Posted by: Mae Mayeux
America? Heck, yes! That’s what Washington Parish
is all about. Bonnie Blue
under the red, white and blue. Louisiana’s Florida parishes
are a cradle of independence. Blue skies, timberland, and a long, long history of going your own way and standing up for liberty from tyranny. Franklinton. Bogalusa.
Say Bogalusa once and the name will make you smile. Drive to Bogalusa, the biggest city in Washington Parish, and you’ll get a good taste of Louisiana the way it’s lived by the people who call the Pelican State home.
In Louisiana, the toe of this wonderful state’s boot is where a lot of action is happening. A day and a night in Bogalusa is this close to paradise. Come find out for yourself. Discover a part of Americana you didn’t know anything about before you crossed the Louisiana border. Washington Parish. Heck, yes! The pines are tall and the watermelons are plump.
In Washington Parish, you’re in what used to be French sovereign territory. Then, it was part of the British colony of West Florida, not to be confused with Spanish Florida. When you see a blue flag with a single bright white star in its middle, that’s the Bonnie Blue flag
, the symbol of the Florida parishes. This part of Louisiana has its own identity and its own history. You won’t find it in many books but you’ll experience it firsthand when you visit this unique and exceptional part of Louisiana. Louisiana is full of unexpected and delightful surprises.
Bogalusa is the biggest city in Washington Parish but Franklinton is the parish seat. Named after Benjamin, the way the parish is named after George, there is no doubt that this part of Louisiana is firmly a part of the good old U.S. of A. Explore it and learn another side, a lighter side, a brighter side, an undiscovered side of history. 676 square miles (1,751 square kilometers) of rolling acres await your visit in Washington Parish.
Washington Parish is old timber country. Pine trees, cypress, oak — you can still see these stately trees standing ready to be harvested. It is also watermelon country. An agricultural heartland of the great State of Louisiana, watermelons have replaced lumber as the parish’s main commercial product. Stand on the side of a backcountry road at midnight and you can smell the sugar rising off the watermelon vines in the dark. It’s enchanting at night. It is just as enchanting to pass past the fields during the day. Washington Parish is plump with juicy delights.
To get a genuine feel of northeastern Louisiana, visit Bogue Chitto, which is both a national wildlife refuge and a national park. Washington Parish is full of surprises and it is full of people ready to show you around and willing to share their home parish with you, and it is never far removed from nature.
Coming in October? Make time to visit the Washington Parish Fair, the largest free outdoor fair in the United States. It’s held in Franklinton. People come from miles around to show off their produce, to join in the fun, and to meet and mingle with both their neighbors and visitors to this wonderful part of Louisiana. The toe of Louisiana’s boot is where the action is happening. Come discover it for yourself.
If you want to experience the real Louisiana outside of a chain hotel off the highway exit ramp, think about staying at a Louisiana Bed and Breakfast Inn. The Louisiana Bed and Breakfast Association is your go-to site to find the most authentic places to stay when you visit our fair state. You won’t be disappointed.
For more information about Washington Parish tourism, click here.