5 Gumbo Festivals in Louisiana You Won’t Want To Miss

Gumbo and Louisiana have gone together since the beginning of time, it seems. So, it’s only natural that the great state of Louisiana be home to several Gumbo Festivals!

Gumbo, a southern Louisiana classic, is a thick stew-like soup filled with meat or seafood, okra, and Creole and Cajun seasonings. This dish dates back as far as the beginning of the 19th century, but it’s unsure where it originated. Some say it’s roots belong to the Choctaw, others claim it’s a West African dish, and others credit the French. Regardless, this dish is a treasured part of Louisiana history.

Every October and November, hundreds of thousands of Louisianians participate in making and tasting gumbo, coming together as a community to celebrate the rich and unique culture that has been cultivated over time. It’s festivals like these that make Louisiana such a unique state, and there’s nowhere else in the world you could find such trademark gumbo in such delicious capacities than at one of these festivals.

Louisiana Travel put together a list of five gumbo festivals every Louisianian should taste!

Louisiana Gumbo Festival

Located in Chackbay, the “Gumbo Capital of Louisiana”, this festival has been an on-going October fest for more than 45 years. With volunteers cooking over 500 gallons of gumbo, jambalaya, and other Cajun specialites, you can get your fill of this Louisiana classic and then grab a partner and dance to the live music that’s there every day.

Bridge City Gumbo Festival

Having grown into one of the New Orleans area’s premiere food events, this festival in Bridge City brings in over 60,000 attendees every October. See the intense competition between who makes the best gumbo and enjoy a weekend filled with delicious food (and get to meet some of the best chefs in New Orleans!).

World Championship Gumbo Cookoff

In this two- day festival in New Iberia, over 100 teams of gumbo professionals cook up their best gumbo recipes from scratch in hopes of winning ultimate gumbo champion. What’s unique about this festival is that everything from the roux to the rice is prepared on site and fresh to the taste.

South Louisiana Blackpot Festival & Cookoff

Check out Lafayette’s cajun roots at the Blackpot festival. Although it’s one of the newer gumbo festivals, it’s also the biggest, with gravy, gumbo, cracklins, jambalaya, and dessert competitions, a massive music selection with square dance groups and string bands, and see some of the best bands in the world like The Pine Leaf Boys and Cedric Watson. You can even camp out on site to make sure you don’t miss any of the good stuff!

Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival

The only festival in November, the month of perfect gumbo weather, this free festival satisfies every diet, with Creole, Cajun, and vegan gumbo. So grab a bowl and sit back to listen to some of New Orleans’ best brass bands.

So for a true Louisiana experience, make sure to hit one of these fall festivals (and your sweet spot),eat more gumbo than you’ve ever dreamed, and experience Louisiana at its greatest!

For more Louisiana related articles, click here.

Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

The leaves are falling and the weather is finally cooling off, which means it’s finally fall, and we have the perfect fall dinner recipe for you! Gumbo is a hearty stew the fills up rumbling bellies with a medley of meat or shellfish, okra, onions, peppers, celery, and Creole or Cajun seasoning. A trademark Louisianan food, Gumbo is easily a famous and well-loved dish amongst Louisiana residents (so much so that it was named the official Louisiana state food!).

It’s thought the dish originated at the beginning of the 19th century and is rooted in the history of West Africans and Choctaws. Throughout its long history, the recipe has helped form a Louisianan culture and has been created in vast ways, gracing the tables of those from all economic statuses.

This chicken, sausage, and shrimp gumbo recipe from Savor the Flavor is guaranteed to bring both the flavor and Louisiana culture straight to your table.

This recipe makes about 9 cups of gumbo and takes approximately 3 hours to make from start to finish (including prep time).


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces Cajun-style Andouille sausage, cut in round pieces
  • 6 pieces smoked bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup lard (fat)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 5 cups seafood or shrimp stock
  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen sliced okra
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 seedless lemon
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (to garnish)
  • Cooked rice


Step One: The Meat

First, heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat, then transfer chicken breast pieces to olive oil. Brown chicken pieces. Once they’re browned, remove from heat and place on a plate. When chicken is cool, shred with a fork.

In the same pot, add sausage and (already smoked) bacon. Cook until the sausage is browned, then remove from heat and place on paper towel-lined plate until cool.

Step Two: The Roux

Using a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, hit lard over medium heat, then whisk in the flour, stirring constantly until the roux turns a deep copper (penny colored). For step by step instructions on how to make the roux and different tips and tricks, click here.

Step Three: The Gumbo

Using a heavy-bottomed pan, transfer roux and add celery, onion, and green pepper. Over medium heat, stir until vegetables are softened, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Next, pour in the seafood stock and shredded chicken and the sausage and bacon combination. Stir until combined, then add in the sliced okra, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and half of a seedless lemon.

Cover and bring gumbo to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about a half-hour.

Now, you’ll remove the lemon and add the shrimp, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Stir until combined then allow to cook for about 5 more minutes. Taste and add seasoning based on preference.

Garnish with parsley and serve over a bed of hot rice. Enjoy!

Quick tip: Gumbo is even better the next day! Make sure to store leftovers refrigerated in a sealed container for ultimate freshness.

For more delicious recipes, click here.


Louisiana’s Most Famous Food

Louisiana is known for many things, but the food usually makes the top of the list. Louisiana Travel has a list of Louisiana’s most famous food and where to find them. We are sharing some of those with you!


What are they:

A Po’boy is a sandwich Louisiana has made their own. It’s definitely at the top of the Louisiana’s famous food list.  Usually always made up with meat like, fried seafood, roast beef, or even just regular deli meat. But the thing that makes Po’boys extra special is the bread they are served on. Traditional French Bread, which often has a fluffy center and a crispy crust. If you enjoy mayonnaise, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce then ask for your Po’boy to be “dressed”.

Where to find them:

New Orleans holds theOak Street Po-Boy Festival, which goes on in November. A New Orleans restaurant, Mother’s Restaurant serves one of the best roast beef po’boys. Maybe New Orleans is too far, check out Chris’ Po’boys that is located in Lafayette, Louisiana. They are known to be the best in Cajun Country!

King Cake

What are they:

Round braided dough filled with cinnamon that is covered in icing. Colored sugar covers the top of the King Cake and there is even a little plastic baby that is stuffed inside. There are three colors that are presented on the top. Purple represents justice, green represents faith, and gold represents power. These cakes can also be filled! If you get the piece with the baby, that means you have to buy the next King Cake!

Where to find them:

Metairie is known to have the best at Manny Randazzo’s King Cakes. However, this amazing desert can be found anywhere from Shreveport to the cities that line the Gulf Coast. They can also be found in these pretty amazing places:

Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans

Atwood’s Bakery in Alexandria

Daily Harvest Bakery & Deli in Monroe


What are they:

A smoked sausage casing is filled with pork, rice and spices. It can be served in balls or links. Usually boudin balls are deep fried and served with dipping sauce. The links can also be grilled and served like that. It can be an easy snack or even a whole meal!

Where to find them:

Scott, Louisiana is the Boudin Capital of the World is one of the best places to find boudin. Or not that far down the road, Earl’s Cajun Market is known for their plate lunches and their amazing boudin. They are located in Lafayette, Louisiana. Check out these places for even more boudin options:

Billy’s Boudin and Cracklins

Don’s Specialty Meats


What is it:

The base of gumbo is known as a roux, which is made up of butter/oil mixed with flour. Gumbo is one of the most versatile Louisiana recipes. Everyone cooks it differently. However, there is always a protein and plenty of seasoning. The Creole style gumbo usually incorporates tomatoes while the Cajun style sticks to the “regular” roux. Gumbo is actually the official Louisiana dish.

Where to find it:

Almost every where in Louisiana offers gumbo. If you want to experience the full southern Louisiana experience, try trying some different bowls of gumbo from New Orleans. The Gumbo Shop and Restaurant R’evolution are both located in New Orleans. Want something a little more north? Check out Monroe, Louisiana and visit Warehouse No. 1 for a seafood gumbo.

For more Louisiana related articles, click here, and to read the entire article on Louisiana’s Famous Foods click here.