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Preparations underway for 41st Cajun Festival

  • Preparations underway for 41st Cajun Fe
    Margaret Christilles and Donna Poole cry their way through slicing 30 pounds of onions in preparation for this year’s Medina Lake Cajun Festival. Courtesy Photo
  • Preparations underway for 41st Cajun Fe
    Shirley Granberry, a 33-year volunteer for the Medina Lake Cajun Festival, prepares dough for 1,300 beef and shrimp pies to be baked for September’s event. Courtesy Photo

Volunteers from all parts of Bandera County gathered at the Lakehills Community Center earlier this monh to begin preparing ingredients to be used for the Cajun Cuisine that made the Medina Lake Cajun Festival one of Texas’ most famous.

During their first food preparation session, numerous volunteers diced and chopped ped over 40 pounds of celery, 50 pounds of bell peppers, prepared hundreds of dough pastries and cried their way through 100 pounds of onions!

Imagine hosting a meal for 6000 guests; the Volunteers for the Cajun Festival do this every single year!

2022 marks the 41st year of one of Texas’ most loved Cajun Festivals hosted by the Lakehills Civic Center near Medina Lake.

Barbara Engel, Director of the Medina Lake Cajun Festival stated, “We must pare early when we are feeding pre that many guests! Typically, we will prepare 200lbs of bikt brisket, 250lbs of sausage, 250lbs of catfish, 250lbs of shrimp, 150lbs of onions, 75lbs each of celery and bell peppers. We mix that with 250lbs of sugar, 150lbs of flour, and various other ingredients to achieve the sumptuous and authentic Cajun meals available at the Cajun Festival.”

Barbara helped establish the Cajun Festival when it first began as a simple “Gumbo Cookoff” in 1981.

Since then, the food and the Festival itself have grown into one of most-popular Cajun Festivals in Texas including authentic cuisine such as crowd favorites of shrimp etouffee, fried catfish, and over 20 other popular menu items.

The Festival also includes a popular “Gumbo Cook-Off”, live Zydeco, rock, and country music imported directly from Louisiana and many other popular family-friendly events, including a dedicated children’s activity area which is monitored by volunteers.

Other volunteers for the meal preparation included Shirley Granberry, who has been preparing Cajun Food for the Festival for 33 years after visiting the first ever “Gumbo Cookoff,” as well as new volunteer first-time 17-year-old volunteer

Both volunteers stated that they “are happy and enjoy the fun of working with others” and helping “to improve our community center and those it serves.”

This year’s festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Lakehills Community grounds. Volunteers are always needed at the Cajun Festival and the Community Center itself. Both organizations are 100% volunteer driven.

You can volunteer by calling (830)460-0600. You can also visit the Lakehills Community Center website at www.lakehillsciviccenter. org and click on the “Events” tab to complete an online volunteer application.

For more information regarding the Cajun Festival itself, you can visit their website at www.cajunfestival-medinalake.com.