The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Hundreds of people packed the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center for a seemingly limitless flow of gumbo on Saturday.
Lines formed around the inside perimeter of the civic center where patrons went from booth to booth for a cup of the Cajun concoction during the Port Arthur Rotary Club’s taste of Gumbo and Craft Show.
In one corner the Courtyard Cafe offered gumbo as well as chicken salad while next door the Medical Center of Southeast Texas was dishing out two varieties of gumbo; a Cajun style with a mix of seafood and chicken and sausage and one with just the chicken and sausage. Centered between the two different gumbos were small cups of banana pudding. The Schooner Restaurant was also on hand dishing out their famous gumbo served on yellow rice.
Rotary member Libby Arnold, headed up the annual event and is therefore dubbed Queen Gumbo. To better illustrate her newfound royal title Arnold wore a black and white apron complete with glitter featuring the words “It’s good to be Gumbo Queen.”
“We are so excited. Everything has gone well and we had a lot of people come out,” Arnold said. “The craft booths are also exited to be here and look forward to coming back next year.”
Patrons to the event were able to vote for their favorite gumbo this year.
Henry Barbosa and his wife Pam enjoyed the gumbo from the Medical Center of Southeast Texas.
“It’s the best,” Henry Barbosa said. “We keep going back to that one.”
Steven Williams sat at a table with several different gumbo cups in front of him.
“I was so excited I didn’t even look at their names, I just got the gumbo,” Williams said with a laugh.
Adrian Landry thought he had picked a favorite early into the event then changed his mind after tasting a few more gumbos, he said.
The Taste of Gumbo is part of Jeremy Doyle childhood and now adulthood.
“I’ve been coming to the Taste of Gumbo since I was a child,” Doyle said. “This event is good for the community and I look forward to it every year.”
Proceeds from the event are used to support grants to the community and help those in need.
Over on the craft side of the civic center Elaine Reeh was manning her booth, Raggs by Elaine. The Orange woman creates handmade handbags, wallets, accessories, quilting and more.
“It’s been great,” Reeh said. “We’ve gotten a good response and I’ve sold some purses. I hope to come back next year.”
Lori Pellerin of Sassy and Classy Gifts of Port Neches, was also busy on Saturday.
“I love it. We had a lot of compliments and everybody likes our stuff,” Pellerin said.
Pellerin creates baby wreaths, diaper cakes, beaded crosses and frames, bow holders and more. Her daughter, Brittany Pellerin, creates ornate and decorative crosses from railroad ties and uses the profits to pay for college.