Once upon a time—in 1967—the idea to have a great Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales was born. Buoyed by a declaration, the governor proclaimed Gonzales, Jambalaya Capital of the World and the first festival took place in the summer of 1968. This year will see the 50th Gonzales Jambalaya Festival take place May 26 & 27, and organizers are on track to serve up more events, more fun, and more jambalaya than ever before.
The headline events are, of course, the jambalaya cook-offs. There will be over 100 contestants cooking meat, rice, the holy trinity (a mixture of onions, celery & bell pepper) and their own various secret ingredients in the classic huge black pots. But those seeking a bigger challenge and a smaller canvas can compete in the mini pot contest and try to pack the same amount of flavor into a much smaller vessel. If anyone can do it, it’s the seasoned cooks of the world class jambalaya.
In addition to the cook-off, if you just need entertainment beyond the luscious aromas wafting from contestants’ cauldrons, there’s a full offering of Louisiana festival activities. Get your metabolism ready for some serious eating by signing up for the 5K or one-mile run, take in the car show or the arts and crafts on display, or watch the annual pageant and see which local lovely will get to be the next Jambalaya Queen! If you manage to pace your eating enough, there will be carnival rides, and as almost goes without saying, loads of live music provided by over 20 bands. Admission is free.
Keep up-to-date and see a full schedule of events at jambalayafestival.org.