Carnaval de Mardi Gras and cook-off this weekend
Published 10:29 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014
With bragging rights on the line, the Southern Cultural Heritage Center is sure to get heated up Saturday during the third annual Vicksburg Carnaval de Mardi Gras and Gumbo Cook-off competition.
“We have 15 competitors already signed-up, triple the number from last year,” said Alainna O’Bannon, the chairman of the event.
O’Bannon said she also has five additional verbal agreements. “I think people are waiting to see what the weather will do,” she said. The National Weather Service is forecasting a small chance for rain with mild temperatures reaching into the 60’s for the day.
Competitors will have until noon Friday to decide if they want to throw their beads into the pot. The entry fee for the cook-off is $40 and includes admittance for three team members to the carnival. First place winners will take home a trophy and a $200 cash prize. Awards will also be given for second and third prize, best decorated site and People’s Choice.
“Our judges for the event include a writer from Eat Jackson, the manager of Hal & Mal’s, the co-owner from T’Beaux’s Blues Le Roux and our Event Gold Sponsor,” O’Bannon said. “We are keeping the names secret for now,” she said.
The event, will also include children’s activities, live music and dancing. “Inside our dance floor will be moving to the music of Legal Tender with DeAnna Nicole and the street party, and the gumbo cook-off area will be enjoying the sounds of cajun zydeco music,” said O’Bannon.
“Occasions Wine and Spirit will have Pat O’Brien’s mix and rum on hand for hurricanes,” she said, and Capital City Beverage will be selling Mardi Gras Abita beer. “You can’t even get the Mardi Gras beer. It is sold out,” said O’Bannon, “but Capital City Beverage reserved some just for us.”
Admission is $10 for adults and includes gumbo and a beverage ticket and $5 for children which includes unlimited children’s activities.
King cake will be available for sale at a concession stand along with hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, 1107 Washington St., or at the door the night of the event. Festivities will run from 5 to 9 p.m.
All proceeds will benefit the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. For more information on gumbo cook-off rules or a team form, call 601-636-5010 or visit www.facebook.com/vicksburg.mardi.gras.