DescriptionEstablished as a French trading post in 1720, Opelousas takes its name from the original settlers, the Opelousas Indians. Jim Bowie, inventor of the Bowie knife, lived in Opelousas in the early 1800s and was married in the town. After a cholera epidemic killed his wife and children, Bowie joined the fight for Texas independence and died at the Alamo in 1836.
Opelousas claims another noted person—Louis Garriques. The son of a field marshal in the court of Louis XVI, Garriques was a general in Napoleon Bonaparte's army. A shipwreck brought him to Louisiana, where he was a hero in the Battle of New Orleans. Garriques became a member of the Louisiana Senate and House of Representatives. He is buried on the grounds of the St. Landry Catholic Church.
Thoroughbred races are held Wednesday through Saturday at Evangeline Downs on US 167N mid-April to late August or early September. Quarter horse racing takes place Wednesday through Saturday from late September to mid-December; phone (866) 472-2466.
Note: Policies concerning admittance of children to pari-mutuel betting facilities vary. Phone for information.
Visitor InfoOpelousas Tourist Information Center 828 E. Landry St. OPELOUSAS, LA 70570. Phone:(337)948-6263 or (800)424-5442
Things to SeeOpelousas Museum and Interpretive Center