LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — With the 2nd Annual Acadiana Eats Festival having come and gone on Saturday, Gerald Gruenig could not be more grateful for the Acadiana Eats community who helped keep the good vibes going throughout his cancer journey.

In July, Gruenig was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma; a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. Despite his diagnosis, Gruenig continued the Acadiana Eats segment week in, week out.

“One of the things I did do, I scheduled my chemo treatments to make sure Acadiana Eats would not be affected,” explained Gruenig. “The Acadiana Eats Festival was a Benchmark for me and my family. When we scheduled my infusions I’d have one left by the time of the festival, and that’s how I wanted to set things up when I found out how many infusions I needed to do and what my treatment cycle would look like.”

Greuing expressed how grateful he was for the love he received when he announced his diagnosis and how his life has been business as usual since then.

“I didn’t end up losing my hair or my beard, so I really could have gone through this whole process not telling anybody, but I thank God everyday that I did,” said Gruenig. “Prayers, love, support, a smile; that’s what I’m looking for you know. I’m not one to wallow, I’m not one to have any pity and the community has absolutely done that.

Fast-forward to this past weekend, Gruenig performed at the festival with his band Gerald Gruenig & Gentilly Zydeco and will be undergoing his last treatment on Wednesday.

“As crazy and as sad and as scary this summer has been, 2023 has been the best year of my life,” said Gruenig.

Acadiana Eats has been an ongoing series Gruenig has been developing for nearly eight years. Gruenig expressed how special it is to see people come out to the Acadiana Eats Festival, and is proud of the community the event has built.

“I’m glad that Acadiana Eats has attracted the crowd that it has,” he said. “Its a very positive, uplifting, supportive group of viewers and supporters. To see all different races, religions, ages out at our event on Saturday is just a testament to what we’ve built over the last eight years and to me that the most beautiful part.”

This year the Acadiana Eats Festival had an increase in food vendors, pop-up shops and even more people. For the second year in a row, people across Acadiana were able to gather in Scott and eat the best food the area has to offer.

“Unbelievable turnout, unbelievable vibes, unbelievable experience. I think from year one to year two we improved a lot of things, but I’m really excited about the changes we’ll make from year two to year three that will make everyone’s experience better,” said Gruenig.

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