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Continuing A 43-Year-Old Tradition

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Saint William Catholic Church is continuing a tradition, for the 43rd year with the annual Seafood Festival.

The festival is one of the longest running festivals in Marshall County.  Gallons of homemade gumbo and pounds of shrimp go into what is the parish's biggest fundraiser of the year.

Jeff McLaughlin has been helping with the festival since it started. "We're cooking up a lot of Gulf seafood and having it ready to eat, you can drive through and pick it up, been doing it a long time here, Labor Day every year," McLaughlin says.

He's been working at the festival since he was about ten years old.  Now, his own kids are helping to put it on.

The parish spent weeks preparing for Saturday's event.  It takes around 400 pounds of gumbo to feed everyone who comes by - and McLaughlin says they come by one after the other.

A lot of it is sold in their drive-through,  which McLaughlin boasts is faster than you-know-who. The rest is sold to people dining in.

He says the money raised goes directly back to the church.  "We appreciate the community's support. It means a lot to our church, our purpose is to obviously to promote the good news," McLaughlin says.