The first Andouille Festival was held in October of 1972 and called “The LaPlace Andouille Festival.” The idea for the festival surfaced after Mentor Landry indicated the need to have a community festival to then L’Observateur newspaper editor Joseph Lucia Sr. With that idea, Frank Fagot, of the LaPlace Volunteer Fire Department, began organizing the community event. An informative editorial by Joe Lucia convinced the local citizenry that this was a good project for the community to undertake.
The first LaPlace Andouille Festival was held at the LaPlace Drag Strip in October of 1972. With its instant success and popularity, the LaPlace Fire Department had initiated a fund raising project in St. John Parish for years to come. The festival was held at the LaPlace Drag Strip until that property sold in 1983 and then the location moved several times.
The Andouille Festival started around the idea of incorporating local civic and family groups to participate in various booths. This created an atmosphere of local pride and togetherness and was the true success of the festival. In 1989, the fire department chose to sell its private enterprise and the Andouille Festival was moved to St. Charles Parish.
In 1993, the Principal owner of the Andouille Festival, Mr. Mike Norton (owner of Bull’s Corner in LaPlace) offered the festival rights back to the parish at no costs. The festival rights were received through the Parish’s Department of Economic Development and its Economic Development Committee. A new name was registered with the Secretary of State of Louisiana and the Festival was renamed the “St. John the Baptist Parish Andouille Festival.”
The first St. John the Baptist Parish Andouille Festival was held in October of 1994 on the grounds of the Percy Herbert building in Laplace. The three-day event features music, good times, carnival rides and of course Andouille. Thousands of people merge upon the festival grounds every year for a fun-filled weekend, highlighted by cooking contests in which contestants prepare their recipes using Andouille in three categories: gumbo, jambalaya, and miscellaneous dishes. The Andouille Festival is currently held at the St. John Community Center/Hwy 51 Park in LaPlace, LA.