City & museum hosting family friendly holiday events this year in Downtown Port Arthur

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Downtown Port Arthur will be one festive place with two coordinating family events in December.

The Museum of the Gulf Coast and City of Port Arthur will host Holiday Downtown on Dec. 11.

The Museum’s event will feature Santa, live reindeer, face painting and more from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 11.

The city’s event, to be held at the Ernest Simpson Jr. Downtown Pavilion from noon to 8 p.m., will feature an ice skating rink, mechanical bull, zip line, Zorb Ball racing, Euro bungee and Snowzilla Slide Jr. as well as food vendors and pop-up shops.

The city’s event

For the city, this is a brand new event.

“We’ve never had this event, ever. In the past we’ve had the (holiday) parade and last year was the drive-through giveaway. This year it’s completely different,” said Christe Whitley-Ned, executive secretary to the mayor and council.

The list of rides, from the skating rink to the slide, are all free, Whitley-Ned said.

The area will be blocked off for folks to walk around, visit a food truck, take a free ride or visit vendors.

Persons wishing to be a vendor can call Whitley-Ned at 409-983-8105.

She said there is a limit to the number of vendor spots, and it is first-come first-served as they try to avoid vendors selling duplicate items.

So far there are all sorts of unique items; soaps, makeup, hair bows, t-shirts and even bicycles.

“Downtown will be lit up for the holidays,” she said, adding this event is needed and many community leaders are encouraging people to come out.

The Museum

Tom Neal, director of the Museum of the Gulf Coast, explained their event is a yearly one that draws big crowds.

“This is something we’ve been doing on an annual basis and have had as many as 1,000 people visit the year before last and there were 500 to 600 the last time,” Neal said, noting COVID likely dropped some of the numbers down a bit in 2020. “We did a lot outside so nobody was at risk.”

This year most of the event will be outside with some events inside “but with 27-foot ceilings social distancing is a pretty easy thing to pull off,” he said.

Neal looks forward to introducing the museum to children and families with something bright to add to their weekend.

The museum is located at 700 Procter St.