Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Charlotte Guedry
A crowd gathers in front of the stage at a past Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales. This year’s festival begins Thursday afternoon.                                                                File photos

It’s that time of year again, time to get those palates ready for some good, Ascension Parish food.

This weekend sees Gonzales, or as us locals like to call it, the Jambalaya Capitol of the World, play host to the 44th?Annual Jambalaya Festival.

Chefs galore have been putting their finishing touches on their secret recipes to battle it out to be crowned the 2011 champion.

More than 100 cooks will throw their hats into the ring.

Wally Tallion, president of the Jambalaya Festival Association, is looking forward to the event and the turnout.

“Jambalaya is definitely my thing,” he said. “I look forward to this all year. We’re inviting everyone to come out and make this our best event yet.”

Tallion said this year’s free event is a must-do for all parish residents, and even those farther afield.

“We’ve even got some extra attractions this year, including an 8-by-6 foot cake from Cal’s Bakery. It’s free to come out and have a piece. Everyone is welcome,” he said.

The festival also promises visitors the chance to dust off their dancing shoes, as more than 25 bands take to the stages to entertain.

“We’ve got some great bands,” said Tallion. “There are just so many reasons to come on out and enjoy yourselves.”

The fun begins at 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon, as previous Jambalaya Festival cooking winners put their recipes in their pots to see who will be crowned Champion of Champions.

The four-day event will also have arts and crafts for sale.

The 5K and one mile runs take place on Saturday morning on Irma Boulevard.

The Car Show also takes place on Saturday, so those will a passion for machines can take advantage of having a look at the cars.

“There is so much to do,” said Tallion. “There really is something for everyone at this year’s festival.”

For more information, contact the Jambalaya Festival Association by calling 806-5759, or visit the association’s website on www.jambalayafestival.org.

Also look out for your free collectors full color copy of the official Jambalaya Festival Magazine, produced by the Gonzales Weekly Citizen.

The festival’s almost here, so forks at the ready, Ascension.