, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

May 3, 2013

Crowds pack RiverFest despite windy weather

PORT NECHES — Kyndall Brittain and Blake Louviere took a turn on the Orient Express roller coaster, waving to their grandmother Cathy Brittain nearby on Friday.

The colorful dragon-themed coaster drew squeals of laughter and smiles from the children as they moved along the tracks.

“They look forward to coming to RiverFest every year. They are so excited. They get Riverpasses and are here every day of the festival,” Cathy Brittain said.

Kyndall Brittain was so excited to attend the annual festival that she did a few chores for some extra spending money.

“This one (Kyndall) picked mayhaws in my yard to earn $20,” the grandmother said with a laugh.

Kyndall Brittain knew exactly what she wanted to spend her money on — gyros, she said with a smile.

Earlier in the day officials with the festival and with Southern Professional Outboard Racing Tours were forced to cancel powerboat testing due to high winds. Winds near 30 knots were reported along the Neches River where Thunder on the Neches power boat races occur.

Shane Reedy, co-chairman of the festival, said the forecast calls for the winds to die down by Saturday and the boat testing and races will go on as scheduled. Testing and preliminary heats will go on through around 5:30 p.m. Saturday and the championship races will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Reedy said Thursday night crowds were a bit light likely due to chilly temperatures but he expects big crowds for the rest of the festival.

“There are a lot of people coming to see Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers Band and the food court is full,” Reedy said.

Saturday’s events include the classic car show, Veteran’s parade, barbecue cook-off, live musical entertainment and a fireworks show.


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