MARY MEAUX — Nederland Heritage Festival serves up great food for even better causes

Published 12:12 am Thursday, March 12, 2020

Carnival food is a must for attending festivals, and if you stop by any of the nonprofit booths during the Nederland Heritage Festival this week you’ll be eating for a good cause.

The 20 booths set up, each touting a little something different, are raising funds while dishing out goodies.

There’s Port Arthur Little Theater and their Scottish eggs and First United Methodist Church with two booths, one with strawberry shortcake and the other with stuffed baked potatoes. There’s Nederland Chamber of Commerce with a variety of flavors of funnel cake, including red velvet, and Hillcrest Baptist Youth have Monte Cristo sandwiches.

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And let’s not forget the Port Neches Rainbow Girls, who have been part of the event for more than 35 years. They had a small fire Tuesday in the wall of their booth where the cookers are located, Nederland Fire Chief Terry Morton said. No one was hurt and none of the other booths were affected. The booth is usable but the cooking will be done on portable fryers outside the booth, he said.

Each of the nonprofits volunteer their time and energy to create and sell the dishes during the the festival, where proceeds go to scholarships, Relay For Life, remodeling churches or sending kids to camp and much, much more.

If you’re new to the festival being held on Boston Avenue, there’s an app for that. Seriously, go to the App Store and download “nederlandhf.” Then press the red square icon. You’ll find the food menu, calendar, entertainment and social media links.

Shannon Hemby, executive director of the festival, said if you click on the “food” link, it will show you each of the organizations participating. Some show their menus and prices and all of them tell where the proceeds go.

And there’s a bonus to the app and social media: The concessionaires donate food that will be given away during the festival.

There may be a Twitter or Facebook notice saying the first person to answer such-and-such question will receive free nachos, for example. It puts the festival-goer in the midst of the action.

The Nederland Heritage Festival continues through Sunday. The carnival is open from 4 to 11 p.m. through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Activities include a treasure hunt, parade, chili cook-off, motorcycle and car show, petting zoo, live entertainment and a craft market.

Mary Meaux is a reporter with The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at