Downtown New Iberia is already looking festive for this weekend’s World Championship Gumbo Cookoff, with a facelift for the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce and signs placed at Bouligny Plaza as well as a stage being put up for the festival.

Olivier’s Painting Service has given the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce building on Main Street a more lively paint job in preparation for this weekend’s festival, which will have dozens of teams entered for the gumbo competition.

Bouligny Plaza also has been undergoing some changes for the event, with the future aisles for the cookoff given street sign names like Filé Boulevard and Tasso Trail.

Additionally, the stage where performers will be playing is beginning to be set up beneath the Steamboat Warehouse Pavilion at Bouligny Plaza.

The cookoff opens Saturday starting at 8 a.m. with the 5K Roux Run. The Cajun Creole Food Fest and Meanest Beans Cookoff take place throughout the day, with Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band taking the main stage at 11 a.m.

Serving begins for the Youth Gumbo Cookoff at 3 p.m.

The World Championship Gumbo Cookoff takes place Sunday, with serving beginning at 10 a.m. Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie perform at 10 a.m. and Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers perform at 1 p.m.

The awards ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m.

New additions to the event include the “T-Rex” Gumbotron, a 25-foot-tall screen that will display messages from supporters, live footage of the event and an interactive social media wall; the continuation of the cooking demonstrations and new live interviews broadcast over Bouligny Plaza.

Those interested may follow the Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and Twitter to get updates before and during the cookoff, or visit iberiachamber.org to get information.

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