Southern Cultural Heritage Center formally our Alma Mater, SFXA.
Under the tree-shaded south side of Crawford Street and across the street from the site of the political rally from the movie "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou," cauldrons boiled and bubbled, sending the aroma of sausage, chicken, duck, seafood and other delicious scents over and through the throng of people waiting in line for their taste of the cooks' art.
The Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation's fourth annual Carnaval de Mardi Gras and Gumbo Cook-off at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center drew an estimated 1,500 people who queued up at tents and booths bearing the names, 'Quack Attack," "Em Cluckers," "Mud Bugs," "Redwood Rednecks," "Nobie's" and "Gumbones Hedz" for a taste of the dish that is part of the Gulf south's culture as Cajun, New Orleans brass band and zydeco music floated out through several speaker systems.
Warmer weather with the high temperature in the mid-60's and clear skies cooling to 60 helped the mood of the event. Three booths, Riverwalk Casino's Rocky's Roux Dawgs and May & Company, serving the more traditional seafood gumbo. Roux Crew's offering included shrimp, crab and oysters.
One booth, Quack Attack, operated by Jeff Richardson and Ty Wamsley, offered duck andouille sausage gumbo to the sounds of zydeco music. "These are ducks shot right here in the MS Delta," Wamsley said.
Mud Bugs offered another variation on the chicken and sausage recipe with a turducken gumbo featuring chicken, duck and turkey meat and gumbo.
Roux Dawgs took first place in the seafood gumbo category, winning $200 and a free entry for next year's competition. May & Company finished second, with Riverwalk Casino placing third. In the non-seafood gumbo category, Novie's took first place and the $200 prize and free entry for the 2016 competition, Redwood Rednecks finished second, while J. Daddy Parms was third. Nobie's also had the best booth display. The Creek Krewe received the people's choice award.
Mike and Jan Cronin Jackson enjoying the cook-off!