Celebrating 30 years

Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off

Gumbo Me.

Gumbo is back, baby.

Are you an aspiring gumbo chef or a professional that’s got this nailed down? Join in the fun at gumbo cook-off and show us what you’ve got! If you are better-suited to snacking, then come taste what our 20 gumbo chefs have cooked up in the park and vote for your favorite. Samples are a mere 75¢ each!

And why a Cook-Off?​

Gumbo” is a Cajun soup containing roux or gumbo file (dried sassafras leaves). It usually contains a variety of meats and or seafood, okra and other ingredients & seasonings served over rice.


Gumbo tasting in Manitou Springs is serious businesses and is the early-morning kick-off to the Carnivale Weekend. Professional and amateur chefs offer their best pot of gumbo for judges and snackers. Cash prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as judged. 

free smells


Best smelling place in town today!– Angel H.

gumbo Madness


What a fun event! Our family loved tasting all the gumbo and getting to vote for our favorite! – Sharon N.

2023 Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off Winners
Gumbo questions, Gumbo answers

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I participate?

We have 2 divisions; Professional and Amateur. Your choice (though we’d suggest only selecting professional if your day job is being a chef). Fill out the gumbo application EARLY as we only have 20 spaces available!

Is the event free to attend?

Yes! You are welcome to walk around and smell the gumbo, but if you want to actually taste gumbo, you’ll need to get tickets, which are 1 for $0.75.

Where do we park?

Great question! Parking will be available for a fee at Hiawatha Gardens.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs and food won’t mesh at this event. Please leave your pup at home or you can’t be invited into the pavilion for sampling the delicious gumbos.

blocker band

Live Music

Alex Blocker breaks the boundaries of genre by combining elements of R&B, Hip-Hop, Alternative Rock, and Jazz with contemporary violin finesse to create an artistic style that is completely his own. Having shared stages with performers such as Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Boombox, Masta Ace, Nappy Roots, Gramatik, and more, Blocker’s performance resume boasts several shows in top venues including Ball Arena, Broadmoor World Arena, Taste of Chicago, Bluebird Theatre, Fox Theatre, and Chicago State University.

No foolin'

Gumbo Rules

Gumbo is serious business in Manitou Springs, and we’ve got Gumbo Rules to live by. If you are planning on cooking up a pot, then review these rules first!

View All Gumbo Cook-Off Rules

Free Gumbo? Volunteer With Us!

Would you like to enjoy Gumbo for free?  Volunteer with us as a ticket seller and you can!  Fill out the form here or email Volunteer Coordinator Monica at monica@manitousprings.org.

Ready to tackle the gumbo cook-off?

Register today

Signing up is easy, but we only have 20 spaces, and it’s first come, first served (pun intended). 


We aren’t accepting applications yet for 2024’s Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off, check back for more information at the beginning of the year!

Thanks to our 2024 Sponsors!

Scroll to Top