After Covid-19 stymied the event in 2021, the annual Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-Off was back on Saturday, drawing thousands of visitors to Parker Park for food, drink, live music and Mardi-Gras-themed festivities.
It was an early morning for the competitors who set up their booths and prepared their dishes hours before the gates were opened to the public at 10 a.m. Central. The gumbo competition was fierce, with 26 teams registering their recipes for gumbo or Brunswick stew for a chance at the $500 cash prize.
In the gumbo competition, BBQ Monsters To-Go, of Perry, Georg., claimed the top prize. Blast on the Bay, from Port St. Joe, came in second place, and KC Sportfishing, of Mexico Beach, took home the bronze.
In the Brunswick stew category, Sullivan Roux took home first place, closely followed by the Stew Krew and Port City Cleaning.
By the afternoon, competitors began to sell out and pack up their booths, but guests lingered in the park long after the decorations began to be taken down, enjoying the sunny weather, live music and good company.
All proceeds from the event’s food and drink sales will go towards Mexico Beach’s upcoming Fourth of July fireworks display.