Where else, but at the German Sausage Festival in Elberta, Alabama, would you see four gals dancing to I Will Play for Gumbo? I would have never thought the Elberta German Sausage Festival would be such a multicultural event! But then, that proves it — gumbo knows no boundaries.
Just like gumbo, small town festivals mix some distinctive ingredients to create a memorable serving. At this festival, which benefits the Fire Department, the firemen grill the sausage with such flourish you can see the smoke from the highway. The planners mix in several dozen craft vendors, funnel cakes and carnie food, a rock climbing wall, some pony rides, and they’ve got an event. The sleepy town of fifteen hundred grows to more than twenty thousand for twelve hours in October, then again in March.
Now if you’re looking for a big time festival designed for dancing with gumbo, Geraldine (a reader who’s a native of New Orleans) has alerted me that Nov. 10-11 is the big gumbo festival that’s part of New Orleans’ Jazz Fest. Check it out at http://www.jazzandheritage.org/treme-gumbo
The fact is, people do play for gumbo in New Orleans, so writes Garland Robinette, who designed the 2011 New Orleans Jazz Festival poster which features a long-haired Jimmy Buffett playing his guitar. Robinette describes how Jimmy Buffett played the street corners of the French Quarter while a college student at University of Southern Mississippi. An interesting read at http://www.art4now.com/cgi/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=ST-20110102