Port Arthur residents, supporters celebrate birthday with community party

Published 7:01 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Midge Jacobs sat next to her husband Albert under the shade of a large tree Tuesday afternoon during Port Arthur’s 125th birthday celebration.

Midge held a copy of a book about Port Arthur her grandmother picked up at a garage sale years prior. The book was printed in 1940 and held the same historical fact that was being read at a podium in front of them.

Midge said she loves everything about the city; her and her husband were born and raised here.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We’re the sports capital of the world, everybody knows,” Midge Jacobs said.

Port Arthur is a place people know of. She’s run into people from Port Arthur in other states and people who know someone from Port Arthur.

Port Arthur’s Quasquincentennial Committee and supporters held the city’s birthday party at Popeye Holmes Park on the grounds of the sub-courthouse.

Dwight Wagner sang his original song dedicated to Port Arthur, “City by the Sea,” as well as a round of Happy Birthday. Blue Bell Ice Cream and birthday cake was served as people sat in lawn chairs or park benches chatting with each other and children played nearby.

Gary Vincent showed his Port Arthur pride by wearing his Port Arthur Centennial T-shirt he received 25 years earlier.

Sandra Conner is another proud Port Arthuran celebrating the city’s birthday.

“I just love Port Arthur, born and raised here as a child and I’ve just enjoyed it, the environment,” Conner said. “I’m a part of the Texas Seniors Corps Association RSVP. I work at the Hospitality Center on the third Sunday volunteering and am part of the Port Arthur National Reunion.”

Mayor Thurman Bartie said the city has some problems but there are things in place to bring Port Arthur up to where it should be.

Residents Thomasene Thomas, Elyria Mitchell, Luz Bentello and Gloria Sanchez chatted together about the city.

Sanchez said the city has problems like anywhere eels but the residents are trying to fix things.

Mitchell said the city is friendly and has lots of potential.

The city’s birthday party was held a bit early, as the official date is on Sunday. The official Quasquincentennial date will be marked at 3 p.m. Sunday with a tree planting in front of city hall, 444 Fourth St.