Warming up in winter is synonymous in these parts with sitting down to a steaming bowl of delicious gumbo, so it makes sense that winter would be the perfect time to host a festival for this celebrated Creole dish. On February 19-20, 2021, the Sandestin Gumbo Festival returns for its 32nd year along Florida’s Emerald Coast, giving New Orleanians the perfect excuse for a weekend trip to the beach and The Village of Baytowne Wharf.
The event kicks off on Friday, February 19, with a Seafood Boil Kick-off Party at Hammerhead’s Bar & Grille, where all your favorite shellfish will be piled high right out of the pot. On Saturday, February 20, the main event takes over the Village of Baytowne Wharf, where visitors can expect around 15-20 different gumbos for tasting and rating – dark and light roux renditions stocked with chicken, sausage, or seafood. Celebrity judges will name the Area’s Best while attendees will vote to name the People’s Choice prize winner. Live music from Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe adds Creole flair while The Best Bloody Marys at the Beach competition spices things up with an eye-opening kick. Stillhouse is the official Sponsor of the Best Bloody Mary at The Beach Competition providing participants with their classic vodka to make their innovative and delicious Bloody Marys.
“This year’s event promises to serve up fun for everyone,” says Leighann Elliott, Events Manager at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. “The fest features the best of the panhandle culinary scene—between the gumbo and the Bloody Marys, you’ll be tasting creations from some of the finest restaurants and bars along the coast.”
The Sandestin Gumbo Festival benefits the Sandestin Foundation for Kids, which supports causes and organizations that make a meaningful, positive difference in the lives of children. Speaking of children, there’s plenty of them to do at this family friendly fest as well, with a variety of children’s activities and entertainment for all ages.
“There is nothing like attending a local festival and getting to know the community through the different restaurants and businesses, all while having fun and contributing to a great cause,” says Elliott.
The Sandestin Golf & Beach resort offers an accommodations package for visiting beachgoers that includes a ticket to Saturday’s main event. Attendees that stay two or more nights during the festival can save 40 percent on accommodations and receive festival tickets per adult with your stay. Additional tickets can be added for a fee, based on availability. Book now by visiting sandestingumbofestival.com or by calling 866-259-3585.