The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) will host the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Freelance Council Convention during Mardi Gras. Over Mardi Gras weekend through Fat Tuesday on February 9, 40 esteemed travel journalists will be in Southwest Louisiana experiencing the area’s family-friendly Mardi Gras.

“Their professional development sessions will feature local photographer Lindsey Janies, self-publisher Tommie Townsley, yoga instructor Chelsea Boudreaux, Thrive editor and publisher Kristy Armand, among others within the organization. Plus, we are organizing tours for a behind-the-scenes view of the Royal Gala, teaching them how to Zydeco dance, and showing them both traditional rural and city parades. We’ll also make sure they see the region’s Carnival history at the Mardi Gras Museum,” said Megan Hartman, senior public relations manager at the CVB.

In addition to the Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras festivities, the Freelance Council will also enjoy an area culinary tour, winter birding opportunities along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road and a chance to see the new Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point.

The CVB is coordinating pre and post conference tours throughout the state of Louisiana with the help of the Louisiana Office of Tourism and the Louisiana Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus.

The economic impact of hosting SATW’s Freelance Council Convention should be seen in coming years through increased visitation to Southwest Louisiana as a result of stories written on the destination. In addition to the CVB, the Louisiana Office of Tourism is a Presenting Sponsor.

The convention will be held at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles February 6-10. For more information on the Society of American Travel Writers, visit