‘Cook-Off’ will whet appetites next weekend

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 11, 2016

By Marcelle Hanemann

For The Daily News

The 10th Annual Museums of Cassidy Park Cook-Off and BBQ will fill the beautiful Bogalusa park with the mouth-watering aromas of a wide range of delectable dishes on Saturday, March 19. The event will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and people will be able to taste what they’re smelling promptly at 2 p.m. This year, State Rep. Malinda White will act as hostess.

The museums’ premier fundraiser has earned a reputation that regularly attracts food connoisseurs and hungry people from across the region who want to get a taste of the competing teams’ offerings in the categories of beef, fowl, pork, seafood and wild game. Celebrity judges will award first, second and third place prizes in all five categories.

For just $15 adults can sample the fare, and the family-friendly event allows children 12 and under to grab some grub free of charge.

In the past, dishes have included venison, quail, shrimp and grits, fried fish, seafood gumbo, roasted pig, smoked chicken tacos, chicken jambalaya, Swedish meatballs, brisket, pulled pork sliders, tamales, turkey necks and even grilled snake.

While the wide variety of delectable food is the primary draw, there is much more to the event.

Birdie’s Boyz, who have also earned regional acclaim, will take the stage to add music to the savory mix. Vendors will offer items such as jewelry and bird feeders. People will be able to purchase chances to win raffles for gift certificates to area restaurants and other businesses including clothing stores, a plant nursery, an art shop, a jewelry store, a tattoo parlor and even a pet spa. And the museums will host a bake sale so the day of extraordinary eating doesn’t have to end when people leave the park.

The kids will also get to do more than just fill their bellies. There will be children’s activities beyond the delights of the splash pad, playgrounds, and opportunities to interact with the park’s resident geese and ducks and to check out the Pioneer and Native American museums.

The day of food and fun is for a good cause. Unlike many other small municipalities, Bogalusa has preserved its history in the museums. The money raised during the Cook-Off/BBQ helps fund new exhibits that keep them vital. Importantly, it also enables them to stay open and free of charge on weekend afternoons, and to school and other groups by appointment.

Tickets are now available at the museums, Carney’s Extreme Ink, Carney’s Furniture, McMillans, Pap’s Garden and Gifts, Wild Blu, and from cook-off committee members.

The fee for vendors is $25, and no food or drinks to be consumed on the premises may be sold. Call Deirdra Pajak at Deirdra’s Florals, 985-732-3681, to reserve a space.

For additional information, call Sandy Bloom at 985-516-3408 or Robin Day at 985-750-4054.