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Contraband Days Pirate Festival (Lake Charles, Louisiana)

Legend has it that buccaneer Jean Lafitte buried an enormous treasure somewhere along Lake Charles's sandy shoreline. Since 1958, Contraband Days Pirate Festival, which attracts more than 100,000 people, has been honoring the legend each May.

Perhaps one of the funniest sights of the festival is when the mayor is made to walk the plank after pirates take over the town. The plucky civic chief is naturally rescued quickly, then is free to enjoy the rest of the fest with its carnival, arm wrestling competition, sailboat regatta, and bed races. With an eclectic selection of nearly 100 different events, Contraband Days is frequently chosen by the American Bus Association as a Top 100 Event in North America.

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