Culinary showdown at Battle for the Paddle to boost St. Charles Parish area nonprofits

Setpoint Integrated Solutions employees pose with their 2022 First Place Jambalaya paddle trophy.

The United Way of St. Charles is set to hold its 2023 Battle for the Paddle on Thursday, October 5 from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Edward Dufresne Community Center, located at 274 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway in Luling.

The fundraising event, held each October, invites local families, friends, businesses and industry teams to prepare and serve their best gumbo, pastalaya and jambalaya dishes, competing for the titles of ‘Best Jambalaya,’ ‘Best Pastalaya’ and ‘Best Gumbo.’

Open to the public, Battle for the Paddle admission pricing will be $5, with free admission for kids 10 and under. Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting many of the United Way of St. Charles’ various local-area nonprofit agencies it regularly funds.

“Everything from help for cancer patients to weekend meals for schoolchildren in need, to funding our Community College,” United Way of St. Charles Executive Director John Dias said of the local causes the event helps support.

While late team registration extends to Friday, September 22, Dias said his group expects around 190 cooking teams to participate, and anticipates similar crowds to last year, when the event drew around 6,000 visitors.

Guests to the event should arrive hungry – since event admission allows visitors to eat as many servings as they care to sample of jambalaya, gumbo or pastalaya dishes, from as many of the various competing teams as they would like to try.

“We feel like it’s a pretty good deal to pay $5 and get unlimited samples from upwards of 190 teams,” Dias said regarding the event.

Around 24 United Way-selected judges will be at the event to evaluate each team’s dishes, with eight judges assigned to each of the three dish categories.

Soft drinks, water and beer will be available for sale at the event. Live entertainment will also be provided by Gonzales-area musical artist Jovin Webb, a 2020 American Idol contestant.

Free shuttle services will be available this year from both the Westbank Bridge Park and Satellite Center parking lots to the event.

For more details on the event, including updated traffic, shuttle and parking info, visit the United Way of St. Charles’s website at


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