Gonzales ready for annual festival

Staff reports
Mitchell Brothers carnival opened the Jambalalya Festival Wednesday evening with a “lights on” night, kicking off the 42nd Annual Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales. The Memorial Day Weekend festival kicked into high gear Thursday with the Champ of Champs Cooking Contest.

The 42nd Annual Jambalaya Festival officially kicked off Thursday in Gonzales with The Champ of Champs Cooking Contest at 2 p.m.

The competition featuring former World Champion Jambalaya cooks is a star-studded opening to a planned Memorial Day weekend on Irma Boulevard in Gonzales, filled with competitive cooking, music, dancing, art and a carnival midway.

Around 115 cooks had signed up for the World Champion Jambalaya cooking contest, and there will also be the popular Mini-Pot Cooking Contest for all ages on Saturday.

A big musical lineup is planned, with headliners Luther Kent, Chris LeBlanc. The Chee-Wheez, Gas House Gorillas, Bag of Donuts and many local favorites.

The annual Antique Car Show will attract car buffs from 10 - 4 p.m. Saturday on South Irma Boulevard.

The annual 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run begins at the Gonzales Civic Center at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The Gonzales Art Guild Jambalaya Art Exhibit and Sale will open Friday inside City Hall and wrap up Sunday with its award presentations.

Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Queen Chanie Frederic and Teen Queen Kourtney Gautreaux reign over the festival this year.

For a complete list of events and times, a festival history and photos from past Jambalalya Festivals, pick up a free Weekly Citizen Jambalaya Festival publication on the festival grounds and in area stores and restaurants.

Three-time World Champion Jambalaya Cook Byron Gautreau and his helper and grandson Eric Ewing chop onions and celery Thursday afternoon in preparation for the Champ of Champs jambalaya cooking contest at the 42nd Annual Jambalalya Festival in Gonzales.