Shreveport, LA_ The third annual Louisiana Soul Food Festival kicks off tonight and will continue sizzling tastebuds all weekend. Crowds gathering at the State Fairgrounds will be treated to a host of food competitions. Donut eating contests, grilling battles, and a fight for the best seafood boil and sweet potato pie are all on the docket.
The Huntington High School Band marched tonight and played a tribute to special guest and Houston rapper Bun B, who was in attendance representing his Trill Burgers business.
Food Network Celebrity Chef Maurice Randal is one of 13 chefs expected to attend the festival. Chef Maurice will be doing live demos throughout the event.
“We love food, we love culture and we want to do something positive in our city and to help with building our city back in a positive way,” said festival organizer Tammy T. Wright.
The judging panel for the competitions features several well-known faces, including Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux and First Lady Elizabeth Arceneaux, and representatives from Caddo School Board and the Caddo Parish Commission.
Mayor Arceneaux spoke of his excitement as he and his wife sipped on beautiful tropical drinks served in pineapples. “I just like any type of food, so I’m delighted,” he said.
Festival organizer Tammy T. Wright with Empire Queenz hopes this fun cultural event can foster unity and regrowth in Shreveport.
“We love food, we love culture, and we want to do something positive in our city and to help with building our city back in a positive way,” she said.
Just as multiple ingredients must come together to make the perfect dish, organizers hope the food festival can inspire citizens to come together and create something bigger than themselves.
“Our city will be better with everyone working together,” said Tammy, leaning into Mayor Arceneaux for a friendly hug. “Very good. Exactly. I agree with her!” he exclaimed.