Is your hunger ragin'? Then it's time to go Cajun

charley@beaufortgazette.comOctober 12, 2011 

More food and new restaurants will be featured at the sixth Cajun Food Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Shelter Cove Community Park on Hilton Head Island.

Three new restaurants will cook up Cajun dishes this year: Brella's; ChuckTown, which travels to various Cajun festivals; and Daniel's Restaurant and Lounge. Returning restaurants include Skull Creek Boathouse/Black Marlin, Crazy Crab, Chart House, Wild Wing Cafè and One Hot Mama's.

Authentic Cajun cooking will include a variety of items such as PoBoys, fried shrimp and oysters, red beans and rice, jambalaya and gumbo. For people who favor more low-key fare, concessions will include hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and ice cream.

Want to go for a record -- albeit a potentially stomach-turning one? A crawfish eating contest begins at 1 p.m. Be forewarned: Participants are required to eat the entire crustacean.

Three bands will provide live music, and children can explore The Kids Zone, which includes bounce houses, arts and crafts and games. Admission is $5; children 12 and younger get in free. Tickets for food are $1 each, and food items range from 1 to 5 tickets. Beverages cost $2 to $5.

The festival began as the Coastal Cajun Food and Blues Festival, but it was found that more people were interested in the food. So festival organizers have expanded the fare, said Sarah Calvert, the Island Recreation Center's marketing director.

Members of the Hilton Head Area Homebuilders Association started the festival, then partnered with The Island Recreation Center as a fundraiser for the center's Children's Scholarship Fund to ensure that no child is denied participation in recreation due to a financial situation.

"The reason we do these festivals is to help kids," Calvert said.

Each year more than 300 local children benefit from the scholarship fund, participating in youth sports, swim lessons and child care, she said.

Details: 843-681-7273, www.islandreccenter.org

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