GET OUT STAFF
People can get a taste of Louisiana and bayou treats like crawfish boil, jambalaya, po-boys and other Cajun food at a festival in downtown Chandler later this month.
Southwest Cajun Fest brought to the public by sponsor Abita Brewing will jazz up the culinary scene noon-9 p.m. April 20 at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. HDE Agency is producing the festival.
Many different vendors will sell food inspired by the passion of New Orleans mixed with Arizona fusion and flavors while the festival will also feature live musical performances.
Hoodoo Casters, Bluesman Mike, NOLAZ Band, D. on Darox & the Melody Joy Bakers and headliner Souled Out Jazz Band will hit the stage. Ticket holders can also participate in eating competitions, a kids’ zone and other interactive experiences.
A new highlight this year will be an expanded, family-friendly Big Easy Lounge where people can relax and get out of the sun.
Some of the food vendors this year include Angry Crab Shack, which will sell crawfish boil, shrimp boil, crawfish roll, turkey legs, gumbo and cornbread, as well as Cajun bowls; and Bayou Bistro, which will offer crawfish, etouffee, jambalaya, shrimp, po-boys and other Cajun treats.
Other vendors at the festival include Cantaguas, which will sell handcrafted aguas frescas in horchata, mango-pineapple, lavender watermelon and other flavors and Delicious Beverage AZ, a company that sells custom-made sweet tea and lemonade.
Family Squeezed Lemonade will sell its fresh, fruit-infused drinks and Farmboy American Fare will bring corn dogs and give those with a sweet tooth choices in desserts – ice cream, funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreos.
Hogg Doggs will sell andouille, gumbo, dirty rice, pulled pork and brats while Honey Bear’s BBQ will offer shrimp etouffee, jambalaya, fried catfish, fried chicken, spicy hot links, as well as red beans and rice, cornbread and other food.
Jasperz Island Fusion Cuisine will add to the Cajun selection with jerk Cajun crawfish boil, jambalaya, Caribbean curry chicken and rice, as well as jerk chicken, catfish and beignets.
JJ’s Louisiana BBQ will provide pulled pork, brisket, turkey legs, chicken, hot links, rib tips, beans and potato salad. Pearson’s Catering will sell catfish, shrimp, frog legs, gator, jambalaya, hush puppies, po-boys, Cajun fries and oysters.
Vegan diners can check out Maya’s Cajun Kitchen, which will sell vegan Cajun po-boys, jambalaya and bread pudding.
General admission tickets for the Southwest Cajun Fest online are $8 each for anyone over 12. Children 12 and younger will get free general admission.
For military and first responders, discount tickets are $10 each at the gate only, limited to four tickets per each qualified customer.
For anyone 13 and older, access to the Big Easy Lounge is $45 for presale online only and $55 each the day of the event at the gate. People can upgrade any ticket to the Big Easy Lounge for $40.
The Big Easy Lounge admission allows the ticket-holder to get general admission into the event plus four alcoholic beverages, a large lounge area with shaded seats, snacks, private restrooms and unlimited water and soft drinks.
Access to the Big Easy Lounge for people 12 and younger is $25 presale online and $35 on the day of the event.