Few things satisfy the palate more than a bowl of steaming-hot, spicy-hot Creole gumbo, and nowhere is there a better place to celebrate it than in Treme, on of the oldest neighborhoods not only in New Orleans but also the United States. And what better experience than a festival to bring it all together? Treme Creole Gumbo Festival does just that.

Taste all different kinds of gumbo like this one, featuring okra, sausage, and seafood, at Treme Creole Gumbo Festival. (Photo via Treme Creole Gumbo Festival on Facebook)

Taste all different kinds of gumbo like this one, featuring okra, sausage, and seafood, at Treme Creole Gumbo Festival. (Photo via Treme Creole Gumbo Festival on Facebook)

The festival is held in Congo Square and Louis Armstrong Park, in the neighborhood now widely known from the HBO hit series “Treme.” Hosted by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, the Treme Creole Gumbo Fest is a celebration of all things that make New Orleans unique: its food, its music, its art and its ambiance that draws millions of visitors from all over the world every year.

And the best part? Admission to this two-day New Orleans festival is free.

The highlight of the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival, in addition to the gumbo of its theme, is the great traditional New Orleans jazz performed by its world-renowned New Orleans brass bands. Ten of them will be performing over the two days of the festival, five on each day. The schedule is as follows:

2015 Treme Creole Gumbo Performance Schedule

Saturday, Nov. 14
11:00 am to 12:15 pm    Lagniappe Brass Band

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm     Treme Brass Band

1:45 pm to 2:45 pm       Original Pinettes Brass Band

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm       Onward Brass Band

4:15 pm to 5:20 pm       To Be Continued Brass Band

5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.    Shamarr Allen & DJ Chicken

6:00 pm to 7:15 pm       Hot 8 Brass Band

Sunday, Nov. 15
11:00 am to 12:00 pm    Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Band

12:15 pm to 1:30 pm      Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band

1:30 pm to 2:00 pm        Class Got Brass Winner

2:00 pm to 3:30 pm        Magnetic Ear

3:30 pm to 4:00 pm        Class Got Brass winner

4:00 pm to 5:15 pm         Leroy Jones’ Original Hurricane Brass Band

5:15 pm to 5:30 pm         Class Got Brass Winner
5:15 pm to 5:30 pm         Second Line Jammers SAPC

5:30 pm to 6:00 pm         Eureka Brass Band

6:00 pm to 7:15 pm         Rebirth Brass Band

New Orleans’ Favorite Festival Foods

In addition, you’ll discover some of the best gumbo cooking to be found in the region. Representing the cultural mix of New Orleans cuisine, gumbo is a type of soup that is a signature dish at many of the city’s great restaurants, several of which always maintain a presence at the festival. The ingredients of gumbo vary from one cook to another, but basic elements usually include okra, chicken, sausage, shrimp, crab, crawfish, oysters, and other types of seafood and fish. It is traditionally served with white rice and should be at least mildly spicy. The sign of a good gumbo is, when you bite into it, it should bite back!

You’ll find other signature New Orleans foods at the festival as well, including macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, fried catfish and – for dessert – bread pudding and banana bread pudding with rum sauce. Check out the full 2015 menu here.

In between dancing and eating, be sure to check out the large arts market that will be on the premises. This is your great chance to stock up on local, handmade art, jewelry, and crafts before the holiday shopping rush.

For more information about the festival, contact the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation or visit the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival website.