[Bridge City, LA] — Over the river and through the woods, to the Bridge City Gumbo Festival we go. Technically it’s not really through the woods; along the levee would be a tad more accurate. But it is over the river. Just across the Mississippi from New Orleans over the Huey P. Long Bridge, the little town of Bridge City calls itself “The Gumbo Capital of the World.”

What exactly is gumbo? I hear you asking. I’ll let the all-knowing, all-seeing online reference Wikipedia provide the explanation:


Seafood gumbo, oh yeah!

Gumbo is a stew or soup that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable holy trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions.” And it’s served over rice, I might add.

For 39 years, the Holy Guardian Angels Mission/Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church has held its annual festival in Bridge City, which received its designation as the “Gumbo Capital of the World” via proclamation from Louisiana’s governor in 1973. It’s a church fund-raiser with all the prerequisites for a successful festival: music, activities, vendors, a carnival midway with rides and games, and last but not least, gumbo. Gallons and gallons of delicious gumbo. Over 2,000 gallons worth, organizers say. And that’s not all:

“If you come here, you find jambalaya, chicken gumbo, seafood gumbo, seafood fried, funnel cakes, hamburgers, hot dogs, red beans and rice, and pasta,” festival chairperson Gary Girard told me. “[You’ll find] just about anything, and it’s all done by people from the church. No caterers, all people from the church with home-grown recipes.”

By the time you read this, the 3-day festival will have already ended, but I sampled a bowl of seafood gumbo, so you’ll just have to live vicariously through my gluttonous gumbo gorging. Just imagine that tasty roux (brown soup base), with Louisiana shrimp, crab, and seasonings. As simple as that, yet so delicious. Chairperson (and town fire chief) Gary Girard summed it up nicely: “The best gumbo is here, because we use a great roux and a lot of love goes into our gumbo.”




Bridge City’s World Famous Gumbo Festival: http://hgaparish.org/gumbofestival


River City Hit Squad kicks butt!

Ya gotta have a Gumbo Queen!

Who Dat got the best gumbo?

Happy campers

More happy campers

River City Hit Squad entertainment

These hot dogs were really this red

About Glen Abbott
Glen Abbott is a Florida-based travel writer & photographer specializing in motorcycle touring and travel. He is regular contributor to Harley-Davidson's HOG Magazine, and his travel features appear regularly in motorcycle magazines and other publications.

View all posts by Glen Abbott »

  1. Thanks for the blog article.Much thanks again. Cool.

  2. jenjenk

    October 18, 2011

    i am so jealous. i would love to go to this!!! love gumbo!!
    jenjenk recently posted..Nashville, TN: Not Just a Country Capital, but a Creative Cocktail Scene

  3. Cathy Sweeney

    October 18, 2011

    You get to have all the fun! 🙂 It all sounds and looks good to me. Hope the church raised a lot of money at their festival.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Washington Undercover

  4. Funny I came across this because we make a mean Jambalaya and were just talking over the weekend that we needed to whip some up! Now I’m hungry 🙂

  5. Jeremy Branham

    October 17, 2011

    While gumbo is more of a Louisiana thing, I’ve had a little of it growing up in the south. Would love to experience it in Louisiana though!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..The College Football Travel Tour hits the road

  6. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    October 17, 2011

    Oh my word, I want that entire vat of jambalaya. THE ENTIRE VAT.
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..Occupy Berlin: We Are the 99%

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