NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -- The fourth annual king cake festival had a record breaking attendance this year.
Organizers estimate nearly 15,000 people attended the all-day celebration of all things king cake. All proceeds from the event benefit babies and children at Ochsner Hospital for Children.
Festival activities started in the morning with the King Cake Festival Gladiator Games, sponsored by Smoothie King, and continued through the rest of the day with music, art, food (the city’s best food trucks help out those looking for something less sweet and more savory), games and fun for the whole family. The festival’s biggest attraction is, of course, the king cakes. Bakeries from across the region dished out samples of their best king cakes in hopes of winning votes from the festival's attendees and celebrity judges.
From traditional to experiential, there were 26 vendors in Champions square today to challenge your taste buds. Back by popular demand was the "king cake burger."
"We had a few cocktails, and had some left over king cake, and we just put them together and it worked!" laughed the creator of the king cake burger, P.J Haines.
Last year, the festival raised thousands of dollars for Ochsner Pediatrics' NICU programs.
The winners of this year's people's choice awards are:
1st place: Nonna Randazzo's Bakery
2nd place: Cannata's King Cakes
3rd place: Maurice French Pastries