A tradition of great oyster bars runs deep in the history of Abbeville thanks to the first 19th century oystermen who used the Vermillion River flowing through town as an avenue to sell their fresh harvest. Abbeville remains a destination for oyster lovers who satisfy their cravings at a cluster of modern mollusk emporiums. The city's French heritage runs deeper still, beginning with its founder, the Catholic missionary Père Antoine Désiré Mégret, who in 1843 named Abbeville for his hometown in France. He modeled the town's original plan after a typical French village, and today Magdalen Square gives Abbeville a picturesque downtown center with its gazebo, fountain and the historic St. Mary Magdalen Church. Abbeville is home to several annual festivals, including the Giant Omelette Festival each November when cooks prepare a 5,000-egg specimen outdoors. Downtown offers shopping, art galleries, museums and history tours, while birding trails and golf beckon nearby.