Nestled along scenic Bayou Teche between Opelousas and Arnaudville on Highway 31, the community of Leonville was founded as a settlement of free men of color, or gens de couleur libres. The town was named after the settlement’s first pastor, Father Leon Mailluchet, who built the first church there in 1898.
The present church, with its distinctive tower, was built by the second pastor, Father Eugene Livorel, between 1907 and 1916. He converted the old church into a rectory, and upper windows in the attic are still paneled in stained glass from the days that the house was a church.
Today Leonville is known for boudin and one of the best king cakes in Acadiana. You can find both at Champagnes Marche, winner of a blind king cake tasting and repeat champions at the Boudin Festival in Scott. Leonville also has several zydeco trail rides, a weekend celebration of music, food, camping, and horsemanship. These rides take place at the IFBS Lodge.
Leonville is also the starting point for many events taking place on Bayou Teche including Top of the Teche and Fete Dieu du Teche, a floating eucharistic procession during the Feast of the Assumption. These events celebrate sports and recreation on the Teche, the only National Water Trail in Louisiana.