Port Arthur’s yearlong Quasquicentennial birthday celebration is taking fun to the streets

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The intersection of 4th Street and Austin Avenue became a bit more historical Tuesday as members of City Council joined the Quasquicentennial Steering Committee in unveiling Quasquicentennial Way.

The ceremony, which took place across from City Hall at the beginning of Tuesday’s scheduled council meeting, is the latest addition to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Port Arthur.

“This celebrates and commemorates 125 years of existing as a municipality in the great state of Texas,” Mayor Thurman Bartie said. “So it’s good to be the greatest city in the United States in the greatest state within the United States.”

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The mayor said he’s also enjoyed the various events that have taken place throughout the year, and the community’s reception of it.

Albert Thigpen — who is joined on the steering committee by Pat Avery, Verna Rutherford, Sam Monroe and Tammy Kotzur — said there would be 10 signs placed along 4th Street to highlight the city’s heritage.

“That’s what these signs are for — to let every citizen and every visitor know how proud we are of Port Arthur,” he said.

The next official event will be the National Day of Prayer May 4, led by Councilwoman Charlotte Moses, Pastor Donald Frank and Mayor Thurman Bartie. Rutherford said various spiritual leaders from the community would be in attendance for the event, which begins at 6 a.m. at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center.

“They’ll be praying about specific issues and situations, the community youth, the health of the city and all of those different areas,” she said.

In addition, a tree planting takes place May 28, which is the city’s official Charter Day. However, due the date occurring on Memorial Day weekend, a birthday party takes place May 23 at Popeye Holmes Park. And on Oct. 14, the Quasquicentennial Steering Committee joins Cultural Heritage Fest.

Recently the committee unveiled a website for the 125th anniversary celebration, which includes historical information, cultural history, an interactive map of historical markers and more.

Click here to view it.