Councilman proposes family friendly event to take place on weekends during summer

Published 12:30 am Friday, June 10, 2022

A new version of a former Port Arthur event could be returning, after Councilman Donald Frank proposed having an event on the seawall on Sundays throughout the summer.

“We have to be about a better quality of life here in Port Arthur,” Frank said. “As I’ve gone to other cities, other cities have movies in the park. Other cities have many other functions where they get together in the park during the summer and stage events.”

Former Mayor Derrick Freeman hosted a similar event, Seawall Sundays.

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“I do believe that our city is in need of some activity that, as a city, we can come together and — for lack of a better word — fellowship, be involved with one another, congregate with a level of decorum,” Frank said. “We need to do something in our city.”

Frank referenced the recently approved proposal to develop property on Pleasure Island, but said he was looking for something more immediate.

The weekly event would be from 3 p.m. until sundown on Sundays in July and August, and would include food and merchandise vendors.

“I think it’s a very good idea,” Councilman Thomas Kinlaw said before asking questions regarding the need for security, permits, crowd control and other necessary items for a city-sponsored event.

“I really think that’s something we could tie into an overall city event and I would just like to know with the city input where we need to be legally OK to do this type of event,” he said.

Assistant City Manager Pamela Langford said Freeman organized Seawall Sundays independently and assumed all responsibilities and costs associated with the event.

“If this is to be a city-organized event, there are considerations…which would be assuring that any vendors that partake in this event would be self-sufficient, meaning that they would have to have personal generators, things of that nature to operate, if it’s food vendors,” she said.

Langford also noted the consideration of portable restrooms, hand-washing stations and staffing that could also require overtime pay.

Other proposed locations, she said, include The Pavilion and People’s Park.

The Pavilion, located on Procter Street, includes electrical outlets and covered seating.

People’s Park is near the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation building, which Langford said could serve as the backdrop for a projector should the city desire to host movie nights.