20th annual Girls’ Haven Gumbo Festival

20th annual Girls’ Haven Gumbo Festival

Hundreds of gallons of gumbo were boiled up Satur­day, Feb. 22, to raise money for Girls’ Haven as the 20th annual Girls’ Haven Gumbo Festival kicked off the morn­ing for many Southeast Texans with upbeat sounds from Stone Cold, Bryce Shav­er, Longneck Road, David Kaiser and Lamar Port Arthur’s Section 51.

During the festival, gumbo enthusiasts were able to sam­ple spicy concoctions from several different teams while walking around and enjoying the extravagant spectacles of various themed booths. Teams and sponsors from all over the Golden Triangle participated in the event and donated their time, money and ingredients so that Girls’ Haven would receive every dollar from cus­tomers.

A “blind judging” commit­tee that included a member from each team was asked to sample prospective front-run­ners before they could proceed to the final level of judging. A panel of local celebrities decided the winners.

The competition was fierce this year, and even Mayor Becky Ames had a difficult time selecting her favorite.

“They all taste great,” Ames said. “It’s going to be a tough decision.”

First, second and third-place winners in the poultry, seafood and combination cat­egories were announced dur­ing the closing ceremony. Tro­phies were also given for Peo­ple’s Choice, and Best Themed Booth.

Gumbo Festival winners:Seafood1st – Victory Medical Center2nd – Bayou Mermaids3rd- Clay DugasPoultry1st – Courville’s Catering2nd – Beaumont Fire & Rescue3rd – Carter Equipment RepairCombination1st – Liberty Golf Course2nd – Kornhole of Hardin County3rd – Courville’s Catering3rd – Beaumont Fire & RescueBest Booth Theme1st – Beaumont EMS2nd – Gumbo Gurus3rd – Stewart TitlePeople’s ChoiceCourville’s Catering2014 Grand ChampionsCourville’s Catering andLiberty’s Golf Cart (tie)