Autumn in Louisiana doesn’t bring the masses of golden foliage like they have in the Northeast nor does it bring the first whispers of frost to the ground. Nope, here it means “gumbo weather.” When it drops below 70 degrees it is on pecan to make some of our indigenous stew. Furious debates rage on whether okra is welcome in the pot. Some are seafood, some are chicken and sausage, and some people get weird and throw tomatoes in there, but all are delicious, which is a fact the New Iberia had in mind when they formed the first World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off 22 years ago. The next competition is Oct. 7-9.

Held at the Bouligny Plaza in New Iberia’s downtown area, gumbo is the crown jewel but by no means the entire crown. Applications to compete in the cook-off ended in August — it is a year-round event to plan. The gumbo cooking begins at 11 a.m. on the Saturday and ends that night but there is the Cajun Creole Food Fest that day as well with all sorts of goodies for sale. Fried crawfish pizza, grilled gator sausage, andouille sliders, poboys, bread pudding, beignets and more will be sold. New Iberia merchants will be offering special discounts.

Nearly 30,000 people are expected to attend. Special commemortive merchandise, like the poster here, will be sold.

Musical acts during the festival include Broken MeauxJo, Jamie Bergeron & the Kickin’ Cajuns, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Chris Ardoin & NuStep, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie and Wayne Toups.

To check out the latest updates go to the official World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off site here.

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