Gonzales started as a tiny little settlement of just 10 residents back in the mid-1800s. It was not until the railroad came through that things started booming, and this little city began to sprout. In the early 1900s, the streets as we know them today were laid out and subdivided, and businesses began to thrive and flourish with the newly acquired rail station at the center of town. Today, all of this heritage and legacy still remains strong, and a sense of the past is captured in the Tee Joe Gonzales Museum, named after the original sheriff’s son.
As the “Jambalaya Capital of the World,” it is no surprise that every year thousands of people gather in the city center to celebrate and grub out on some delicious Creole grub and crown the king of jambalaya until the next one comes. The festival caters to families and children with live music and entertainment, carnival rides, cooking contests, fair games and, of course, jambalaya. People come from all around the state and country to take part in this festival, and for good reason. The world champion is crowned every year, and you never know who will win until you go.