MARY MEAUX — Festival season equals fun, food, fellowship for local families

Published 12:05 am Thursday, March 17, 2022

Spring Break here and that means festival season is upon us.

Many are heading to the Nederland Heritage Festival this week, seeking out fun, food and carnival rides, meeting with friends and making new ones.

Thrill seekers should note there are several new rides in addition to the standard rides. Organizers have brought Vertigo, a suspended swing brining riders 60 feet high, and Wacky Worm, a “small” roller coaster that has kids, teens and adults lining up.

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Make sure to stop by the Cuisine Walk, where 20 non-profit vendors are dishing up the food. Festival officials work to make sure each booth has something different to offer. Some of this year’s goodies include burgers, fried cookie dough, Zummo links, smoked boudain and more.

Supporting these nonprofits helps local groups with a variety of endeavors.

The carnival midway and food court open at 4 p.m. and run through Sunday. And on Saturday, the Craft and Collectible Market joins the fun.

Don’t forget the live music at the NHF/Philpott Stage. Entertainment includes Cajun Harmony, Spellbound, Curse and The Cure, and Donice Morace.

Saturday is a busy day on the avenue with a parade, chili cook-off, crawfish races, washer tournament and car and motorcycle show.

Looking for more festival fun, then head to Ford Park for the South Texas State Fair from March 24 to April 3. This event features carnival rides, food, livestock, poultry and rabbit shows, art and photo contests, baking contest and a long list of entertainment.

One of my favorite photos taken during the Nederland Heritage Festival in 2017. (Mary Meaux/The News)

While the event is held in Beaumont, there are locals folks from Mid and South County taking part in the fair, from the Future Farmers of America students to food booths to vendors.

And in a few short weeks comes Port Neches Riverfest

The five-day festival is held at Port Neches Riverfront Park from April 27 to May 1.

What makes this event unique to the area is the Thunder on the Neches Tunnel Boat Races. Vessel traffic on the Neches River is shut down during the races, which are the first for the season for the professional drivers.

Entertainment this year includes Red Rocks Worship, Jag, Nightbird, Flatland Calvary, Geno Delafose and Wayne Toups.

Plus there’s the carnival rides, food vendors, craft vendors and more.

I’ve always had a blast taking photos during the various festivals. Getting photos, with permission, of people on carnival rides or playing games, ordering some decadent food and just strolling and enjoying themselves.

Here’s to a successful season.

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