Proceeds from the 12th annual Boudin Cook-Off, which will also include a bacon festival for the first time, will help to offset expenses for a volunteer recovering from a massive heart attack.
Angie Theriot has volunteered for the cook-off since its start in 2007, and she plans to be there again on Saturday, even though that seemed unlikely just a few weeks ago.
Theriot suffered a massive heart attack Aug. 10.
"This wasn't your normal heart attack," said Bob Carriker, who started the Boudin Cook-Off. "It was unbelievably devastating. Luckily, she pulled through."
The teacher and mother of two spent seven weeks in the hospital before returning home. She is still undergoing therapy and hasn't been able to return to her classroom at J. Wallace James Elementary.
"She's functioning," Carriker said. "And, in fact, she'll be at the judges booth again this year. She used the cook-off and her role there as sort of a goal for herself."
When Carriker decided to start the Boudin Cook-Off, he relied heavily on friends, family and neighbors like Theriot to pull it off. Her mom, Lynn, even created the iconic boudin hat Carriker wears each year.
The Boudin Cook-Off has benefited the Historic Preservation Alliance of Lafayette in previous years. Saturday's event will benefit the Theriot family.
"I am so personally excited about this," Carriker said. "The event has always raised money for a nonprofit, but we've never done it before for something that is so personally meaningful."
The Boudin Cook-Off will be held at Parc International instead of Parc Sans Souci this year to make room for the inaugural Acadiana Bacon Fest.
Aside from the venue change, the festival's format won't differ terribly from the Boudin Cook-Off in years past.
Entry into the event will still be free and include live music, games with prizes, face painting, children's activities, ice cream sandwiches and eating contests.
About 20 teams will be serving piggy creations ranging from smoked boudin rouge to bacon paella. Boudin and bacon vendors at the two-for-one festival won't be separated, and some will be serving both.
One vendor even has bacon boudin on the menu.
People can vote for their favorite traditional and inventive creations through purchasing sample tickets. Drinks and other food items will also be for sale.
The Acadiana Bacon Fest and Boudin Cook-Off will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Parc International in downtown Lafayette. Learn more at boudincookoff.com and acadianabaconfestival.com.