Get ready to fill up on the area’s best gumbo
Published 11:05 am Friday, January 31, 2020
It’s time to pull out the pots and mix it up for the 9th annual Carnaval de Mardi Gras Gumbo Cook-Off.
Sponsored by the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, the ninth installment of the family-friendly event will be held from Saturday, Feb. 22 from 5-8 p.m. on Crawford Street outside the Southern Cultural Heritage Center.
The event will follow the annual Mardi Gras parade, which will be held along Washington Street.
Nancy Bell, executive director of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, said she is excited about the annual event.
“We have some great teams ready to compete,” Bell said.
For those who have yet to sign up, it’s not too late to jump into the competition, she said, adding the deadline to register is Thursday, Feb. 20 at noon.
Entry fees submitted before Feb. 14 are $50, while those registering after Feb. 14 will be charged $75.
The initial entry fee includes four team members. The cost for additional team members is $5 with a limit of six.
Bell said competitors may prepare either seafood or non-seafood gumbo and will need to provide no less than five gallons of gumbo for judging and public tasting and have a minimum of two gallons of rice.
Gumbo must be cooked on-site, she said, however, rice can be prepared ahead of time.
Each team will be provided a 10-by-10-foot site. Cookers are responsible for providing tables, chairs, a pop-up tent or tarp structure, cookstove (propane), cooking supplies, ingredients, extension cords and trash bags.
No electricity will be provided, Bell said, but there will be access to one 110-volt outlet at each site.
“You are encouraged to decorate your table, tent and cooking area,” Bell said, adding first, second and third-place awards will be given out to the best-decorated site.
A people’s choice award will be given out to teams in each gumbo category as well as first, second and third-place awards.
“First place in each gumbo category will be awarded $300 and best decorated wins a gift card and prize,” Bell said.
Judging will begin at 3:45 p.m. and the awards will be presented at 7:30 p.m.
Gumbo will be judged based on flavor, aroma, consistency, appearance and texture.
In addition to the cook-off, the Carnaval de Mardi Gras Gumbo Cook-Off will also include entertainment by Legal Tender.
“We are delighted to have the band performing for the event again,” she said.
There will also be a beer booth, jump houses for children and other carnival games for prizes. And for those who don’t like gumbo, hot dogs, popcorn, cookies, king cake and bread pudding will be available for sale.
Admission to the event is $10 and includes a gumbo bowl and $5 for children, which covers all activities.
Additional tickets can be purchased for drinks and concessions.
All proceeds from the Carnaval de Mardi Gras Gumbo Cook-Off will benefit the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation.
For more information or a complete listing of rules, visit www.facebook.com/vicksburg.mardi.gras.