A favored stop for Texas nature tourists, Port Arthur has an abundant array of outdoors activities and cultural events to offer the business traveler and family alike. With a broad range of attractions and activities available in Port Arthur, Texas proper, and it’s surrounding areas, there is always something to see and do. Whether it’s fishing, bird watching, sailing or seeing a show, Port Arthur has something for everyone.
Feel free to bookmark this page as your starting place for Port Arthur fun!
* March 17-22 – Nederland Heritage Festival, carnival, entertainment and Cuisine Walk in Nederland’s downtown celebrates the city’s Dutch Heritage. (409) – 724-2269.
* March 21 – Port Arthur Rotary Club’s Taste of Gumbo & Craft Show, 11 a.m-2 p.m. March 21, 2015, Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center. Your $10 ticket allows for tastings from several great gumbo-making groups and supports area charities.
* March 28 – Texas Historic Commission, Cold War Oral Histories workshop, Museum of the Gulf Coast. www.museumofthegulfcoast.org, 409-984-6446.
* April 11-12 – Carnival des Cajuns will celebrate the area’s diverse cultures with music and good food, April 11 and 12, 2015 at the Port Arthur Pavilion, 500 Procter Street in downtown Port Arthur. Gates will open at 10 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
In the 17 & 1800’s Louisiana and east-southeast Texas became home to a variety of diverse cultures, notably French, African, German, Spanish, and several Caribbean islands. These cultures blended their cuisine, music, traditions, and superstitions into an eclectic (and somewhat odd) amalgam which came to be known as “Cajun.” Bits and pieces of that culture have so thoroughly entered the mainstream that you may be experiencing Cajun culture every day and have no idea!
At the Carnival des Cajuns expect to see some of what you know and some of what you don’t! Dance to that foot-tapping music, chow down on the rich, delicious Cajun cuisine (gumbo!) and have some fun!
* “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965″ explores the ways Americans experienced the atomic threat as part of their everyday lives, Museum of the Gulf Coast.
* April 11 – Cajun Jam and Car show, events from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11, Port Neches Park, 600 Grigsby Ave.
* April 25 – Gulf Coast Gala – Legends of Liverpool, Beatles tribute band with members picked by George Harrison’s sister. Tickets: $125 for dinner and entertainment, Carl A. Parker Multipurpose Center, 1800 Lakeshore Drive, campus of Lamar State College, Port Arthur. (409) 984-6262.
* April 29-May 3 – Port Neches RiverFest offers tunnel boat racing, concerts, a carnival and great food in Port Neches Park, along the Neches River. For information, visit: http://pnriverfest.com/
* June 6-7 – Buu Mon Garden Festival - Buu Mon Buddhist Temple & Lotus Gardens will host its Garden Festival from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7. Activities include Buddha’s Birthday Celebration. There is no admission charge for guests to take in colorful blooms. Look for lotus, bamboo and tropical varieties. Bring a camera. The event includes arts and craft vendors, food and tea ceremonies. The temple gardens are at 2701 Procter Street, a block away from a drive along Port Arthur’s sea wall. For information, call (409) 982-9319, (409) 673-6625.
* June 12-13 – Zachary Breaux Jazz Festival – June 12-13, 2015, Port Arthur Pavilion, downtown Port Arthur.
The concert honors the memory of Breaux, born in Port Arthur in 1960. He took up the clarinet and guitar as a child. He toured the globe and appeared in the documentary “Jazzmatazz.”
Inspired by jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Wes Montgomery, he played in local jazz bands while attending Lincoln High School. After graduation, Breaux went on to study music composition at North Texas State University. He left Texas in the late 1980s for New York City, performing as a sideman for musicians such as Ronnie Laws and Roy Ayers. Breaux received notice as a musician in his own right in 1982 when he substituted for a sick Ayers at a gig. By 1993 he had moved out on his own, developing his own unique style of jazz. Various performers at Procter Street Pavilion. Doris Hayes: 409-982-8394 zacharybreauxjazzfestival.com
* June 19 – Juneteenth Celebration, cultural events, presentations, etc. around town, headquartered in downtown Port Arthur. Gail Pellum: 409-332-9105.
* July 4 – Independence Day Celebration, patriotic program, fireworks, Lamar State College, Port Arthur, Carl A. Parker Center, 1800 Lakeshore Drive. www.lamarpa.edu
* Sept. 12-13 – Dick Dowling Days, living history, Civil War battle reenactment, Sabine Pass Battleground, Sabine Pass. DickDowling@Rocketmail.com
* Sept. 11-12 – Mexican Heritage Fiesta, cultural programs, concerts, pageants. Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center, (409) 724-6134.
* Oct. 10 – CavOILcade Parade.
* Nov. 5-8 – Groves Pecan Festival, Lions Park. Carnival, entertainment.
* Nov. 7 – Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon – firstname.lastname@example.org
* Dec. 12 - Lighted Holiday Parade, downtown Port Arthur.