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.
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.
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!).
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.
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!
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.