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Gumbofest to be held at the Shell Factory Sunday

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Jan 27, 2021


The biggest event of the year at the Shell Factory returns for its 19th time on Sunday, when Gumbofest returns.

Gumbofest will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with plenty of music, vendors and, of course, lots of gumbo, jambalaya, crawdaddies and gelatin shots.

Pandemic safety precautions will be in place and there will be an emphasis on fun and food.

“We’re trying to do everything right and keep it safe. We’re excited to have the band come from New Orleans and Orlando,” owner Pam Cronin said. “We’ll try to have an outside event that’s comfortable and exciting.”

“We have 10 vendors and 10 food vendors and we’re anticipating a good turnout and praying for good weather,” general manager Anne Sheridan said. “People here are not afraid of the outdoors, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope they come.”

Gumbo is a rich soup built around a base of a dark, rich roux, supplemented by celery, onion, peppers, spices and either meat or seafood. It usually packs some heat, so for those who don’t like food too spicy… well, try it anyway. You might like it.

Of course, the Southern Grill will make enough gumbo to feed an army, as will many other vendors, some of whom have served Gumbofest for years.

Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers, straight from New Orleans, will again be the headline act. The Porch Dogs, and their accordion-driven Zydeco music, will again warm them up. B103.9’s Big Mama will broadcast live from noon to 3 p.m.

There will also be a reverse raffle, where $5,000 will be awarded for the last ticket drawn. Each ticket is $100 and includes admission for two, food and adult beverages in the sponsor tent courtesy of the Southern Grill and Jambaliars, a fictitious restaurant run by supporters of the Nature Park Environmental Education Foundation, who will receive all the proceeds from the event.

There are still some tickets left for the raffle, so if you’re interested or just want more information, call 995-2141, ext. 110 or go to shellfactory.com.

The Shell Factory is at 16554 N. Cleavland Ave. in North Fort Myers.