Hooray for beignets! First annual Beignet Fest almost here

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)-The Beignet Fest takes place Saturday at Lafayette Square.

“We will have 16 different restaurants serving more than 20 dishes all based on the iconic beignet,” said festival founder and event producer Sherwood Collins.

Amy and Sherwood Collins created Beignet Fest to raise awareness and funds for autism programs in New Orleans.

Food and beverage sales will benefit the newly-established Tres Doux Foundation (which means “very sweet,” in French). The Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, embrace and enhance the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities by presenting them as whole beings, and to support organizations that do the same.

Proceeds from Beignet Fest will be used to make grants from the Tres Doux Foundation to nonprofits that serve autistic children. Today, Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the beignet, while raising awareness and funds for a cause that is very close to our hearts,” said Sherwood. “The food vendors really went above and beyond with their beignet creations for this event!”

Local restaurants serving up savory and sweet beignets include:

Celebrity judges will give awards for best sweet, best savory and most original beignets, and a social media-based contest will be held to select a “crowd favorite” beignet.   News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez will be one of the judges, and he's already prepping for the fun!

In addition to the food, Beignet Fest will include well-known local and regional performers, such as Big Sam’s Funky Nation, John Papa Gros Band, Los Po-Boy-Citos, The Confetti Park Players Chorus and Alexandra Scott.

Beignet Festival founders, Amy and Sherwood Collins have a history of working in New Orleans’ cultural economy. Sherwood is a former staffer and long-time volunteer for WWOZ-FM, as well as a former event coordinator for the Youth Leadership Council’s (YLC) Wednesday at the Square concert series. Amy is a public relations and fundraising professional who has worked on local and regional events for two decades. Together, they created Beignet Fest to celebrate the iconic beignet and raise awareness and funds for programs that support children with developmental disabilities, namely autism.

The festival starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m.  You must buy tickets to purchase food and drinks.