Patrons of the Red Beans and Rice Festival at St. Andrew's High School can enjoy delicious food.
Patrons of the Red Beans and Rice Festival at St. Andrew's High School can enjoy delicious food.

This year’s red beans and rice festival continues the yearly tradition with a new venue.

St. Andrews Episcopal School will host this weekend’s BankPlus Red Beans and Rice Festival.

Michelle Bingham, Director of Special Events and Communications for Stewpot, said that their annual fundraiser is a family-friendly event. ginghams said the event has been ongoing since the nineties.

“It is just a fun, family-friendly cook-off,” Bingham said. “The winner walks away with a coveted title and people really rise to the occasion.”

Each year 15 to 20 teams made up of professionals, church congregations, amateurs and other groups put together teams and vie for the title of Best Red Beans and Rice in Town. More than 300 gallons of the cajun staple are made and consumed each year. Crowds usually range from 1,000 to 1,500 people.

Ardenland has helped organize the event. Owner Arden Barnett said that they have enjoyed being a part of Stewpot’s fall event.

“We love being a part of the BankPlus Red Beans and Rice Festival,” Barnett said. “It is one of our favorite yearly events. This year's festival at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is going to be another great event to raise money for our friends at Stewpot.”

Music for the event includes the Stewpot Kitchen Choir, the St. Andrews Band and Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers. The afternoon will be capped by headlining act Hunter Gibson.

Bingham said that the Kitchen Choir is Stewpot’s “secret weapon” when it comes to community involvement.

Bingham said proceeds from the event, which most recently was held at the Renaissance, go to Stewpot and their 17 related ministries. Those ministries include clinics, one that provides clothing, a food pantry, shelters for men women and children and their flagship ministry that doles out daily free lunches.

Head of School Tom Sheppard said that they look forward to showing off their campus and hosting the long-running event.

“St. Andrew’s is thrilled to host the greater community on our campus this weekend in support of Stewpot’s annual Red Beans and Rice Festival,” Sheppard said. “True to our mission, St. Andrew’s and Stewpot has enjoyed a long history of mutual support in service to those around us. This is but one more example of how strong partnerships can benefit our entire community, and we look forward to everyone coming together to enjoy great food for a great organization here on Saturday.” 

Bingham said that as of Tuesday they had nine teams signed up. Interested participants can register a team at redbeansandrice.org. Registration ends Friday.

“Anyone who can put together a team and amass the ingredients before Friday is welcome to sign up,” Bingham said.

Beer will be provided by Southern Beverage.

“We look forward to seeing everyone come out and support Stewpot in such a great way,” Bingham said.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 at St. Andrews North Campus in Ridgeland. Tickets cost between $10 and $15 with family packs available. For more information, visit their website or call Stewpot at (601) 353-2759.