BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- Good food, good music, and good fun! The annual Jambalaya Festival is back!

COVID-19 took a toll on the festival, but the people of Gonzales say they are ready to bounce back.

The mayor of Gonzales, Barney Arceneaux, says he is excited for the festival to return after a two year pause.

“We’ve been away for two years and the excitement is everywhere right now,” said Arceneaux.

The festival features the world champion jambalaya, live music, entertainment, carnival rides, and carnival food.

Off to one side is where the 75 Jambalaya cooks, kicked off cooking for the day, hoping to continue to pass the semi-finals.

According to cook, Brady Diez, who’s been cooking Jambalaya for nearly 30 years, says cooking jambalaya was passed down through generations in his family.

“In my family, it was passed down from grandfather to father, to whomever. I actually learned from my aunt and uncle,” said Diez.

President of the Jambalaya Festival, and Grand Champion, Wally Taillon, is watching very closely how these cooks are “cookin”.

“These cooks know what their doin’, the majority of them, let’s say that a lot of these guys have been cooking like me 15 to 20 years,” said Tallon.

Many of the cooks have been cooking for several days now, but keep going because they aren’t afraid of a little competition.

Each and every year from the beginning, the Jamabalya association keeps scrapbooks to mark the history of each contest and queen.

The book contains the first Jambalaya festival, the first queen, and rings all kinds of memories. The world festival will continue to make history. and share the love of food with everyone.

The winner of the Jamablya Festival has not been announced yet, but it will be on the third day of the Festival.

To find out more information about the Jambalaya festival and the schedule, CLICK HERE.