hosted by the Pride of Acadiana
- Festivals Acadiens at Creoles - An annual collection of festivals celebrating Cajun and Creole Cultures.
- Festival International de Louisiane - An annual international festival of arts and music, celebrating Lafayette and the surrounding area's French heritage.
- Gulf Brew - An annual beer tasting festival.
- Le Festival de Mardi Gras à Lafayette - The second largest Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana.
- Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands - A popular high school marching band festival.
- Movies in the Parc - A fall outdoor children's movie series in Parc International downtown.
- Hopefest - A charity festival put on by high school students in the area
- Southern Screen Film Festival - Fostering the art and education of filmmaking in Lafayette, LA!
- South Louisiana Blackpot Festival & Cookoff - An annual festival celebrating great music, dancing, food, camping & jamming!
- Air: Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) is located on US Highway 90, on the southeast side of the city with daily scheduled passenger airline services to Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Atlanta. Charter services depart Lafayette Regional as well as helicopter services and cargo jets.
- Interstate Highway: I-10 and I-49 (Lafayette serves as I-49's southern terminus, at its intersection with I-10)
- Passenger Rail: The Amtrak Sunset Limited offers service from New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California with selected stops in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and California. The 2004 Route Guide describes service eastward to Orlando, Florida, but this has not been restored in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
- Intercity Passenger Bus: Greyhound operates a station downtown on Lee Avenue with destinations east and west on I-10, north on I-49 and southeast on US Hwy 90
- Public Transit: Lafayette Transit System provides bus service, (formerly City of Lafayette Transit (COLT). Public transportation is provided only within Lafayette City Limits.
- Bicycle Facilities: Lafayette has a limited number of dedicated commuter and recreational bicycling facilities, including a bicycle lane on each side of Johnston Street from UL-Lafayette area at Lewis Street to near Ambassador Caffery, ending at Ridge Road. UL-Lafayette has recently installed an off-road paved bicycle path beginning at its Horticultural Center on Johnston Street extending up Cajundome Boulevard to Eraste Landry Road. A number of out of use bicycle/pedestrian sidewalk paths remain from the 1970s and 80's but are unsigned. A recreational trail extending from Downtown Lafayette into the Cypress Island region of Saint Martin Parish is under development. This path will connect neighboring Breaux Bridge and Saint Martinville with Lafayette.
- Main Road Arteries: U.S. Routes 90 (co-signed with Evangeline Thruway, Mudd Avenue and Cameron Street within the city limits) and U.S. Route 167 (co-signed with I-49, Evangeline Thruway and Johnston Street). Ambassador Caffery Parkway, named for Jefferson Caffery, serves as a partial loop connecting I-10 at Exit 100 on the west and US 90 on the south. Other arterial roads include Verot School Road (LA 339), West Congress Street, Kaliste Saloom Road (LA 3095), Ridge Road, Carmel Drive/Breaux Bridge Highway (LA 94), University Avenue (LA 182), Pinhook Road (LA 182), Camellia Boulevard, Guilbeau Road, Moss Street, Willow Street, Louisiana Avenue, Pont Des Mouton Road, Eraste Landry Road, and South College Road.
Lafayette has six sister cities:
- Le Cannet, France (Twinned May 26, 1967)
- Longueuil, Quebec, Canada (Twinned December 3, 1968)
- Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (Twinned October 19, 1971)
- Poitiers, France (Twinned April 22, 1975)
- Namur, Belgium (Twinned June 19, 1979)
- Agnibilékrou, Côte d'Ivoire (Twinned October 5, 1999)
Six intersections in the downtown area are each named after one of its sister cities.
- "Table 2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012 (CBSA-EST2007-02)" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Niles' Weekly Register, BALTIMORE, June 26, 1824; LAFAYETTE
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Historical Weather for Lafayette, Louisiana, United States of America". Weatherbase.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "LPSS Career Academies". Retrieved July 20, 2009.
- "Lafayette Schools of Choice". Retrieved July 20, 2009.
- "LUS Services". Retrieved July 21, 2009.
- Foote, Kevin (May 15, 2009). "IceGators to skate again; join the discussion". Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Retrieved May 15, 2009.[dead link]
- "Nightlife - Downtown Lafayette Directory". Retrieved July 20, 2009.
- "LUSFiber". Retrieved July 20, 2009.
- "Lafayette's six sister cities". Retrieved October 16, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lafayette, Louisiana.|
- Lafayette Consolidated Government
- Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
- Lafayette Conventions and Visitors Center