2018 marks the 389h annual Medina Lake Cajun Festival that was born in 1981 as the Great Gumbo Cookoff. In late 1980, the board of directors were desperately seeking a fund-raiser to keep afloat the Medina Lake Betterment Association, Inc., a non profit civic organization. Funds were needed to pay the mortgage on the building and for community improvement programs.
The usual barbecues and chili cookoffs were discussed, until a strange
Cajun accent suggested from the back of the room "Why not do someting
different? How about a gumbo cookoff?" This odd recommendation was
that of a recent transplant from New Orleans, local attorney Bob Caswell.
The result was the birth of the first Great Gumbo Cookoff, bravely
held on the fourth Saturday in September, 1981.
Despite skepticism by many, the directors, members and local residents plowed ahead diligently and each year the festival grew. In 1990, the name was changed to the Medina Lake Cajun Festival. The festival has now received State and National recognition as one of the finest festivals of its kind. The wide variety of authentic Cajun food, the finest Cajun bands from Louisiana, as well as the ever popular gumbo cookoff attract thousands of visitors each year. The accomplishments have been achieved by the hard working efforts of hundreds of volunteers over the years.
As the French would say, celebrate "La joie de vivre." Life has its heartbreaks and sadness, but for one day put your problems aside to have fun. It's the Cajun way of life. One more bit of French wisdom, "Laissez les Bon Temps rouler!" Americans know it as "Let The Good Times Roll!"
A Brief History Of Fun - Medina Lake Cajun Festival That Is