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Pleasure Island to host Spring Fling Memorial Day weekend

Pleasure Island to host Spring Fling Memorial Day weekend
By Sherry Koonce
The News staff writer
Port Arthur is the destination this holiday weekend for boating enthusiasts during the Fifth annual Spring Fling 2015 Pleasure Island Rendezvous.
Scheduled for the first time on Memorial Weekend, May 22-25, the three-day event at Pleasure Island will feature sail and power boats from not only Port Arthur, but from all over the Galveston Bay area, Lake Charles, Beaumont, and several yacht clubs, marinas and boating organizations.
The event is hosted by the Texas Mariners Cruising Association, a social boating, nonprofit organization based in Clear Lake.
Already, 121 pleasure boats have registered to attend the weekend extravaganza in Port Arthur. They will be joined by members of the Port Arthur Yacht Club — a group of boating enthusiasts who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
Mike Wise, vice-commander of the Port Arthur Yacht Club, said about 30-plus local boaters will join those coming to Port Arthur to celebrate the holiday weekend.
“It is a destination trip for them, and highlights our marina, which is one of the only stops between Houston and Lake Charles. This will bring awareness to the Port Arthur Yacht Club and the Pleasure Island Marina,” Wise said.
For two nights the island will be filled with live music. From 7 until 100 p.m. Friday Hotline from Kemah will play. On Saturday, from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. the Beaumont band, Still Cruzin will take the stage.
Fun continues on Sunday afternoon with a pirate picnic and The Bilge Pumps performing pirate songs.
Events turn more somber at 10 a.m. Sunday morning when a Memorial Day Tribute to honor the nation’s fallen veterans is scheduled. One of Texas Mariners Cruising Association members, Lt. Col. Kevin Smith, executive officer of the 71st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, San Antonio, will lead the Tribute. Marine Corps League detachment 1382 will lead the Color Guard and Evan Hoffman of Beaumont.
Educational seminars are scheduled throughout the day Saturday to teach topics as varied as diesel maintenance to a wine seminar and man overboard. Seminars continue on Sunday at 11 a.m. with marine weather.
At 3 p.m. Saturday there will be an expired flare shoot off that boaters can sign up to participate in. The event will be supervised by the Coast Guard.
New to the Spring Fling this year is the Galveston Bay Cruising Association’s hosting of the Spring Fling Offshore Race for sailboats. The race starts early Friday, at 6 a.m.  at the Galveston jetties, and concludes at the Sabine jetties.
This race is the third in the TORC offshore series for boats completing for the Texas Navy Cup in the spinnaker class and the S. Rhoads Fisher Cup in the non-spinnaker class. There are four racing classes including a class for the fun racers and novices.
Visiting boaters will leave Pleasure Island Monday to return to their home ports.
The public is invited to come on out to Pleasure Island and participate in many of the Spring Fling activities. A food truck and food vendors, as well as shopping vendors, will be available. Admission is $15 at the gate.
For more information and a complete schedule of events see the Web site www.tmcaspringfling.com.
E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com
Twitter: skooncePANews