In the heart of the Deep South lies Lake Charles, Louisiana. A historical city dating back to the mid 19th Century, Lake Charles is a hub for industry, culture, and education. Originally established under the name Charleston, Lake Charles has grown exponentially since its incorporation in 1910. One of the primary causes for the growth of Lake Charles following World War II was the increase in petrochemical refining in the area. In recent decades, the changing economy of the Southern United States has resulted in shifts in economics and population; though the area has largely remained a populous and successful area.
Today, petrochemical refineries, educational institutions, and casinos account for the largest employers in the Lake Charles area. Throughout the history of the area, as with many parts of Louisiana, Lake Charles is known as a pinnacle of Cajun culture. One of the yearly highlights of the area is the Mardi Gras festival, which has been known to draw as many as 150,000 people to the area, no doubt boosting tourism and commerce for the people of Lake Charles.