GONZALES, La. (BRPROUD) — In 1968, the governor of Louisiana announced Gonzales Jambalaya Festival is the “Jambalaya Capital of the World” and ever since The Jambalaya Festival Association has continued to make history.

“This event. And the entire festival, I would say, is united because all of us are coming together supporting Gonzales. We’re here for Memorial Day weekend supporting our veterans who have passed on. We’re supporting Louisiana as a whole and its culture and heritage,” said Ava Savoy, 2022 Miss Gonzales Jambalaya.

“This festival is about our cooks,” Brigitte Reulet, recording secretary of the Jambalaya Festival Association said.

Layne Gautreau, a judge for the Jambalaya Festival, says he will be looking for the best appearance, texture, taste and flavor combination to announce one lucky Jambalaya Champion.

“World champion, he gets a championship ring, a gold — 14-karat gold — ring, $3,000 from the Jambalaya Festival Association. There’s also assorted pots and ice chests and some other gifts that they get,” Gautreau said.

Forty-four vendors lined up to support the Gonzales area, and there were more than 80 Jambalaya contestants this year.

The 56th annual Jambalaya Festival Association organizer says it’s better than last year’s.

“It’s the social event of the year. It’s almost like a reunion. We run into people we haven’t seen in years,” Gautreau said.

Festivities end on Sunday, May 28. So it’s not too late to go to the Gonzales Fairgrounds, 219 S. Irma Blvd. for live music and entertainment, carnival rides, vendors, a car show, and of course, jambalaya.