70 years ago, just 4 years after World War II ended, a new tradition started in Aransas Pass.
Now known as Shrimporee, the event was originally known as The Blessing of the Fleet.
It started in 1948 when Aransas Pass was the Shrimping Capitol, and the city wanted to bless the start of the shrimping season.
This weekend, the tradition continues.
Despite the impact on Aransas Pass from Hurricane Harvey, and the destruction it left behind, Shrimporree will kick off this Friday.
Rosemary Vega, Organizer of Shrimporee and CEO of the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce says "it was mountains. Heaps and heaps of debris everywhere" as she describes what the community park, also the Shrimporee grounds, looked like after Hurricane Harvey hit the Coastal Bend.
All the debris from Harvey in the city of Aransas Pass was brought here, as you can see in these pictures.
"Even until the end of January, this was full of debris. Anyone seeing this would think no way it will be ready by June" Vega says.
But ready it is!
The city of Aransas Pass, the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce and numerous entities have worked together make sure the celebration of Shrimporee doesn’t miss a beat.
800 volunteers help out with Shrimporee.
12 non-profits will run the food booths. They keep 100% of the proceeds. Even the parking lots will be manned by non-profits. All to give back to a city that has gone through so much.
"Everyone knows how much we’ve been thru with our schools. Our kids were affected. Families still living on other families couches. It’s a great opportunity for us to be back together again" adds Vega.
It’s going to be a great time. Don’t forget about the Outhouse races on Saturday at 9 a.m. followed by the parade at 10 a.m.
By the way, here a a few tips to make your parking experience at Shrimporee a bit better.
Vega suggests you park and shuttle.
"People love to park on site but the best thing to do is shuttle. You can get on an air conditioned bus that takes you straight to the gate" she says. Four free shuttles will be running non-stop all weekend long.
Here’s where you can park and ride:
Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce 130 W. Goodnight Ave.
Aransas Pass Civic Center – 700 W. Wheeler (side parking lot) Palm Plaza 1901 Wheeler (Bealls Parking Lot)
Compton Hall- 704 W. Yoakum and Harrison
Palm Plaza- 1901 Wheeler (Bealls parking lot)
By the way, KRIS 6 is a proud sponsor of Shrimporee. See y’all there.