|by JD Rinne||Food + Drink, Mississippi||1|
The folks at Southaven, Miss., 30 minutes outside of Memphis, have one solution for anyone feeling down about the economy or the still-lingering winter: Try dancing to upbeat zydeco music and then get some gumbo in you. Lots of it.
The 4th annual Creole Crawfish Festival kicks off at noon on Sunday. Attendees will be busy—there's the Zydeco dance instruction and contest, where newbies can learn the steps. And then there's the gumbo cook-off, where participants compete for the People's Choice Award. There will be lots of fresh boiled crawfish to sample—you can see how to eat these pesky crustaceans in this YouTube video, by the way.
Also in attendance is a Louisiana band led by Thomas 'Big Hat' Fields, singing Cajun and French music, and a Latin drum section. Consider making a trip of it—if you mention the festival, you can get discounted rates at the Holiday Inn. Rates without the discount start at $85 per room per night.
Snowden Grove Park, Southaven, Miss. Festivities start at noon and go until 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; kids 12 and under free. Call 901/619-5865 for more info.