Group to bring first-ever craft barbecue festival to Port Neches

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, October 26, 2022

PORT NECHES — Two area business owners recently went before the Port Neches City Council to request permission for a street blockage in order to host the first SETX Craft BBQ Festival.

Planned for Feb. 11, 2023, from noon to 8 p.m., the inaugural event would take place on Port Neches Avenue, set up in the same manner as Art Walk on the Avenue.

“The whole aspect of this festival is: keep it local,” said Juss Rabalais, owner of Old West Smoke Company food truck. “It’s about showcasing our local stars — not just our craft barbecue stars. It would mean a lot to us to pull this off.”

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That event applies to entertainment, as organizers have booked Casey Chesnutt, son of country music star and Beaumont native Mark Chesnutt.

The singer/songwriter will perform from 5-8 p.m. at Avenue Axe.

Heather Burton, owner of My Tribe Nutrition, said there would also be a separate area geared more toward family that includes crafts and other activities.

Organizers said the goal is to bring more attention to Port Neches Avenue, as well as local entertainment and vendors.

There will be nine hand-selected food vendors, restrooms and hand washing areas. And there will also be security on hand.

“With hopes of becoming an annual event, this festival aims to bring an estimated 600 people to Port Neches Avenue its first year,” organizers wrote in a packet provided to the city.

Council granted permission for the closure of Port Neches Avenue from Dallas Street to Marion Street.

All proceeds will go towards the Port Neches Police Officers Nonprofit Association. Created with the intent of creating a gym for the officers, the organization has since grown to include a Blue Santa program and funding help for National Night Out.