Jambalaya Association receives $50,000 donation from City of Gonzales

Brandie Richardson
Pictured from left to right are Miss Gonzales Jambalaya 2016 Holly Stelly, Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux, Jambalaya Festival Association President Wally Taillon and Jambalaya Festival Association Vice President Tammy Guillory.

The Jambalaya Festival Association (JFA) was awarded a $50,000 donation last week from the City of Gonzales. The money was part of the Visitors Enterprise Fund from the state that is required to be used for tourism purposes, said Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux.

"It's tourism money so its got to be doled out to anybody that brings in any type of tourism," Arceneaux said. "They are probably the number one group that actually brings people in from out of town during that weekend (Memorial weekend), so that's the main reason why we give it to them. With the increase from the state to us, it allowed us to give the increase to them."

Jambalaya Festival Association President Wally Taillon said the money will be used towards costs for their new building that was recently built and for their annual Jambalaya Festival.

"Money keeps you operating and being a non-profit and having no one on the payroll and having all volunteer help, it's a big help," Taillon said. "It takes money to put the festival on. That's what it's all about, trying to make money to give back to the community."

Taillon said it takes around $225,000 to carry out the festival which is why the JFA holds various events throughout the year, such as the Christmas Parade and the cooking contest at the Sportsman Show, to try and raise funds for it.

The JFA participates in over 20 charity and over 25 civic organization events throughout the year providing jambalaya for participants.

Arceneaux noted that the City donates money to various organizations in the city to help with tourism increase as well.