Bookmark this page!  
Latest News

tree lighting 5.jpg

tree lighting 6.jpg

2017 Tree Lighting and Gumbo Cook-Off
from Michelle Peyroux
October 27, 2017 -

Gumbo Flyer.jpg


Friday November 24th, 2017

Located at corners of Commerce and Main Street (In Front of Home Bank)

Registration/ No Entry Fee (teams can be a minimum of 2 and maximum of 6 people)

Must pre-register by filling out info below before Wednesday, November 22nd

Forms may be turned into any Home Bank Branch or emailed to:


2:45 pm  Mandatory Meeting at Home Bank Commerce entrance to review rules, be given your location etc.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm   Teams are to set-up and start warming their gumbo.  Teams are also encouraged to decorate their booth.   Must be set up and PREPARING by 3:00 pm

Items Provided: 8-foot table, basic plastic cover, trash can, hand sanitizer and jars for best booth tickets.  Teams are responsible for all other equipment, ingredients, supplies and decorations. 

Teams are encouraged to decorate their booth area as much as possible.  Not only will this draw the public to your booth we will also have a best decorated booth contest.

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm   (Or until Gumbo runs out)  You must keep your booth set-up until 6:00

Gumbo Service to the public.  Must prepare a minimum of 5 gallons of gumbo. 

A panel of judges will be tasting for the “Best Gumbo”.

5:30 pm    Tickets for Best Decorated Booth will be picked up and counted in the bank by Home Bank. 

We will again this year have a judges’ panel for the best gumbo.

6:00 pm     Winner is announced

Caroling, Lighting of the Tree, Special Pyrotechnic Show

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm    Dancing Around the Christmas Tree

No Smoking is allowed in the cooking areas


Guests purchase “Taster Kits” for $10.00 which includes: 6 clean tasting bowls (no refills), a spoon, napkin and 1 ticket to be used for THE BEST DECORATED BOOTH. 

  • Only put gumbo in clean bowl 1 bowl = 1 taste – Please follow this practice. 
  • This is a fund raiser for the Christmas in Lights committee to maintain our lights and decorations.
  • Tickets are counted as votes for best decorated booth.  You are encouraged to talk tasters out of tickets for the best decorated booth! This creates exciting friendly competition.


  • Each team will cook a minimum of 5 gallons of gumbo. (PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU INDICATE ALL INGREDIENTS IN CASE OF ALLERGIES).  You can have this information available at your table.
  • No commercial gumbo mixes are permitted.
  • You will have to provide your own rice and warmer.
  • SERVSAFE STANDARDS must be followed.  You will be given a copy of the rules and will be asked to sign a form that you followed SERVSAFE practices in advance.  You will also be asked to complete the form on- site the day of the cook-off.  All cooking is to be done in a sanitary manner. 
  • You must have warmers (crock pot, propane tanks, etc.) to bring your Gumbo to the required temperature of 165 degrees and maintain at a minimum of 140 degrees.  Please email Deanna Bowser ( if you need electricity.
  • Propane tanks will be permitted. These should have approved valves and tags and be secured properly during cooking.  Fire extinguishers are suggested.
  • Each team is responsible for setting up everything needed in their area: extra tables, chairs, tents or umbrellas, and cooking equipment.
  • All raw produce and food products must be kept at proper temperatures throughout the day. All uncooked food should be chilled.  A cooler with plenty of ice is the best way to keep your products cold. (40 degrees)
  • All gumbo is to be maintained at hot temperatures (140 degrees) while serving.
  • Lids must be on all cooking pots at all times.
  • Cooking Gloves must be worn during cooking and serving times.
  • All grease and garbage must be disposed of in the proper containers.  Please do not put grease in the garbage cans downtown.

A designated committee member may inspect your area at any time during the competition. 

Everything must be removed immediately following the ending of the event.


A panel of judges will be tasting for the best gumbo.  They will judge based on appearance, aroma, consistency, texture and overall flavor.  

Announcement of winners at 6:00 pm at the Lighting of the Tree activities

Awards Categories:  Best Overall Gumbo (1st, 2nd and 3rd place)

                              Best Decorated Booth    (1st  place)



1st Place               $200.00 plus prize                      

2nd Place              $100.00 plus prize

3rd Place               $  50.00 plus prize

** Each winner will also receive one overnight accommodation donated by the Mississippi Bed & Breakfast and Natchez Bed & Breakfast Associations**



2:45 pm                       Mandatory Cooks Meeting at Home Bank’s Commerce Street entrance

3:00 pm – 4:00pm        Preparing and setting up Cooking and decorate booth

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm       Children activities – North Pole Play Land

3:30 pm                       Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive                                         

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm        Gumbo Service to public (You must keep your booth set up until 6:00)

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm        Live Blues music on steps of Receivable Solutions

5:30 pm                        Tickets picked up for best decorated booth.

6:00 pm                        Winner announced - Caroling & Lighting of Christmas Tree and Special Pyrotechnic Show

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm         Dancing Around the Christmas Tree

Thank you so much for your participation. Your time and energy is sincerely appreciated.  Happy Holidays and Best Wishes to a bright and prosperous New Year!

What do you think about it?

tree lighting 3.jpg

tree lighting 4.jpg | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | EEO | Contact Us