Area residents celebrate the nation’s birthday

Published 9:42 pm Tuesday, July 4, 2017

There was festive and explosive Fourth of July fun in Port Arthur as families lined the seawall to watch the fireworks show on Tuesday.

Some families started off the fun at the Carl Parker Multipurpose Center where there were activities for children, food trucks, free ice cream, music and more.

Sade Neal, AaNiyah Honore and Rhonda Neal stopped to pose for a photo behind a #LSCPA frame as the Community Band of Southeast Texas played a variety of music.

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“This is our first time to come,” Rhonda Neal said of the event presented by LSCPA, the City of Port Arthur and Motiva Port Arthur refinery. “It’s really nice. We usually only come just for the fireworks.”

The posting of the colors was done by the Port Neches Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4820 while Chelsea Taylor performed a pitch perfect a capella rendition of the National Anthem. Elementary school student Anthony Gonzalez then took the mic and recited the Pledge of Allegiance as the crowd joined in.

Port Arthur’s own Dwight Wagner — a fan favorite — performed a few songs as crowd members clapped along.

Gloria Vital was one of those enjoying the show. Vital donned a blue sequined cap, red, white and blue scarf, red gloves and even a purse to match. This wasn’t her first time to attend the LSCPA event.

“I like it,” Vital said. “I and really enjoying it. And it’s nice for the community.”

Representatives of Motiva were on hand with patriotic items such as small flags and fans as well as free ice cream. Once group of face painted children — Ka`mya Vital, Sofia Capetillo, Kaden Vital and Kylan Vital took advantage of the free ice cream as well as Elonda Leday and McKenzie Leday among many others.

Over at Doornbos Park in Nederland, crowds took part in a wagon parade, food, music and fireworks for the city’s sixth annual celebration.

In addition, there was a free concert at Port Neches Riverfront Park.