Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!
By Sarah Naron
PALESTINE – All the fun and flavor of New Orleans will be making its way to Palestine thanks to two events scheduled to take place Saturday, Feb. 3.
As Palestine Economic Development Assistant Terri Johnson explained, Palestine Main Street will be hosting the 6th annual Taste of New Orleans.
“A taste of New Orleans is an annual celebration of Louisiana-style cuisine hosted by downtown businesses in their historic buildings which showcases the talents of local chefs and offers a taste of local wineries,” Johnson explained.
At various times during the event – which will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and conclude at 5:30 p.m. – free food demonstrations will be performed by local chefs at locations throughout downtown Palestine. A new demonstration will take place roughly every 45 minutes.
Kicking off the culinary show with a demonstration of crawfish chowder is Chef Hal Hamm of Hambone’s Cajun Grill at the Calhoun Building, located at 101 W. Oak St. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the event will also feature a wine tasting courtesy of Texas Vineyard & Smokehaus.
Chef Dee Seitz will be demonstrating the process of making muffaletta at the Old Magnolia Sandwich Shop, located at 120 W. Oak St. at 12:15 p.m.
A demonstration on baking King Cake will be provided by the culinary department of Slocum High School at the historic Texas Theater, located at 213 W. Crawford St., at 1 p.m.
Educating attendees on the creation of Cherokee-flavored popcorn will be Sharon Grizzle of Eilenberger’s Bakery. The presentation will begin at the bakery, located at 512 N. John St., at 1:45 p.m.
Jocelyn’s Donuts and Granny Muffin Wines will be joining forces for a wine tasting and beignet demonstrations at the winery, which is located at 301 W. Oak St., beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The Redlands Historic Inn, located at 400 N. Queen St., will be hosting three of the demonstrations with the first on the list being a presentation of shrimp and sausage gumbo by its own Chef Mimi Spring beginning at 3:15 p.m.
Set to begin at 4 p.m., the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinal Regiment will entertain attendees with live jazz music.
A wine tasting will be provided concurrently with the two aforementioned events by Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards of Pittsburg.
Those interested in following in the footsteps of the Acadian people, “who used dance as a way of pulling together and being positive in the face of adversity,” are invited to partake in a number of dance lessons hosted by Dr. Bill and the Mudbug Dancers in the Redlands parking lot. Set to begin at 4:30 p.m., the event will be moved to the Carnegie Library – located at 502 N. Queen St. – in the event of inclement weather.
Information will be provided on Acadian history and culture, as well as lessons on how to perform the Cajun jig, the Cajun two-step and the Cajun waltz. A Cajun yell contest will also take place.
Rounding out the schedule of events is the 9th annual Mardi Gras Parade.
“The parade will start at the Anderson County Courthouse at 5:30 p.m.,” explained Johnson, who serves as the organizer of the parade. “It will proceed down Ave. A, turn right on Oak Street, then end at the Farmers Market.”
Individuals and groups interested in participating in the parade may contact Johnson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by texting 682-667-3751. Completed applications must be submitted to Johnson via text or email attachment no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2.
Sarah Naron may be reached via email at email@example.com.