Large crowds turn out for ‘Gumbo and Alabama Slammer Festival’ in Foley

Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 9:37 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - It was an exciting day on the Gulf Coast. Foley held its first ever ‘Gumbo and Alabama Slammer Festival’ at Heritage Park.

It was a huge turnout. Event Coordinator Mike Yeater says attendance doubled his expectations.

“My wife and I put on this festival and we were like- what does this area love? We love gumbo. We went down the alphabet list-- Alabama Slammer. There’s no such thing as an Alabama Slammer festival so we brought them together,” explained Yeater.

“When you plan a festival and it’s an inaugural event, you really don’t know what to expect. And then you get perfect weather- that really helps. So we had great entertainment, great activities, perfect weather, great sponsors like FOX10 and it culminates to an amazing attendance,” he added.

For those in Sweet Home Alabama, the food and drink is the perfect combination.

“An Alabama Slammer is southern comfort which comes from New Orleans with Amaretto and slow gin and orange juice and it’s delicious,” explained Yeater.

“It was great- very fresh, very good. All the meat- chicken, sausage, shrimp. Shrimp and grits were great too,” said Mike and Jodi Penu.

“Oh I love it. I love gumbo so it’s awesome,” said another.

And the variety of vendors-- from wax hands to authentic snacks-- offered something for everyone.

“It was great- great walking traffic. A lot of an older crowd. This really works well with a lot of young kids-- parents want their kids’ hands waxed. Every year they can get their hand waxed and watch it grow over the years,” said Margi Gough.

“It’s a great time. The vendors get to come out and get to show off their stuff that we might not necessarily get to see so it’s really good for them and good for us at the same time,” added someone else.

For five dollars a ticket for adults and children 12 and under getting in free, all joined in on the fun.

Of course, there was a competitive gumbo contest.

‘Who Dat’s’ took home the first-place trophy and 500 dollars in cash.

Several talented musicians took center stage as folks clapped and danced along.

The festival concluded with a beautiful sunset overlooking downtown Foley.

It’s an event that required a team effort, according to Yeater.

“I just want to thank FOX10 for being a part of this. I really believe this is why it was so successful because of our wonderful sponsors. I have always been blown away by how many sponsors support the community.”

And if you missed it this year, don’t worry. Yaeter says plans are already in the works for the 2nd annual festival in 2024.


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