• 75°

RiverFest brings record crowds to riverfront

PORT NECHES — It was a weekend for the books in Port Neches, as the return of RiverFest brought a much-needed break from pandemic lockdown.

“It was great,” said RiverFest President Lance Bradley. “It was a record year in all respects. The crowds were good, everyone seemed comfortable.”

To say the crowds were good is almost an understatement, as some days brought shoulder-to-shoulder patrons to the riverfront.

Last year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus.

“Everybody just enjoyed themselves,” Bradley said. “The weather cooperated. The boat racers were pleased with the turnout. It is an outdoor event so there’s plenty of room for people to spread out, which helped.”

And it was truly an event for everyone.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” said Port Neches Mayor Glenn Johnson. “We had some friends in from Kentucky. They went down and were impressed with Port Neches, what we’re doing with the riverfront and the Riverfest. They couldn’t get over how the City of Port Neches is really a shining star in our area.”

Johnson said now is an exciting time for the city.

“It’s public record that there is no salary for the mayor or city council members. One of the perks I do get is to park close (to the festival),” he said with a laugh. “I take advantage of that.”

The five-day event, which began Wednesday (April 28) and ended Sunday (May 2), included boat racing, carnival rides, car shows, food, a nightly entertainment line up and various competitions.

And Bradley said gate sales and carnival ride pass sales were well above last year, and plans for next year will begin soon.

“We appreciate the City of Port Neches and Neches Federal Credit Union so much,” Bradley said of the town and event’s title sponsor. “We’re just thankful to the community for supporting us.”