Celebrate ‘Old Town’
Old Town Festival, sponsored by Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association, gets underway bright and early with a surfing contest at 8 a.m. and continues with lunch, a parade, storytelling and activities until 4 p.m., when the Art Center for the Island’s PA Art About is set to begin (see story Page 2A).
It all begins with a longboard surfing contest, The Old Port A Expression Session, from 8 a.m. to noon. Everyone is invited to take part in the free surfing competition, but registration is limited to 30 participants. Eleven spots were still available on Sunday.
The contest is being sponsored through a partnership with the Port Aransas Museum and the Texas Coastal Bend Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and is an “expression session,” making it a more casual approach to a surf contest. It’s an all-longboard contest, in keeping with the Old Town Festival’s theme of old-time Port Aransas. Until the 1970s, surfers almost exclusively rode longboards, which tend to be nine feet long or longer, according to Dan Parker co-author of Surfing Corpus Christi and Port Aransas. Surfers are encouraged to bring classic old longboards for display or to ride in the contest. The Texas Surf Museum will have classic longboards on display, but not for riding, and the Surfrider Foundation will have a booth with free literature.
There will be three 30-minute heats of 10 surfers each with two contestants selected from each heat to compete in the finals. The final heat will have six surfers and will last 30 minutes. Prizes will be presented to the top three surfers.
Stop by or call the Board House Surf & Skate located at 509 N. Alister St., 749-3100, to take one of the remaining spots.
Immediately following the surfing competition, lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pollock Center on the grounds of the Community Presbyterian Church, 113 S. Alister St.
A choice of two menus will be served for $5 each and include Pat Farley’s famous gumbo, served with crackers, or a hot dog and chips. Both meal options come with a drink. Bottled ice water will be available for purchase all day.
PAPHA members will be selling bricks to be engraved and placed in the sidewalks adjacent to the Port Aransas Museum. Also for sale will be PAPHA memberships and $1 tickets for prize drawings, including a group of three books from the museum gift shop. The drawings will be held at 3 p.m. following a storytelling session.
A parade will begin about 1 p.m., with line up at the “flats” at Tarpon and Alister streets. Lineup will begin at 12:45 p.m. The route will begin at the corner of Cotter Avenue and Alister Street; turn left on Alister Street; right on Station Street; left on White; right on Mercer Street; right on Oaks; left on Church Street; right on Beach Street; and left on Alister Street to church where it ends. A map of the route is shown above.
Storytelling will begin around 2 p.m., after the parade, at the Pollock Center. Old-time local residents will be on stage to share personal stories from “the good ole’ days” in Port Aransas. As in the past, there are sure to be lots of laughs, some emotional moments and maybe a disagreement or two.
Children may enjoy face painting, a treasure hunt and a casting contest, all available outside the Pollock Center, by the ball field. There will be a $1 charge for face painting and tickets will be available inside the center.
PAPHA sponsors the Port Aransas Museum, located at the corner of Alister and Brundrett streets, and is in the process of readying Farley Boat Works, on Avenue C, for addition to the museum group.
OLD TOWN FESTIVAL
SURF CONTEST ..... 8 A.M. - NOON
LUNCH .......... 11:30 A.M. - 1 P.M.
PARADE ........................... 1 P.M.
STORYTELLING .................. 2 P.M.
PRIZE DRAWINGS................ 3 P.M.