Boucherie and Balloon Festival returns to Sorrento after more than decade

Staff Report
The finalists in the crackling cooking competition gather at the main stage of the Boucherie and Balloon Festival in Sorrento Dec. 3.

The Sorrento Lions Club's 2022 Boucherie and Balloon Festival returned to its Sorrento location along Airline Highway after more than decade.

The festival, which was last held in Sorrento in 2010, included both crackling and jambalaya cookoffs.

The finalists in the jambalaya cooking competition gather together at the Boucherie and Balloon Festival in Sorrento Dec. 3.

Finalists in the crackling cookoff included Joel Mayer, Jimmy Bercegeay, Jacob Mayer, Rick Clouatre, Ryan Gregoire, Zip Mayer, Neil Bourgeois, Nicky Vezay, Joey Cornett, Stump Marchand, Terry LeBlanc and Ronnie LeBlanc.

Cornett won the crackling contest, while Jacob Mayer was second place, and Clouatre came in third place.

When announcer Todd Long asked Cornett if he had anything to say, he replied with one sentence that drew applause.

"Welcome back to Sorrento!" he said.

The 2022 Boucherie crackling champions were Joey Cornett and helper Eric Babin. They are pictured with Lions Club President Rey Prado and members of the 2022 Boucherie royalty, Teen Miss Boucherie Kyleigh Alexie and Miss Boucherie Gracie Guilliot.

The finalists for the jambalaya competition included Daren Braud, Hoss Reine, Clint Broussard, Kade Lanoux, Curt Parent, Shawn Sheets, Tyler Bourque, Carlos Braud, Koby Thacker, Jared White, Chance Bourgeois and Cody Braud.

Reine won the jambalaya contest, while White was second place, and Lanoux came in third place.

The 2022 Boucherie jambalaya champions were Hoss Reine and helper Brett Reine. The father and son team are shown with 2022 Miss Boucherie, Gracie Guillot.

The Gonzales Jambalaya Festival Association served as the volunteer judging team. Volunteers included Layne Gautreau, Lyell Turner, Anne Lemmon, Julie Hurst, Freddie Hurst, and Marty Haydel.

Boucherie royalty was Teen Miss Boucherie Kyleigh Alexie and Miss Boucherie Gracie Guilliot.

The festival featured entertainment for the whole family, including a fireworks display, carnival rides, and hot air balloons with tethered rides. Local bands also performed, and many merchants and food vendors participated.

It serves as a fundraiser to benefit Louisiana Lions Camp and Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation, providing free recreational activities, optical services, and more for special-needs children.

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.