Madisonville celebrates 33 years on the banks of the beautiful Tchefuncte River this fall as the Wooden Boat Festival returns, October 14-15, 2023. Presented by Maritime Museum Louisiana, this fun family festival attracts over one hundred classic boats, hundreds of spectator boats and wooden boat and music enthusiasts for this two-day celebration, open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. A pre-festival gala at the Museum, "Maritime Mania", is held on the Friday evening before the festival.
BOATS, SCIENCE & NATURE
The festival offers tons of fun for kids of all ages, including arts and crafts booths lined along Water Street, the Quick 'n Dirty Boat Building Contest and Parade on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and the "Anchors Away" Cardboard Boat Regatta on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Individuals and teams are invited to test their skills in creating and piloting their own seagoing vessels in these contests for bragging rights and an array of prizes. Participation is free and open to all teams and individuals age 12 and over. Boat-building activities will take place in the parking area across the street from the museum. The Regatta launches at 3:00 PM from the small dock on the south side of Water Street.
Kids' activities abound in the Children's Village, located in front of the Maritime Museum (133 Mabel Drive). There's lots to do, with bounce houses, toss games, an obstacle course by Madisonville Fire Dept., a fishing game and other fun children's activities. Museum admission is free all day.
Live entertainment will take place at the Water Street riverfront stage. A complete schedule of events with times and locations, and the music lineup, will be available at https://woodenboatfest.org
Tickets are $10 per day for adults, $5 for seniors 65+, $5 for children 5-12 years of age and free for children 5 and under and Active Duty Military (with ID). Same-day unlimited re-entry. Your admission ticket also gives you free access to the Maritime Museum. The area in front of the museum will be pedestrian only and closed to vehicle traffic.
Festival supporters will enjoy the "Maritime Mania" Kick-Off Party on Friday evening before the festival, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The gala party ticket includes one free ticket to the festival. Visit the website for information on tickets and sponsorships.
Come out and celebrate the unique maritime history and culture of Louisiana!
Take interstate I-12 to exit 59, Louisiana Highway 21. Follow Highway 21 south to Madisonville.
Since parking by festival grounds is very limited, so park-and-ride off-site is recommended. FREE off-site parking and shuttle service directly to festival grounds will be available from the Sam’s Club Parking lot (69630 Stirling Blvd., Covington), 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday. Handicapped and RV parking available at the Maritime Museum, but limited; early arrival is recommended.