Don’t miss your chance to stroll through Port Neches Art Walk this Saturday
PORT NECHES — Downtown Port Neches will be full Saturday morning with creativity, art and shopping.
The Port Neches Chamber of Commerce and Port Neches-Groves Independent School District are partnering to provide the fifth annual Art Walk on the Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The event spans from Nall Street to Montgomery Street from the Neches Brewing Company to the Stella Hair and Therapy. Art Walk on the Avenue is free and open to the public.
Julie Shields, Port Neches Middle School art teacher and one of the organizers, said the event includes more than 80 vendors, a ton of art, games and food.
“We have four food trucks, live music, a petting zoo, hair painting, face painting, crafts and artisan pizza,” she said. “You can shop all the stores on the avenue [that] will be open, and there will be a kid zone.”
Shields said the event started approximately five years ago when she met with then-Cherry Tree owner Esther Macha on how to bring the community together for a day of creativity.
“I went to local merchants and asked to display student art work,” she said. “I went to Esther and she had wanted to do an art walk for a while, so she thought it was the perfect opportunity. It took off from there.”
Port Neches Middle School, Groves Middle School and Port Neches-Groves High School will have booths to present their artwork. Items are display only, not for profit.
“Art is important for education because it helps students think outside the box and develop grit,” she said. “Art can be challenging, but they work through it and see what they can do. So when people come out and give comments on their work, they tend to try harder. It’s important for the community to support art and help harness the students’ creativity.”
Debbie Plaia, executive director of the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce, said the students will also get a chance to see local artists in action.
“We’ve got the Art Studio of Beaumont doing a pop-up studio,” she said. “Linnis Blanton, an art professor at Lamar, is also doing a pottery demonstration. We’ve got some local artists across all medians coming out. We also have two authors coming, Dr. John Buck Ford of ‘Down the Trails of Victory’ and Jim Labobe’s ‘Sunrise Over Keith Lake.’”
Plaia said the Art Walk continues to grow each year by leaps and bounds and is excited for the town’s largest one yet.
“There is a lot of local talent in Jefferson County,” she said. “You don’t realize how much you have until you do an event like this. We look forward to bringing people to our community and to shop Port Neches. It showcases our local talent and helps our community as well.”
Shields said she wants to encourage the community to come out, support the local students and enjoy a nice day.
“I’m excited we are continuing this year,” she said. “We’re excited to see how fast it’s growing and looking forward to bigger and better things.”
For more information, visit Art Walk on the Avenue on Facebook or contact the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce at 409-722-9154.