homepage logo

Gumbofest returns to the Shell Factory this Sunday

By Staff | Jan 25, 2018

It’s that time of year to once again pay homage to that rich soup built around a base of a dark, rich roux, supplemented by celery, onion, peppers, spices and either meat or seafood.

The 16th annual Gumbofest is set for Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Shell Factory where it has become one of the biggest the attractions of the year.

It also serves as the big annual fundraiser for its Nature Park Environmental Education Foundation, which funds field trips for area school children who might not otherwise visit.

At least 10 vendors are expected to serve up gumbo in a variety of ways, as well as jambalaya, jello shots, and your standard hamburgers and hots dogs.

Rick Tupper, CFO and marketing director of the Shell Factory, said running out of gumbo, as they did a few years ago, shouldn’t be an issue, with Capt’n Fishbones serving up two different kinds, seafood and sausage.

“We get great vendors every year, and it keeps growing. It will be the usual good time,” Tupper said. “We’re expecting a bigger crown than last year, about 5,000 to 6,000, and everybody is making gumbo.”

The Lobster Lady, Caballeros, Taste of the South and Jungle George are also expected to have gumbo available.

Every year, the event features the best zydeco music from right out of New Orleans. This year, the headliner will be Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, with the Porchdogs, the accordion-driven zydeco band once again opening the show.

The event is again sponsored by Sam Galloway Ford, which will have some of its new models on display. Admission is free, and children will receive free admission to the nature park with a paid adult admission.

Tupper said the big change came years ago when they stopped selling the event as something for adults and made it more family friendly.

“During the last five years we’ve made it more kid friendly. We’ll have fun park specials, they can get into the nature park free,” Tupper said. “Families feel comfortable about it. It’s not just about the gumbo and entertainment, it’s about the kids, too.”

The Shell Factory is at 2787 Tamiami Trail N.

For more information go to www.shellfactory.com or call 995-2141.