Here are some of the Festivities held in New Iberia: Gumbo Cook Off, Sugarcane Festival, Mardi Gras , Fais Do-Dos.

Sugarcane Festival 

The Sugarcane Festival is a very big celebration in Iberia Parish.  It is held every year on the last full weekend in September. This year it will be held from September 22nd thru September 25, 2005.

An annual Sugarcane Festival Run, a King's Reception, festival ball, a Mass and Blessing of the Crop, Brown Bag concerts, parades, fais-do-dos and many other activities are held throughout the Sugarcane Festival. There are also many shows and contests. The Queens Sugar contest and the Sugar Cookery contest are two of the most popular. Some of the shows are a 4-H/FA Livestock show, a flower show, an art show, a quilt, and a photography show.

On Friday, it is Farmer's Day and farmers throughout the Parish are celebrated. Awards are presented for the highest yield. People dress as farmers, the crops are blessed, a boat parade and firework displays are held, and there is a fais-do-do. In the boat parade people decorate their boats and throw candy, along the Bayou Teche. Some people even campaign for public office. A large turnout is always expected because of the fireworks display at the end.

On Saturday, there is the Children's Parade, a Cornation Ball and some interesting shows and activities. Children from schools all over Iberia parish participate in New Iberia's annual Sugarcane Festival Children's Parade. Other participants are children who were crowned kings and queens of various organizations, dance schools, and community organizations for children. The Children's Parade usually generates the biggest turnout. This parade is probably the best one of all. Also, the Cornation of Queen Sugar is held followed by the cornation ball where Queen Sugar and King Sucrose are crowned.

On Sunday, there is the Parade of Sugarcane Growers and their Royalty. The LA Sugarcane Festival and Fair Association honors its Sugarcane growers and the industry's royalty. Kings and queens from all across south Louisiana participate in this parade. It consists of many beautiful floats with lots of different kings and queens representing various parishes and festivals in Louisiana. It's always held on a Sunday, this parade is the culminating parade. It, too, brings out a multitude of spectators.

The annual Sugarcane Festival Fair is the biggest part of the Sugarcane Festival. The fair lasts five days. A huge crowd is expected every night. Some go to the fair everyday from the time it opens to the time it closes. Family day is usually the first day, the fourth day, and the fifth day. A lot of money is made during this five day period. People around the parish anticipate the arrival of this festive event.

Gumbo Cook Off 

The Eleventh Annual World Champion Gumbo Cook-Off, sponsored by the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce will be held on October 14, 2001. Thousands of area residents and visitors from all over come to this event. Those who attend this event will have the opportunity to enjoy gumbo dishes, live music, dancing, and other great entertainment.

The Gumbo Cook-Off is a huge contest, with two divisions, amateur and professional and two categories, seafood and non-seafood. Cooks from all over compete to see who has the best gumbo. There are many different kinds of gumbo. Prizes are given for winners in both division and categories. This year additional trophies were handed out in the categories of showmanship and booth decoration. The winners also get "bragging rights" to the World's Best Gumbo.

2005 First Place Awards

Booth Decoration               
Professional  Seafood Gumbo     
Professional Non-Seafood Gumbo  
Amateur Seafood Gumbo           
Amateur Non-Seafood Gumbo
Next year's Gumbo Cook- Off will be held in October 2005. Check back on this page for an exact date.

Gumbo- A thick, robust soup made with a roux(thick brown gravy made from flour and oil cooked slowly), seasonings, and meat. There are thousands of variations, such as shrimp or seafood gumbo, chicken and sausage gumbo, and okra gumbo. Just about anything can be include in the gumbo. Sometimes it is whatever is available. Gumbo is normally served over rice.

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Questions or Comments? Send mail to* pacarlyon@iberia.k12.la.us