Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ready to Mambo? Join Us Saturday

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend Third Annual Crawfish Mambo Cook-off and music festival on the Lake.More than 3,000 people are expected to attend Third Annual Crawfish Mambo Cook-off and music festival on the Lake.

Twenty-nine boiling teams, five live bands and thousands of pounds of crawfish: That's the plan for Saturday, when the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association hosts the Third Annual Crawfish Mambo Cook-off and music festival on the Lake.

Join Us!

The Third Annual Crawfish Mambo Cook-off and music festival on the Lake runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 10 at The Cove on Founders Road on the Lakefront campus.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

To purchase advance tickets online or to register to volunteer, visit

"Not only are you celebrating three New Orleans traditions – crawfish, music and the University of New Orleans, you're supporting UNO students," said Pam Meyer, executive director of the alumni association.

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend this year's event, which pits 29 teams of UNO students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends in a stiff competition to win "Best of the Boil," an honor that brings an engraved silver boiling paddle and bragging rights to the winning team. Other top prizes include: Second Place, Third Place, Best Decorated Booth, and the Crowd's Choice, which goes to the team chosen by everyone who attends.

The event, which brings live music and all-you-can eat crawfish for $20 in advance or $25 at the door, runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 10 at The Cove on Founders Road on the Lakefront campus. All proceeds support professional development programs for students sponsored by the alumni association, including resume review workshops, professional networking events, guest speakers and other training.

Stirring Up Fun

"This year's celebration includes some celebrity guests," said Meyer.

Al Scramuzza, celebrated owner and Seafood King from Seafood City commercials in New Orleans in the 1970s, will be boiling on the team from Café Gentilly, owned by UNO alumnus Steven Hebert, who graduated from UNO in 1976 with a degree in biology.

Judy Walker, food editor of the Times-Picayune; Erroll Laborde, editor-in-chief of New Orleans Magazine; Leslie Alameida, founder and editor-in-chief of Propaganda New Orleans; Kim Ranjbar, food editor for Where Y'At Magazine and Chris Franklin, a meteorologist for WVUE-TV will serve as guest celebrity judges, Meyer said. They will sample all day and deliver a verdict at 4 p.m.

This year's music line-up includes The Original Pinettes Brass Band; UNO alumna Robin Barnes; Bucktown All-Stars; Glen David Andrews and Rebirth Brass Band, Meyer said.

The alumni association has worked to expand choices for those who don't eat crawfish, said Meyer. Katy's in Mid-City will serve crawfish pasta, while Cook Me Something Mister stirs up jambalaya and the Sandbar at The Cove cooks hamburgers and nachos.

Thirsty? Sponsor Abita Beer will bring its famous Amber, Strawberry Harvest, Jockamo, Purple Haze and Golden beers. Three-Olive Vodka, another sponsor, will provide a strawberry coconut punch, Jose Cuervo margaritas, margarita pouches called Cordinas and Mambo Tea, made with sweet tea vodka.

Children's activities hosted by the UNO Panhellenic Council — face painting, coloring and crawfish races — are also new on the menu. Returning is an Artists Village at The Cove, where local artists will sell their wares, from watercolor and oil paintings to ceramics, jewelry and found art.

Crawfish Mambo volunteers receive a free entry wristband worth $20 by working a single shift, said Meyer, who is now recruiting UNO students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to participate. Volunteering for one shift at the large outdoor festival brings free parking, a free Crawfish Mambo T-shirt and all-you-can-eat-boiled crawfish.

Help is needed with various tasks, Meyer said, including: parking and boiling team set-up, handling will call and ticket sales, greeting guests at the gate, transporting crawfish from refrigerated trucks to cooking areas, directing traffic, serving beverages, running ice, manning barricades, managing paper produces, assisting boiling teams, coordinating voting procedures and counting votes.

She especially needs a few more volunteers on Saturday afternoon, she said.

Volunteers will also be needed for Friday Setup, placing signage, for example, Meyer said. At sundown Saturday, volunteers will also be badly needed when the event ends to break down bars, move heavy crawfish tables and straighten tables at The Cove.

To help with sign up, the alumni association is using an online volunteer coordination tool called VolunteerSpot. To volunteer for Crawfish Mambo simply click on the link below, enter your email address, select the shift you'd like to work, enter your full name and best contact phone number. This information will not be shared but will allow the alumni association to reach you, Meyer said. After signing up, volunteers will receive a confirmation email from VolunteerSpot and the alumni association will follow up to confirm and obtain your T-shirt size. If you have any questions or need assistance, volunteer coordinator Gillian Stagg can assist you, Meyer said. Her email address is, and her phone number is 504-888-7608.


Read More

Crawfish Mambo, the official website
Crawfish Mambo, UNO Magazine
UNO Alumni Association Gears Up for Second Annual Crawfish Mambo