Photos: Ascension in Focus, 5/9/13

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  • Advocate staff photos by ADAM LAU -- 2012 Teen Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Lexie Scioneaux, 15, left, blows the embers under her mini-pot with coaching from cook Scott Duplechein, right, during a Queens' Day jambalaya cook-off at Duplechein's home in St. Amant. Scioneaux gave up her crown during a Saturday night contest.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Meat cooks in a jambalaya mini-pot during a Queens' Day jambalaya cook-off at Scott Duplechein's home in St. Amant on Saturday.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Sarah Mouton, International Rice Queen, right, reacts as her fire gusts with the wind during a Queens' Day jambalaya cook-off at Scott Duplechein's home in St. Amant on Saturday. Megan Dupre, Yam Queen, left, looks on, while donning a sash loaned to her by Miss Boucherie Queen Lauren Blouin. The visiting festival queens learned how to cook jambalaya during the day and spent the evening attending the 2013 Miss Gonzales Jambalaya pageant.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Rebecca Simoneaux, Farm Bureau Queen, left, adds spices to her team's mini-pot during a May 4 Jambalaya Festival Queens' Day event while Mary Claire Simoneaux, Sugar Queen, center, and Erika Beck, Queen of Queens, look on.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Miss Boucherie Queen Lauren Blouin, right, and Yam Queen Megan Dupre, center, donning a sash loaned to her by Blouin, tend to their jambalaya mini-pot while teammate Sarah Mouton, International Rice Queen, fetches ingredients during a Queens' Day jambalaya cook-off at Scott Duplechein's home in St. Amant. After the cooking contest, the queens attended the 2013 Miss Gonzales Jambalaya pageant in Gonzales.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Heather Gonzalez, Strawberry Queen; Erika Beck, Queen of Queens; and Rebecca Simoneaux, Farm Bureau Queen; from left, taste rice in their jambalaya mini-pot during a May 4 Queens' Day jambalaya cook-off at Scott Duplechein's home in St. Amant. Rebecca and her sister, Mary Claire, have spent the last year traveling the state as pageant queens.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Meredith Conger, right, laughs as reigning Jambalaya Festival World Champion Danny Robert looks on during a Queens' Day jambalaya cook-off at Scott Duplechein's home in St. Amant on Saturday.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Louisiana queens and jambalaya cooks Scott Duplechein and Danny Robert pose for a group photo during a Queens' Day jambalaya cook-off at Scott Duplechein's home in St. Amant on Saturday. More than a dozen festival queens from around the state were in town for the Miss Gonzales Jambalaya pageant held Saturday night to crown the 2013 queen.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Mary Claire Simoneaux, Sugar Queen, blows at the embers under her team's jambalaya mini-pot during a May Queens' Day event in St. Amant.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Sisters Rebecca Simoneaux, from left, and Mary Claire Simoneaux tend their jambalaya mini-pot Saturday under the watchful eye of reigning Jambalaya Festival World Champion Danny Robert during a Queens' Day jambalaya cook-off at Scott Duplechein's home in St. Amant. A new Miss Jambalaya was crowned Saturday night and Robert's reign ends at the festival on May 26.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Truth Ministries choir members sing on stage Saturday during Gospel in the Park at Jambalaya Park in Gonzales. The event featured more than 20 gospel choirs, singers and dancers from across south Louisiana, organizer Darryl Hambrick said. An estimated 800 people attended the daylong free concert.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Troy Jones dances with Gifted Evolution on stage Saturday during Gospel in the Park at Jambalaya Park.

  • Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- Jessica Jarrow sings with Gifted Evolution on stage Saturday during Gospel in the Park at Jambalaya Park in Gonzales.