Old Town will shine at Nov. 24 festival
A family reunion of sorts is one way of describing the purpose of the 2nd Annual Old Town Festival.
Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 24, the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association (PAPHA) hopes it will reunite the community while honoring the past, said John Fucik, PAPHA president.
The festival will begin at 2 p.m., and will include a storytelling session, a parade, wine and cheese with music and a street dance.
Bringing awareness about "old town" at a fun, family festival for residents and visitors is the goal, Fucik said.
Old town has been defined by the city council as an area north of Avenue G/Cut-off Road, where the town was centered before it expanded out State Hwy. 361.
"Old town is just a symbol of the 'soul of Port A'. It's what drew us here in the first place. A good turnout will show we still believe in the sleepy fishing village that still exists under all the new growth. Growth is good, but so is keeping the 'heart and soul' of the friendly people that made Port Aransas the place it is today," said parade chairman and board member Rick Pratt.
Island natives and long-time residents will spend a few hours telling tales about people and places in Port Aransas of yesteryear, beginning at 2 p.m.
Storytelling will be at the Pollock Center behind Community Presbyterian Church, 113 S. Alister St.
The parade will begin at 4:15 p.m., with lining up to start at 4 p.m., in the parking lot of the church. Buildings with a long Port Aransas history to be seen by paraders will include the church, Bilmore and Sons Hardware, Spanish Village, Gibbs Cottages, the Community Center, the Alister home, the old Catholic church, the Mercer Cemetery, the Studeman home, the Lister home, the Farley home, Gauldings Grocery, the old Post Office and the Tarpon Inn.
"We invite everyone in town or who can come to town to join us in celebrating our heritage. Decorate feet, floats or vehicles, and follow the bagpipers through old town. Make it a family affair; round up the kids, fellow club members, scouts, church members and business associates and enter," Pratt said.
Register for the parade with Pratt by e-mail at camric@thei .net orbyphoneat(361) 749-3193. Everyone is welcome, whether registered or not, if they make it to the lineup. All modes of transportation are encouraged to enter.
The parade will end at the Tarpon Inn courtyard where PAPHA volunteers will serve wine and cheese for a donation as music from bagpipers and other musicians fills the air. Drawings for prizes will be included with the wine and cheese. Luis Villarreal of Triggerfish and Jared Clark will play at 6 p.m.
PAPHA merchandise will be for sale with proceeds going to the fund drive for the museum. Information about PAPHA will be available as well, and people may register to be members.
The festival will conclude with an old-fashioned street dance in front of Shorty's Place, the oldest building in the flats, at 821 Tarpon St. Caliche Road will begin playing at 8 p.m.
Anyone able to help by collecting money for merchandise at the inn may contact festival chairman Pam Greene by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by cell phone at (361) 443-4683. Businesses wanting to donate an item for the drawing or monetary donation for this celebration also should contact Greene.
For more information, contact Greene, visit the PAPHA Web site, http://www.portausa.com or call the PAPHA number (361) 749-3800.