For Immediate Release

Shelley Johnson, executive director
Megan Hartman, senior marketing manager

Mardi Gras Gumbo Cook-off, Omega Parade, Zydeco Dance and More!

LAKE CHARLES, La. (December 17, 2014)-The public tastes from every pot of chicken and sausage, seafood or wild game gumbo in a hot contest of more than 50 teams on Saturday, February 14, at the Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Amateur and professional teams will stir up hundreds of gallons of rich, spicy gumbo and serve it at the Cajun Extravaganza and Gumbo Cook-off, which is a Mardi Gras tradition among krewes, professionals and amateurs in Southwest Louisiana. The event is a must-be-there mix of award winning food, floor-stomping music, and the down-home spirit of Mardi Gras.

Gumbo contestants begin cooking at 7:30 a.m., and judging is at 11:30 a.m, with gumbo served immediately afterward until 1:30 p.m. In addition to scrumptious food, there will be festive music.

There are three categories: chicken and sausage, seafood and wild game, and there are amateur and professional divisions. Admission is $5, and gumbo-lovers will be able to sample from all the different gumbo pots.

"The Gumbo Cook-off is Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana's largest fundraising event with the proceeds funding many of the free community events that we put on during the Carnival season. We are pleased with the growth this event continues to experience and are looking forward to our 19th annual rendition in 2015," said Katie Harrington, executive director of Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana.

Also on Saturday, February 14, at the Lake Charles Civic Center, you can enjoy the 49th Annual Krewe of Omega Parade at 2 p.m. followed by the Krewe of Barkus Parade at 3 p.m. and the Zydeco Dance from 3 - 5 p.m. with live music.

Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana would not be possible without the help of generous sponsors including the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, L'Auberge Casino Resort, and Brookshire Brothers/Cormie's. Coushatta Casino Resort is the official sponsor for the Gumbo Cook-off.

For more information on the Gumbo Cook-off, contact Katie Harrington at (337) 526-9009. For all other Mardi Gras events, visit or contact the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau at (337) 436-9588.